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For the price we pay, our food should be better

Living on campus, many college students are limited to what they can eat, choosing from only the food in the dining hall or the few other options on campus, like Dunkin’ Donuts or the Pirate’s Cove. The food choices students have are not always the healthiest, either. [caption id="attachment_19477" align="aligncenter" width="508"] The Setonian logo, obtained from[/caption] In college cafeterias, many options are available, however, many choose the pizza, fries and cookies over the salad bar. Universities need to do a better job of providing heathier options for students. Students pay a great deal of money for meal plans and should be getting the best quality meals. If cafeterias had better food, then it is more likely that less food would be wasted because students would actually finish their plates. Students rely on the cafeteria to provide them with options that promote a healthy diet. Students living on campus for the first year often have to adjust to the new diet of a college student. First year students’ new social surroundings and increased stress levels can lead to a decreasing focus on nutritious eating. According to a study at Auburn University, 70 percent of college students gain weight and body fat by the time they graduate. The average weight gain for students was 12 pounds and the highest weight gain reported in the study was 39 pounds. Upon entering college, students indulge in the unhealthy options and the all you can eat ice cream in the dining hall. If cafeteria’s had more fruit and veggie options, students may be more likely to eating these foods. Perhaps instead of getting students excited for chicken tender day, students would be more inclined to get excited for healthier foods if we had tastier options in the cafeteria. The dining hall undeniably lacks in taste. It is understandable that the cafeteria needs to make meals for thousands of students, but that should not mean that the quality of the food should decrease. Many of the foods served in the dining hall are bland or not properly cooked. Gourmet Dining Services and other food companies on college campuses need to be more mindful of what kind of service they are providing. According to Time Magazine, federal data shows the price of a typical college dining hall contract has jumped 47 percent in the last decade. Food is an essential part of college students’ lives and for the price they are paying, the food should be better in taste and quality. Vanessa Vela is a freshman journalism major from Chino Hills, Calif. She can be reached at


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