I’d like to talk about something that any self-respecting student enjoys: food. In particular, I’d like to discuss the ways that I have been seriously disappointed by the selection of food that we have on campus.

The repetition is purely depressing. For nearly a week, Douglass Dining Center served hamburgers for lunch. Not only is this unhealthy, but it’s also just sad. Winter is already monotonous enough, so there’s no need to add to this feeling.

Street Food, an option in Douglass, often serves the same food option for a week straight. This is often healthier than the Bistro, yet the problem of repetition remains. Further, it seems it is trying to provide some sort of authentic food from various places, yet I have an Israeli friend who refuses to eat any Middle-Eastern food they serve because of how poorly it resembles what it is trying to imitate.

While the effort is appreciated, the poor quality of the food undermines the good intentions.

I don’t have complaints for all the food options. The Allergen Free section is often of a higher quality than the rest. It offers mostly higher-quality and healthier ingredients, which I find commendable. The variance of the pasta station is also laudable. Kosher Comfort has its ups and downs as well, but can usually be relied upon.

Danforth Dining Center, on the other hand, consistently disappoints me and my friends. Of course, Douglass has been advertised as the new and best dining option on campus, but there could at least be some attempt at improving the available selections at Danforth. Danforth is still a convenient choice for students living in Susan B. Anthony Halls, but the food does not reflect this.

For freshman students on meal plans, there is a feeling of obligation, a feeling that they must use swipes at Douglass or Danforth. This, at least for my friends and I, is the sole reason we continue to eat at Douglass nearly every day. There is the occasional splurge, if you consider spending declining on Burrito Bowl or Panda Express a splurge. But such occasions are few and far between due to the generally low amounts of declining that we freshmen have.

An excellent initiative, I believe, would be some way for students on meal plans, especially freshmen with more limited options, to create their own variety of food options. URos are already spendable at Chipotle, Mt. Hope Diner, and several other establishments. Perhaps this could be extended to a market or a grocer. Or, possibly, Hillside Market could fill this role. Hillside does offer some options for making your own food; however, for the most part, this consists of microwavable meals and bread. These meals can be a great treat, but it is easy to see the problems for health and nutrition that would arise from eating this type of food on a regular basis.

Some produce, like simple vegetables such as carrots or celery, would certainly be appreciated. It’s hard enough for students unfamiliar with the area or to being independent to rouse themselves and leave campus: it is even harder when there is the easy alternative of cheap, unhealthy fast food in The Pit or Hillside. Putting healthy options next to the others could encourage students to be healthier. And yes, Danforth does have a salad bar, but it often offers a lackluster array of ingredients.

None of my complaints extend to the staff and the services they provide. Students are always welcomed warmly and served politely. The dining halls are always well-cleaned and the music provides great ambiance. It is not up to them what food they serve.

I would simply like more of a choice. I cannot think of a single dish where, upon eating it, I thought, “Wow, I’d like to get that again!” Yet each one is served to me for another week. The nutritional aspects must be improved significantly. Burgers, pizza, Panda Express, and Burrito Bowls are all the definitions of fast food.

Something just a little different, and a little bit healthier, could really add some color to the gray world of dining that has come with winter.


Tagged: Dining

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