BGSU should offer healthier choices

Amanda Hoover and Amanda Hoover

If you’re one of the millions who have made the resolution to eat healthier this year, you might want to add one more resolution: get a better job.

That’s right, in case you hadn’t noticed, eating healthy is expensive, especially on campus where you can’t buy frozen food or food in bulk. Sharing one kitchen with 400 to 800 residents makes it difficult if not impossible to cook your own meals, leaving us to depend on University Dining Services to help us keep healthy food a part of our daily meals.

Sometimes, in the act of trying to preserve our precious FlexFunds, on-campus students can be forced to bypass the Union (whose meal options are much more vast) to eat at other dining centers such as the Kreischer Sundial, Founders Keepers Food Court and Commons.

While these places offer a wide variety of food, the high costs might be the cause of many students throwing their resolutions out the window. When provided with chicken, beef or fish as meat options the most expensive will always be the fish (which happens to be the healthiest), with the chicken slightly behind and the beef being dirt cheap.

So what better way to encourage a healthy diet than by making the daily Meal Deal at Kreischer an assortment of healthy foods so students can afford a whole meal?

Apparently, the University feels that the best way to make these foods more affordable is by making the Meal Deal into a combination of the already cheap and deep-fried menu options.

Therefore, the Sloppy Joe, tater tots or French fries, and a 24- ounce fountain drink will run a student about $3.75, whereas one order of whitefish will cost over $5.

Most students are on some sort of University meal plan. The two lowest of these plans provide funds for students to eat between $10 and $15 a day.

Congratulations to us! We can have three pieces of fish per day.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’ve shopped at grocery stores and I understand that healthy and organic foods generally have price tags that can cause a person to choke in the middle of the store.

But some of this could be avoided by the University.

For instance, why are we served so much whitefish and tilapia when perch, bluegill, bass and croppy are all much cheaper, local and still taste great?

Another option would be to model the residential dining centers after the greatest place to get food on campus: the Union. Extending the Union’s offers of fruit smoothies, vegan dishes, Thursday sushi and burritos (which, if prepared to students’ specifications, can actually be quite good for you) would allow students to be able to eat better by not exhausting their FlexFunds in the first month of the semester. They also wouldn’t be forced to eat at other dining halls for the rest of the year.

I know a lot of people who haven’t made the resolution to eat right would say “but every dining hall serves salad.”

That is true, but eating salad every day for every meal is not good for you and you will be missing key parts of a healthy diet such as protein, starch and carbohydrates. I maintain that you need carbohydrates to live healthy and have the energy to make it through the day. (Long live bread!)

While it is possible to eat a balanced diet while living on campus, the options are numbered and what we are provided with is costly.

So where is the line between the students’ responsibilities to eat what is good for them and the University’s responsibility to provide healthy food at something less than double the cost of the meals that tend to be more artery-clogging?

I say until the rules change to allow students to have full-sized refrigerators with freezers (which isn’t likely to happen), the University should be conscientious of the students’ dietary and financial needs when preparing the meals and the Meal Deal.

If McDonald’s can make a fruit and yogurt parfait cost $1, so can the University.

Juice from concentrate should not cost 20 cents more that pop. Fresh cooked vegetables should not be twice the price of frozen of then cooked vegetables and a $1.99 Sloppy Joe should not be part of the Meal “Deal.”

Send comments to Amanda at [email protected]