OPINION: Healthy dining options are limited

Over the last few years, many improvements have been made in respect to AVI service, as well as the cafeteria and the cafes here on campus.

These improvements come in the form of physical changes like new paint, tables and chairs, and most notably the revamped setup and layout of the cafeteria four years ago.

There have also been many changes to the personnel, and with these changes, new ideas and opportunities for our cafeteria to better serve the students.

Daniel Edwards is a senior music education major. (Photo by Autumn Berry)

However, one thing that has not changed significantly is the choice in food as far as healthy preparation or different options for students to choose for a balanced meal.

You walk into the dining hall and what is the first thing you see? Pizza! Sounds good, right? Then you continue your walk around the island in the center of the cafeteria and are greeted by the sight and smell of burritos with nacho chips, and on the other side, butter-soaked noodles or mac and cheese.

As you walk to the front of the room, you see grilled cheese, hot dogs, French fries, and burgers. You look to the left and you finally see meat, potatoes, and vegetables, like what you might have at home.

But what if you want something healthy? What if you want something that isn’t fried or soaked in butter? Then your options just got narrowed down to three choices: soup, salad, or a sandwich.

So why is it that those three choices are our only options? In a country where obesity, type II diabetes, and other nutrition-related diseases are on the rise, why are most of the foods in our cafeteria fried or fatty?

Now, don’t get me wrong; AVI is making attempts at improving the standards they already have set by using whole grain crusts for the pizzas and fresh vegetables in the lines, but how much healthier is that whole grain crust when there is a candy bar or Oreo pizza on top of it?

I would like to see a healthier stance taken in the AVI kitchens through less use of the deep fryers, and more use of the ovens and grills to cook food and lower the fat content.

Also, it would be wonderful if there was more of a distribution of the kinds of food that are served daily. On some days there are many options to choose from between fried food or not, but there are other days where every station is fried.

These few changes can help improve the health and life of the students on campus and fight a growing epidemic in the country.

Daniel Edwards is a senior music education major.

Categories: Opinion

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