College campuses across the country are notorious for their calorie-driven, starchy food content and their limp vegetables. Though most cafeterias keep their students full and fed, they often aren’t offering as many nutritional options as they should be. According to USA Today College, many students that live and eat on campus are not even eating one serving of fruits and/or vegetables when it is recommended that they should be consuming between four-and-a-half and five servings per day. The food that is offered to students, such as many choices of pizza and exuberant amounts of pasta, often overshadow the smaller, less appetizing portions of fruits and vegetables. It becomes easy in situations such as this for students to “put healthy eating aspirations on the back burner” and forget their eating options. As well as students being unmotivated in choosing healthy options, fresh fruits and vegetables are much more expensive to buy and provide when trying to feed a campus of thousands of hungry mouths. With college education expenses rising, many students are less inclined to pay more money for fresh foods when they could be putting the extra cash towards their tuition.
Students, especially incoming freshman, have obtained a type of food insecurity within their college campuses. Access to nutritional food is always waning, and many students report that their campus cafeterias are one of the causes of their food insecurities within the last thirty days. Food insecurity has also been linked to housing insecurity which also correlates with education efforts, which are usually harmed. College campuses are becoming more notorious for their “lack of reliable access to sufficient quantities of affordable, nutritious food,” and this continues to be an alarming cause in housing and educational insecurities according to The National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness. Without access to nutritional food on college campuses, most students’ educations also begin to falter. Nutritional food is a necessary ingredient in the growth of college life.
College kitchen staffs are tasked with the large responsibility of prepping and preparing meals for thousands of students between two to three times per day, including weekends and some holidays. Receiving fresh ingredients on an everyday basis in the amounts necessary to produce enough food for the entire campus is an almost impossible job within itself. While preparing this food, these kitchen staffs are tasked with “the important responsibility of…[providing food]…in a nutritious, thoughtful manner” all at a cost that is affordable to the common college student according to the Cornell University Blog Storying the Foodshed. While it is the choice of most college students to eat healthy foods, it also comes down to the fact that the kitchen staffs don’t have the resources to provide many healthy, appealing options. Campuses cannot provide students with fresh, healthy options daily thus making it a struggle to eat foods high in nutritional value.