Students concerned over lack of healthy food options in Marketplace

The Etownian September 22, 2016 0

As the main place to get food on campus, the Marketplace is held to high standards because it feeds a wide range of students. From breakfast to lunch and dinner, students can pick from multiple stations to satisfy their hunger. With so many students on campus it can be hard to please everyone.

However, there has been a common complaint amongst the students: that the Marketplace does not provide enough healthy options for them to pick from.

Possible solutions to this problem could range from offering fewer pasta dishes, starch and meat options in the main dish areas to a wider variety of healthy dessert options.

Other small changes that can be made to the menu are offering brown rice instead of white, and having a wider variety of vegetables available to students.

Including more healthy options like fresh fruit for students to have throughout the day could be incorporated into areas such as the bakery by including desserts such as fruit cups or parfaits.

First-year Tasha Lewis believes that another healthier option besides  changing the food itself is changing how it is prepared.

“If Dining Services could figure out a way to minimize the amount of grease that they prepare the food in, it could help make the food healthier,” Lewis said.

Having experience working in the Marketplace, first-year Hannah Melcher agreed with Lewis.

“I think that Dining Services needs to cut down on the amount of fried food they offer,” Melcher said.

Self-control is tested for students when they are surrounded by unhealthy food options. With all the food stations that the Marketplace has to offer, it can be overwhelming for students when it comes to deciding what to put on their plates.

Fortunately, Dining Services makes the menu for the Marketplace available for students online on the Elizabethtown College website, so that students are aware of the food that will be served. This provides students the chance to plan accordingly before eating in the Marketplace, but leaves out key nutrition facts necessary to making healthy choices.

“If Dining Services could have some type of nutrition list or include the calories with each of the food, it will allow students to have a better idea of how much they are consuming per visit to the Marketplace,” Melcher said.        

However, Senior Madison McCall disagreed.

“I think it is all about creativity when choosing meals at the Marketplace. Anyone can make a healthy meal if they put their mind to it,” she said.

Senior Ramon Rios seemed to agree with McCall, admiring the Marketplace for the healthy options that it already has in place.

“I think a lot of the complaining is due to the lack of variety in the meal choices on certain days and certain times,” he said. 

While the Marketplace does have healthy options available for students, the loss of the salad toss was a big problem for many returning students. 

“I was upset when I found out the salad toss was replaced with another salad bar. That was one of my favorite things to change up my meals in the Marketplace,” senior Michaela Fetterolf said.

While many students seem content with the Marketplace for now there are just as many open to the idea of change.

“It never hurts to have more variety,” first-year Jamie Verrekia said.

Students tend to get tired of eating in the Marketplace day after day because after a while their palate craves a difference in food. Since the menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner follows a rotation schedule, the same food is being offered again and again and this can cause students to get bored or turned off from eating in the Marketplace on a daily basis.

I know it is an impossible task for Dining Services to satisfy everyone, but there are means for  pushing for healthier options. The Marketplace definitely considers and respects the students’ food choices.

It is important to not that they do provide food designed for vegans, vegetarians and students who cannot have food with gluten although it is not always easily accessible.

There is always room for improvement, especially when it comes to making healthier foods more readily available for students to include in their next meal.    

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