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College Food Culture: Students Demand Delicious, Healthy Food

College Food Culture: Students Demand Delicious, Healthy Food
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The search for the right college is a difficult undertaking for any high school student. There are majors to consider, extracurricular activities, sports, religion, study abroad, dormitories, campus locations and, of course, cafeterias. My college search involved a week-long tour of Wisconsin and Minnesota with my parents (it was a long week) on a quest to find The Perfect College. We followed backwards-walking tour guides across manicured lawns, peeked into occupied dorm rooms and sat in on band rehearsals. And although it might seem shallow, one of the most important aspects of my college search was the quality of the food.

Colleges have become more competitive about their dining services over the past ten to fifteen years since many students are no longer willing to accept the mystery-meat style cafeterias that my parents tolerated in the 1970s. They ordered pizza several times a week and faced the meager iceberg lettuce at the salad bar with trepidation. I decided early on that the food I would eat for four years had to be varied, healthy and delicious.

I chose to attend St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota for many reasons, including their #3 nationally-ranked cafeteria. Recently, St. Olaf was rated #1 in the US for great college food by Newsweek’s Daily Beast. With a cafeteria that features multiple stations, a well-stocked dessert bar and a commitment to healthy, sustainable food, I can understand why.

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Photo from Elvertbarnes via flickr

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73 comments

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9:46AM PDT on Sep 22, 2011

I am pretty disappointed with my college's dining options although they are renovating right now so far the only new thing to go in is a quizno's which isn't exactly healthy. being vegetarian makes it more difficult although they have some options but as of right now I have to stand in a long line at Tim hortons (bleck) to buy a piece of fruit and the options there are very limited (green and red apples and bananas. I pack a lunch but there is a limited amount of microwaves to heat it up. I hope when the caf reopens there will be some better options. Come on burrito bar!

11:06PM PDT on Sep 17, 2011

I went to a local university. For lunch I'd pack or, go home and have something that's healthy. Of course, often as college students, you go OUT too.

7:49AM PDT on Sep 11, 2011

I am really very happy to know that today's youth is so well informed and committed to their health. Keep it up.

3:41PM PDT on Sep 9, 2011

Glad to hear about decent food in a college. Even though I lived at home all four years, I occasionally would eat on campus and it was pretty bad. If you're looking for good recipes, may I recommend the magazine, "Taste of Home" or any of it's sister publications. The recipes are easy in terms of preparation and ingredients are healthy and easy to find in a store.

2:36PM PDT on Sep 9, 2011

Thanks

8:44AM PDT on Sep 9, 2011

I ate this kind of Placek throughout my childhood. IMHO there is no better pie. The fruit version is deadly:)

8:18AM PDT on Sep 9, 2011

Thanks for sharing the news.

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3:52PM PDT on Sep 7, 2011

smart students........

12:10PM PDT on Sep 7, 2011

Our college students need to have the best, healthy food we can possible give them so they can get the best education.

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches ancient Greek, Latin and Classics at Saint Peter's University in New Jersey.... more
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