MCCRACKEN: U.Va.  It should provide more nutritious and affordable food options - The Cavalier Daily

MCCRACKEN: U.Va. It should provide more nutritious and affordable food options – The Cavalier Daily

“Eat veggies” is a phrase we’ve been hearing since we were kids. And although your parents or your doctors may have bothered you by repeating this saying, it is absolutely true. vegetables provide The body is full of vitamins, fiber and other nutrients essential for life. Although some of these nutrients can be collected from other sources, it happens more often Difficult Or expensive to get Supplements In large enough quantities to guarantee the same benefits. At university, eating healthy food is often expensive, but it is very difficult to get it. By advertising on yo. the food The website, claims to be committed to “enabling you to make the healthy choices you seek,” as well as a passion for “eating programs that make it easy to eat well.” After reviewing their practices, there is little evidence to support this mission statement. Simply put, there is a lot that needs to be done to ensure that students can make healthy choices at low or no additional cost, and at the moment, there is little progress.

The university and its dining company, Aramark, took a massive step toward making healthy, sustainable eating a reality in 2019. Aramark chose to reinvent The Castle, a restaurant option adjacent to the Bonnycastle House on McCormick Road. The Castle updated their meal options and took home an award green restaurant certificate By adopting increasingly sustainable and plant-based existing practices and ingredients. The reason for this pivot was students’ requests for more nutritious foods that contained vegetarian or vegan options. The university and Aramark have responded with this change to Castle, hoping to address concerns about the availability of vegetarian and healthy options.

But with 18,000 college students on the floor and limited working hours, Castle isn’t ready to stand alone in supporting the university’s pledge of eating programs that make it easy to eat healthy. According to University website for food, while all three dining halls have green restaurant certification, only two of the nine meal venues drafted “restaurants” have this certification. Of course, there are other options for healthy eating on Earth. One very popular website is The Juice Laundry, a juice and smoothie to be proud of Locations in Newcomb Hall, Aquatic and Fitness Center and an off-site location on Preston Street. the shop Expedition It is to ensure transparency in its ingredients by listing them in large letters and having an open preparation area visible to customers. Some may ask – at what cost? Purchasing a bottle of juice from The Juice Laundry is definitely not a change of pocket, as the costs begin almost $11 a bottle. The university’s inclusion of The Juice Laundry in its eating plans shows that it may be committed to enabling students to make healthy choices, but those choices come at a cost.

Not every restaurant on Earth requires money for their food. Students with a meal plan have the option of using meal “exchanges,” which allow them to choose from pre-set menu options that do not come without an additional cost. But when I checked the menus of each of these places, I found that the healthy options are few. in West Ring CaféTwo meal-sharing options that can be considered healthy – salad and a Caesar roll – are often sold out by mid-lunch. Other options are fried chicken and fries, grilled cheese, or a NoBull burger—not exactly the most nutritious food college students might be looking for.

The fact of the situation remains that no matter where students live, they spend most of their time on the floor and have to either pay a large amount of money or eat exclusively in the dining halls or drive to a grocery store themselves to get food containing fresh fruits and vegetables. This is, of course, unless one wants to dine in the castle every day of the week – albeit not on weekends, when the restaurant is closed. For first-year students who don’t have cars — or upper class students who don’t have meal plans — it means a more complex search for healthier options. It’s impossible to notice a stark contrast to the statement made about health and wellness on the university’s dining website. Does the university enable students to eat well? By providing meal replacement options that contain fried food or absent vegetables, the answer is definitely no. As for the other part of the statement, the food service claims to be passionate about “eating programs that make it easy to eat well.” Based on the evidence reviewed, it is not easy to eat well while living on Earth.

If a university wants to stick to its mission statement on health and wellness, look no further than current institutions. There is no need to build new restaurants, just take the same approach you did in the castle and revamp their menus. With a mission and a method already in place, the university simply needs to follow through.

Ford McCracken is a perspective writer who writes about university management in The Cavalier Daily. It can be accessed at Opinion

The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Cavalier Daily. The columns represent the authors’ opinions alone.

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