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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Where is the healthy food on campus?

Student eats his daily requirements of fried food
4th-year student Marvin Santiago prepares to kick up the flavor for his chicken tenders and suggests that the school could do more in regards to investing more money towards healthier food choices. Photo credit: Mara Nogales

It’s no doubt that Fullerton College students have found a second home within the campus. Whether we’re taking naps in the library after a study session, or catching a Netflix break in between classes, we inevitably invest so much of our time at school. With the rush throughout the day, the one thing that keeps us going from one class to another are the moments when we can get a bite to eat.

As a sophomore at Fullerton College, I can vouch for the fact that students such as myself thrive on the idea of surviving all-nighters, and if sleep doesn’t come easy for us, a hearty, yet healthy meal becomes our next source of staying remotely alive. Besides sleep, having the right nutrients is insanely important for students to function throughout the day.

Food to Go

Food makes the college student’s world go round. From the moment that we step into the dining hall just one glance at the grab-n-go refrigerator and we see that our options for “healthy” choices would be either a Caesar salad, macaroni salad, or a tiny fruit cup. If you take the time to check the fine print we might be able to differentiate the whole wheat from the white bread sandwiches.

So why are students in Fullerton College settling for the fact that there are such limited choices for healthy meals? Christy Truong, a second-year student at Fullerton College a graphic design student, strongly identifies with our need of better food choices.

Convenient does not always mean healthy at Fullerton College
Christy Truong, a second-year graphic design student at Fullerton College reaches for a slice of pepperoni pizza at the dining hall and claims that it's the most convenient and cheap food fix in between class breaks Photo credit: Mara Nogales

“The food is alright, but I just feel like there should be more of a variety of healthy snacks,” said Truong as she proceeds to eat a slice of pepperoni pizza from Sodexo and wash it down with a red bull.

Now we’ve all heard it before,”Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” In order to feel refreshed and energized for the next 24 hours, we should allow ourselves a chance to consume a fulfilling breakfast. Healthy carbs and protein are so crucial to our empowerment, both physically and mentally. When students find the time to have breakfast before that 8:00am class, one would have the option to choose from pizza, nachos, burritos, and your occasional variety of muffins sitting on a shelf.

Slice of Life
Sodexo branded eateries, Wholly Habaneros, Slice of Life, and The Grille at the Fullerton College cafeteria. Photo credit: Marlon Rizo

Since college students generally love a recharge, we tend to reach for the immediate source of caffeine- soda. I’ve observed that we are openly offered a great selection of Red Bull and Monster, rather than the healthy option like orange juice, all-natural fruit smoothies, or milk.

In addition to needing the nutrients to help us last throughout the day, having a healthy diet can lead to positive effects in our mentality and focus. While we are surged with the energy that we seek through our caffeine, cookies, and potato chips– eventually, this energy converts into a very sluggish crash.

Another concern that I face as a college student would be budgeting. However, when a salad costs nearly $5 and a cheeseburger $3.39, it’s not that difficult to see why students are so drawn to making an unhealthy choice.

Snack time
Liberal Arts major Ariel Kirkbike picking out some cheap and fast pick snacks from the Fullerton College Cafeteria this evening. Photo credit: Marlon Rizo

“Fullerton College can invest more money in healthier food,” said Marvin Santiago fourth-year criminal justice major, while gathering his tray of fried chicken tenders prepared by Sodexo.

Although students may be settling for the mediocre choices in Fullerton College’s dining hall, it doesn’t make it the best start to a healthy diet, nor does it help when all of the healthier choices burn a hole in our wallets. Healthy food choices are a necessity to succeed in the class room.

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    TaraMar 5, 2016 at 4:04 am

    This is so true. I’m at school Tuesday – Thursday and on some days I find myself there for a large portion of the day. I know there’s some healthy – but expensive – restaurants in nearby downtown Fullerton, I usually want to stay on campus to maximize my homework and study time. So when I’m hungry I’m usually running to the dining hall with 5 bucks to hopefully find myself something healthy and filling. But usually walk out with a piece of pizza, because the ceasar salads are made with the least healthy looking lettuce and fat filled dressing. Fruit cups are expensive and non-filling. And soups I’m sure are high in sodium. We definitely need some healthier, more affordable options.