The Lunchtime Dilemma: Eat Well or Eat Healthy?

The bell rings and the race is on. Students pour out of classrooms, shoving each other aside for the chance to be first to the parking lot.

Other students are limited to the quad, cafeteria and various grassy spots are where they eat lunch and hang out with friends. These students bring the classic bag lunch from home or buy food from places around the campus.

Many find themselves standing in the long line to the cafeteria to quench their hunger. Though many of the unhealthy items in the cafeteria have been removed, many unhealthy items remain.

“Whenever I go, it’s still really crowded,” junior Beth Kay said. “A lot of students eat from the cafeteria, but it doesn’t look like it’s really changed.”

Some students can’t eat at the cafeteria due to the lack of options.

“I am a vegetarian, so the food in the cafeteria doesn’t really fit my needs,” sophomore Alex Santiago said. “Nothing there is really vegan kosher.”

But for many, the cafeteria is just a convenient way to get food every day, even at the expense of taste and health.

According to junior Giovanni Jimenez, since the cafeteria is “just there,” it’s a lot easier than having to bring food from home.

California’s School Food Nutrition Standards Bill was enacted this summer and has placed several restrictions of the food sold on campus. However, the snack window and the lunch cart still stock what freshman Noga Feinberge calls “greasy” foods. The nutritional information for the food served in the cafeteria, nor is it tacked up in the kitchen for students who would like to see what they’re buying when they purchase french fries or cookies. The Costco pizza that tastes and appears similar to the pizza served at the lunch cart contains 20 to 30 grams of fat per slice, almost 40 percent of the daily recommended value.

Though the school provides healthy alternatives, few choose to take advantage of them. Instead of having a burger, a student could drink fresh fruit juice and eat a salad, though few do.

In the end the individual makes the choices. Each student has the opportunity to be healthy.

“It really depends on [students’] everyday habits at home for people to be healthier,” Beth said.