For the health of it…what are we really eating?

Kelsey Conklin

NMU is a school that promotes a cleaner environment through lifestyle changes benefiting health. The newly initiated Bike Share program and tobacco free campus are just two examples. However, when it comes to nutrition NMU is lacking.  Greasy, overprocessed, high-caloric and high-sugar foods are what students pump into their bodies while on campus. Where are the healthy alternatives?

We grew up loving, adoring and even craving these foods. Our parents did not reward us with fresh fruit. Instead, ice cream, cookies and candy showered our achievements. Halloween was my favorite holiday because of the massive amounts of sweet rewards I earned walking from house to house. Now, in college, it makes sense to resort to these comfort foods. Not only are they convenient but it tastes so good. Like hair clogging a drain, these foods clog our arteries and demolish our energy. The aftermath cannot be snaked away with a few cups of coffee. What are we really feeding ourselves?

Recently, I came across Dining Services, “My Menu” which provides nutrition information and a weekly meal creator for Melted, Temaki & Tea, Marketplace and the Wildcat Den. My first thought was, why isn’t this an app? Students are always on the move and looking for convenience. I don’t know many students that plan their meals at the beginning of the week. If they do, they’re not eating on campus. My second thought was on the nutrition label. I appreciate how you can see nutrition facts for every item on each menu, but it is time consuming to scroll over all the individual items. I would prefer to download a PDF. The ingredients labels on these items are extensive! The Spider Roll from Temaki & Tea has 322 words for 18 ingredients; a Big Mac has 18 words for seven ingredients. That’s a large brick of text for one sushi roll. Where is the nutritional information for Starbucks, Fieras and Smoothie King? Half of Dining Services are missing. Needless to say, this left me wanting more.

Being informed about your health should not be difficult. I think Dining Services should make “My Menu”

into an easy app. Additionally, listing calories next to the item on the menu boards can be a great way to inform students. McDonald’s and Buffalo Wild Wings are just a few companies that have started this as a way to improve eating habits. Yes, people are still eating deep fried foods, but maybe customers are limiting their intake or monitoring portions.

Finally, I want to see an on-campus dining service that offers daily healthy choices of fresh fruits, clean vegetables, interesting salads combinations and lean sandwiches. Dining Services’ website said they “have partnered with a number of local businesses and organizations to provide fresh, healthy food on campus.” Prove it. I am not talking about the canned fruit the Marketplace has to offer or the wrapped sandwiches prepared five days prior, but good clean food.

Our health should matter. It is the only thing that allows us to enjoy the great environment Marquette has to offer. I’m not saying to always make the healthiest choice, but be informed. If anyone is going to promote the free flow of information, it’s a public unpublic university. We go to school to learn and teach. Does the same principle apply outside of the classroom? Let’s create a healthier tomorrow. Live well, Wildcats.