This piece reflects the opinion of Madison Fishler, nutrition student. Letters to the editor do not reflect the opinion or editorial coverage of Mustang News.
As one of the student researchers of the recently released study that included an evaluation of Cal Poly’s campus food, a member of the Student Dining Committee, and someone who eats on campus regularly, I wanted to shine a different light on the study findings that have been previously reported by both Mustang News and KSBY.
It is important to remember that the goal of the study was to describe the availability, accessibility and quality of healthful food choices at or near our campus and to gain insight into the various aspects of community food venues. It is also worth noting that studies of this nature have been conducted across the country and the survey scores at Cal Poly were consistent with other comparably sized universities.
I have the opportunity to collaborate with some of the people whose job it is to plan and prepare almost 20,000 meals that are served daily by Cal Poly’s Campus Dining. These people work diligently to improve the variety, quality and healthfulness of the food that is served in the various venues across campus. It is widely known that there are facility limitations. It should also be known that a Master Plan has been created for future improvements. One example of the future improvements is the impressive and exciting development plans for VGCafe.
The findings highlight some positive aspects of the Cal Poly campus food environment including the high proportion of venues offering healthful entrees.
It was also found that the two on-campus markets are better than typical convenience stores and offer a wider range of healthy options, including produce. It could be concluded that a student can make healthy eating choices on campus. However, the findings highlight opportunities for improvement such as increasing healthful entrees, improving the variety of healthful side dishes and beverages, making more nutrition information available at the point of purchase and implementing pricing strategies to facilitate more healthful eating choices.
These improvements seem like a good recipe for all college campus dining programs as well as for all food service institutions everywhere.
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