Opinion by Crystal Blum
Junior, Professional Communications
Is the Galley helping or hurting your health goals? We have all heard of the dreaded ‘Freshman 15,’ but we all thought it was something of the past as more colleges have been providing healthier options; nevertheless, it seems a lot of students here at Armstrong think otherwise.
Even armed with health goals, the Galley might lead you into temptation with all the pizza, fries, cheeseburgers, and cookies. It will be a challenging effort to walk towards the salad bar that also contains cheese, bacon, and unappetizing ‘low cal’ dressings.
One of Armstrong’s most sought after personal trainers and group exercise teachers, Tequan Dorsey, a senior public health major, expressed his frustrations with the limited healthy options at the Galley: “I don’t believe they have a wide selection of healthy food…I would like to see more foods that focus on an alternative way of eating the status quo unhealthy food.”
He provided some alternative options the Galley can provide, “For example, instead of pizza, you can have cauliflower pizza which tastes just as good… they should include more food geared towards people who favor foods that are baked and steamed.”
Another Armstrong student you can always find in the gym, Gerald Dudley, a sophomore criminal justice major, backed Tequan’s statements that the home-cooked section of the Galley should provide more options, instead of only having one. When they have fried fish or chicken, they do not also have an option that is grilled or baked. Several options should be available since there is a wide-range of students.
This isn’t only an issue for omnivores, but for vegetarians and vegans as well. Kaelyn Pettus, a sophomore visual arts major, who is a vegan has troubles finding what to eat in the Galley: “I do not feel like there are enough options, especially for vegans. The vegetarian/vegan station only has one or two options every day, and days like today and tomorrow, the options are only okay for vegetarians to eat, as they have cheese in them.”
There is a small vegetarian station in the Galley; most days it isn’t vegan so you’re just stuck eating a salad continuously throughout the week, which contains no protein and a limited amount of essential nutritional value.
Kaelyn gives a few recommendations for how the Galley could appeal to its vegan customers, “First, they need to add a third milk machine that either has soy or almond. And more nutritious items in the dishes as well, such as beans, quinoa, more fruits and veggies, etc. Mainly I would like to see more options for vegans and vegetarians, but healthier options for omnivores as well.”
Even though there are limited options to stay on the course of eating healthy, these health-conscious students gave us some tips. Tequan suggests, “try to eat something with a lot of greens FIRST, for example a salad, then proceed to the main meal. This will help curve the appetite a little more.”
He gives us a look at some of his favorite healthy meals to eat in the Galley: “For breakfast, I love eating egg whites with spinach. For dinner, I prefer a salad with chicken and instead of dressing, I would use cranberries and cottage cheese.”
Kaelyn gives an example of a way to mix up the salad option for vegans: “my favorite thing to eat is rice and beans and a big salad topped with cranberries, apples, sunflower seeds, black olives, carrot, and oil and vinegar!” Slice the apple on the salad!
To find out how to get the students’ voices heard, I talked to few people in the Galley. Val Ross, a supervisor at the Galley said there are comment cards students can use to suggest changes or give feedback. The managers look at all the recommendations the students have. She also said the Galley has food group meetings in WOW, usually the third Thursday of every month. This is a good way to get student voices heard and maybe get responses from the managers.
If the students are disappointed or frustrated with the food options in the Galley, they should take action to pursue change. And as a business that should aim to please its customers, the Galley should then follow through with providing options for all student who decides to put their money and wellbeing into their university’s cafeteria.