Sonoma State should offer healthier food options


Health nuts and New Years resolutioners need look further. 

Culinary Services never fails to disappoint with their food options, especially for those searching for more health-conscious choices. It seems that despite the variety of locations on campus to eat at, eating healthy is extremely limited.

For those with meal plans, eating healthy in the Kitchens is often limited to a self-made salad. When in a rush or wanting a well-made meal, making a salad out of a disappointingly small selection of choices from a salad bar is not particularly favorable. 

The cafeteria only supplies healthy options as an afterthought in favor of the ever present hamburgers and pepperoni pizzas. And even then, a salad can only be so healthy, as many dressings should be used in much smaller portions and come loaded with sodium, sugar and saturated fats. Similarly, many lettuce types, specifically iceberg lettuce, offer very little nutritional value.

While it is not necessarily the job of Culinary Services to inform students of the nutritional facts of the salads they may be creating, it is certainly their job to provide a wider variety of nutrient rich foods.

As for the Kitchens’ healthier prepared food, the options are few and far between, and often not as healthy as one would expect. The vegetable selection is not daily and tends to be accompanied by enough unnecessary added ingredients to negate the supposed health aspect. Unsurprisingly, a brussel sprout slathered in butter, salt and pepper is not the pinnacle of good eating.

Other restaurants on campus also have a limited selection for nutritious foods. Charlie Brown’s, Lobo’s and Toast all provide lackluster health options, consisting once again of premade salads and the occasional veggie sandwich or burrito.

Admittedly, Weyden + Brewster and Stomping Grounds have healthier options, but even still those come at a great price. The healthy options of Stomping Grounds come at the ever so affordable price of $9.95, and W+B closes ridiculously early at only 2 p.m. It’s not enough to just sell healthy food. It has to be affordable for students, too.

While there is the alternative option of Lobo’s Pantry, it should be far more accessible for students to get healthy options in the Kitchens or other main campus restaurants. 

Health for Culinary Services should not just extend to the types of food served, but also the quality of the preparation going into the food as well.

It is also not entirely uncommon to see people working in the Kitchens with loose hair, painted nails and other potential food safety hazards. While not against food safety regulations, it can be quite unappetizing to watch an employee directly touch ready-to-eat foods.

This could easily go overlooked if it did not open the doors to possible food related illnesses. Going against the best interest of the general public, it apparently takes three reported incidents of food poisoning for Culinary Services to get a health inspector to examine the Kitchens.

Not every student has a wide variety of food options, especially students living in dorms without kitchens, so keeping the food standards higher than the basic food safety regulations should be a top priority not just for Culinary Services, but for the school as a whole.