“Half-healthy” may be the correct words to describe a majority of students and faculty of Dordt when it comes to eating.
‘To be healthy, or not to be healthy’ is a choice for both teachers and students, both upper and lower classmen. One may think that lowerclassmen have it easier with pre-paid meal plans to access the Grille and Commons, but that simply may not be the case. There are plenty of interfering factors.
“My eating habits have gotten worse since starting at Dairy Queen. I eat there for dinner because I get a discount. Unfortunately, the Dining Commons aren’t open for dinner before I have to leave for work,” said sophomore Domenic Vermeulen.
Of course the Grille is open at this time, but the hot meals don’t start until 7 p.m. For many, the choice between a single wrap, sandwich, or salad isn’t enough. And when one adds more options to their meal, Defender dollars can burn up quickly.
Kaylie Ogle, a junior at Dordt is now entering her third year of working in the commons.
“Just from observing, freshmen seem really overwhelmed when they get in line at the commons. They seem to throw it all on their plates. Nevertheless, as the year goes on, I think it finally starts to dawn on them that they aren’t as hungry as they think they are.”
In a round of observation from 11:20 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 4, approximately ninety-one fresh food items were sold from the Grille. Many salads and wraps were sold, but almost everyone made chips their side of choice. Fifty-nine hot meals were served during that time as well. It cannot be determined whether individuals ordered a healthy grilled chicken or a greasy ham and cheese sandwich. However, more than half ordered fries as their side. Forty-one unhealthy sides of chips overshadows the nineteen healthy sides of that were purchased.
Students cannot be the only ones to blame. Members of faculty are also a part of the stats.
“I am healthier during the summer. I live way more active lifestyle then too. I can’t really say I blame the Commons and Grille for a lack of healthy options though,” said on-campus pastor Aaron Baart. “I feel like there are plenty of healthy options at either location. It’s more the fact that I make poor choices, especially when I am in a rush, but I think that some faculty members make incredibly healthy and environmentally responsible eating choices,” said Baart.
Students may feel more pressure to watch their wallets rather than their waistline, especially for those about to graduate. For example, in the Grille, you can get a whole hot meal, plus fries, for about the same price as a salad. Many would rather eat the whole meal over risking feeling hungry twenty minutes later.
“When I graduate, my eating habits probably won’t differ from my eating habits now. It will really depend on my income. Sixty-nine cent mac and cheese is my present and potentially my future,” said senior Ross Van Groningen.
Still, what is offered on campus cannot be to blame. Plenty of fresh options are offered. The choices that are made by both members of faculty and the students are what determine the health status of Dordt. Being told what is healthy and what isn’t can only do so much. Exercise does not balance out bad eating, but the same can be said about healthy eating and inactivity. The battle is mindfully choosing and executing what is best for one’s body.