by: Chloe Djedji Walking through BCC campus, the average student is presented with multiple food options that go beyond just a cafeteria. Starbucks sells donuts, Jersey pizza can be had at Primo’s, and even a pretty well talked about salad bar at the cafeteria. Besides the salad bar, looking at our food options, one can’t help but notice that a majority of the food offered on campus is heavily processed with not enough of an emphasis on a healthy balance.
Looking through the daily cafeteria menu, it would be wrong to say that there is never a vegetable-based dish offered. However, there is no guarantee that there will even be an option for that on any given day and if so, there is that one option next to the multitude of other meat/dairy heavy options. With the US Department of Agriculture recommending that the average adult get 50% of their diet from fruits and veggies, it is disappointing to see our menu not be close to reflecting that on our menu.
For example, our current menu offers food items such as chicken and biscuits and the Chicago hot dog, with the former holding a good amount of protein, the chicken and biscuits provide 52% of an individual’s cholesterol and 41% of their sodium for the day. he Chicago hot dog has 69% of the daily recommended dose of sodium and 60% saturated fat. These are just two examples from the school menu that could be replaced by healthier vegetable based dishes.
How can BCC address this? With the cafeteria already having the salad bar, the menu could be improved by making sure that either more hot vegetable based dishes are added to the menu or in place of the meat and dairy ones. The cafeteria should make a commitment to having it be an option every day, not just certain days. Some substitutions that could be added would be offering veggie patties with the regular meat and Impossible patty option. Even offering solely vegetable options cooked in different ways such as stir fried, roasted, or steamed as a side dish allows for variety for the students there throughout the weekdays.
BCC has a large base of students who use public transportation to commute to school and with no other food options being within a reasonable walking distance, they are relying on Bergen to supply them with nutritious options, especially through the long school days. With that in mind, hopefully an initiative for a better balanced daily menu can be implemented.