Food at UT: Good For You?

Coming to school thousands, or even ten miles away is an adjustment. You’re in a new place with unfamiliar people and situations. With all these new things to learn, places to go, and people to meet, it is no surprise that many go to the comfort of food as something that is familiar. However, food choices at the University of Tampa are simply not what they should be, or furthermore there when they should be. 

I come from a home where my mom stopped making dinner every night by the time I was in high school. She didn’t like cooking, we didn’t like what she made for dinner, simple as that. That being said, there was always food in the house, it was just up to me and my siblings to make it. 

At UT the cafeteria is open from seven to seven on weekdays, and nine to seven on weekends. At first glance this doesn’t seem like bad hours; however, what about those who have night classes? Last semester I had a two night classes a week, and would sometimes get out around 6:30. Even if I got out early and got to the cafeteria before seven, sometimes the gate would be closed with a working greeting me with a, “Sorry ma’am, we’re closed”.

Now of course there in stadium center that has Salsa Rico, Pandinis, SparBQ, and Gourmet Grocer where sushi is served on the weekend. Although you can get salad at Pandinis, it closes at nine. 

Salso Rico and SparBQ are hands down probably some of the most unhealthy food on campus, rivaling The Grill. But no worries, if you’re still hungry after eleven when all of stadium closes, the grill is open until two, just in case you want a hamburger and fries.

There seems to be a pattern here of bad food choices, however does the student have a choice? Most freshman live in dorms that do not have a kitchen, so how are students who want to eat healthy succeeding? 

Student Michele Brady comments. “I spent my first semester home going to community college. I went to the gym and ate healthily. Here it is nearly impossible to eat healthy pretty much because I have no idea what is in this food.”

Although the UT website has a dining page that says the caloric intake of food in the caf, who knows what is actually in the food.

At home I spent my summer counting calories and knowing exactly what I was eating and how good, or bad, it was for me. I find it disheartening that when I look up the calories of a pandinis salad, it was well over 600 calories.

So what advice do I have? If you can get to the caf before it closes, get the grilled chicken, pray they have a good vegetable in the classics station, and stick with water instead of soda. Exercise everyday, and think about what you’re eating before you do it.

Brady agrees. “Everybody, even 95-pound girls, struggle with eating healthy and weight. It’s all about a happy medium”. 

By Ali Pfleging


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