Cafeteria needs food update, too

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by Ryan Haines
Eagle Editorial Board

It is the end of D period. The bell has just rung. The thoughts of food fill the mind of every student in the school.

For some, lunch will not come for another class period; for others, lunch is now. With rumbling stomachs students head to the cafeteria in suspense of what the friendly cafeteria staff has cooked up for them today.

This may have happened the first day or two of school, or perhaps even the first week for some of those who do not buy lunch right away. But by now, everyone can see that the cafeteria food does not change.

Our menu consists of chicken nuggets, chicken sandwiches, chicken wings, burgers, fries and the daily special.

The daily special even becomes predictable after the first two weeks of school, when you realize that the special is almost used like a pitching rotation, as meals repeat about every five days.

It is not only the lack of variety in the cafeteria food that scares me; it is also the nutritional value.

We all know that chicken nuggets and burgers are not the best choice for a healthy meal. The more healthy meals usually come in the form of the specials on the days where there are tacos or an Asian meal.

However, eating from the line that provides the daily special when pizza and nachos are being served is not going to win anyone an A on their cholesterol test.

For the not-so-health-conscious student, he may never know what he is eating or how healthy it may be.

Strake Jesuit, along with Kinkaid, uses a catering program called Sage Dining. Strake offers a full layout of their menu that changes in cycles, along with a key that provides how healthy or unhealthy their food products are.

On the layout of what meals will be served for the first cycle, a few meals stood out to me. On Thursdays, students are given the option to eat either sliced pork butt with apple cider molasses glaze or herb breaded chicken with creamy mustard sauce.

These are just two of their eight options for meals on that day.

Not only do they have a variety of options for that day, they have a variety every day so that they are not always serving the same food.

I cannot personally remember the last time that we had something besides chicken, chicken sandwiches, burgers or the daily special since Educational Catering Inc. (ECI) has been our food provider.

The cafeteria is supposed to be a place where students can relax and enjoy a delicious, nutritious meal.

I am not a health expert, but if we used the health key that Sage Dining uses I believe that many of our foods would be highlighted in red, which, going by the key, means we should not be eating them on a daily basis.

I will give credit to our cafeteria when I say our workers are always friendly and work hard to make sure the students are happy. The workers are not the problem in our cafeteria; rather, it is the lack of diversity in our food and its poor nutrition.

Prices of the food is not up for debate.

After looking at other private schools’ websites and talking to students who eat at their school cafeteria, I came to find our prices run side-by-side with those of other local-area private schools.

The only thing we really lack – and that we really need – is variety and nutrition.

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