By David Meikle II
Upon first appearance, Salmanson Dining Hall is a beautiful and spacious facility that seems to offer all the necessary requirements in order for myself and other Bryant students to eat healthy and delicious meals. Unfortunately, the beautiful appearance of the Salmanson Dining Hall cannot make up for its lack of quality food produced by Sodexo Dining Services. In a recent article written by Tyler McNulty, News Editor for “The Advocate”, McNulty reports that, “Last month, Sodexo’s food quality was reviewed by “Is It Bad For You?” website writer DeeAnne Oldham, of Katy, Texas, who gave the company’s food quality an F rating.” Sodexo’s inability to produce high quality food is aggravating to students who desire food that has great taste, and very health conscious students like myself who desire food with great nutrition.
Many students, including myself, find the food produced in Salmanson Dining Hall consistently has poor taste and is of bad quality overall. Seeking to eat food other than pizza or burgers, I often find myself choosing chicken over those options in order to eat healthier. However, the chicken I eat consistently not only has poor taste, but is also very chewy and dry. This food makes it undesirable to eat healthy because you would rather eat pizza instead of dry chicken. To make matters worse, the food that usually is universally good everywhere you go, such as pizza and burgers, have poor taste as well. The pizza is bland, while some of the rolls on the burgers I have had were hard and dry. The combination of tasteless healthy food and bland “unhealthy” food, make Salmanson’s food undesirable by students like myself.
Sodexo’s lack of quality options, combined with their destruction of healthy food, create disgruntled students who are forced to consistently seek tastier and healthier alternatives for nutrition. Whether I go to Salmanson during the summer or winter sessions, or the traditional fall and spring semesters, Sodexo frequently provides the same variety of foods for students. Even if the food was still of low quality, having a variety of low quality foods would still improve the Salmanson Dining Hall experience. Instead, we are provided with the same yogurt, fruit, pizza, grill food, and sandwich bar options every single day. Sodexo also typically provides “healthy” food options such as mixed vegetables or a variety of other supposedly healthy foods. However, Sodexo will frequently douse the vegetables and food in high calorie dressing or soak it in butter. These food preparation choices create unhealthy “healthy” options, full of fat and high in calories. The lack of options, combined with the destruction of their “healthy” alternatives, angers both myself and other students.
Sodexo’s consistent food production with limited options that are both of low quality and are unhealthy create anger amongst myself and my peers at Bryant. While we as students face copious amounts of pressure to perform in a multitude of areas in our lives, the food provided in the Salmanson Dining Hall does not provide me with the energy I need to handle these stresses. Although one may believe Salmanson has all the tools necessary to provide adequate nutrition to students, its provider cannot uphold their end of the deal and provide high quality food that allows students to be successful in all areas of their lives.