Eat with caution

The Northwest Missourian

  They say you cannot please them all. Food service giant Aramark tries again to do just that, serving up a hot plateful of uncertainty with their latest additions and deletions to Bearcat Food Court and The Runt. Should students bite? After initial reviews by the Northwest Missourian staff, that may not be the best idea.

Surprisingly, vegetarian alternatives rise a notch from the bottom of Aramark’s to-do list with Noodles. Every item comes with a myriad of ingredients and seasonings, with meat options readily available by request only. The new “Good 4U” bar even offers tofu.

 As with anything, this change comes with sacrifice. Those associating “meat-free” with “healthier” are in for an unpleasant surprise. A quick glance at Noodle’s nutritional information packet reveals some heartburn-inducing figures: 570 calories in a Mac & Cheese; 245mg cholesterol in a Pad Thai; 730 mg sodium in a Malaysian Coconut. Oh and by the way, those are all for the small bowls.

Thankfully, those are the worst figures on the “small” menu. But is that the best they can do? Noodles was supposed to be the answer to students’ plea for healthy food choices.

Aramark and the powers that be should be applauded for even making changes to the cafeteria. It shows that the voice of the consumer is at least heard, but perhaps not listened to.

This is what we mean: Will wait times remain annoyingly high this year, despite the changes? Is the food still shipped frozen and fried in grease? Can we eat any of it without risking indigestion and/or arterial failure?

Students will someday be able to taste and ingest food confidently. We will be able to believe advertisements that announce “fresh,” “healthy,” “cooked,” or even “edible” food. Then again, maybe asking for lunch that is prepared instead of assembled with a wait time under 15 minutes is too much for a college our size.

Until then, eat at your own risk. Spend some quality time with the refrigerated produce and fruit rack. Get to know the salad bar, but know that danger lurks there also.