Western has a huge range of eateries across the University, but when you’re on a campus that has a Tim Horton's around almost every corner it can be difficult to eat healthily.
Many students feel that despite the range of food, it’s hard to find nutritious options.
Second-year MIT student Katie McDonald says she wouldn’t look for a healthy meal on campus.
“It depends on what you’d call healthy, but I think for me Tim’s isn’t cutting it,” says McDonald.
But Anne Zok, Western’s nutrition manager, stresses that there is, in fact, choice when it comes to campus food.
“We do provide some comfort food but I think that we provide countless healthy options,” Zok says. “If [students] are seeking out healthy options they can find them.”
She names the Centre Spot salad bar, Booster Juice and Pasta By Design as good lunch choices.
Zok also states that students never have to eat unhealthily at any eatery, as they all provide a range of options.
“Students want to be able to customise what they’re eating, and places like Quesada and Mucho Burrito are good for that,” says Zok. “So you can choose your veggies, choose whether you want a whole grain wrap or a white wrap or whether you want to get salad.”
Even when there are choices, though, they can often be too expensive to be practical for students.
“A salad can be $10, and for that price you can get a feast from Manchu Wok”, says Jason Sinukoff, a third-year law student. “If you’re hungry it’s hard to go that route on campus.”
Similarly, McDonald will sometimes spring for a healthy snack in the UCC, going to Centre Spot to “grab a fruit cup.” But she adds, “I think it’s so overpriced that I end up bringing my own Pop-Tarts and stuff.”
However, there are alternative places to eat far away from the UCC’s sea of coffee, subs and stir-fry.
Green Leaf Café in Somerville House is one such healthy place. Zok says “it’s got a beautiful lunch buffet with locally inspired composite salads, homemade soup and entrees.”
However, Zok adds that “a lot of students forget about it.” Sinukoff agrees, reasoning that because the restaurant is “tucked away” people haven’t heard of it.
In fact, Green Leaf Cafe is absent from the campus eateries website; it certainly harder to find than the less nutritious eateries in the UCC.
This lack of awareness and affordability of alternatives can mean students end up eating less healthy or just passing on using campus eateries altogether.