• Campus Food

So-So Dining at Appalachian State University

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On any given day, the average college student has a lot on their plate: attending lectures, working out at the recreational center, late night studying and the list goes on. A well balanced meal doesn’t just provide essential energy for all of these tasks. It provides a chance to sit down and relax for a moment. Appalachian State University is definitely the place to be for serious scholars. Everyone from time to the Princeton Review has praised the school’s academic programs, which offer 174 undergraduate majors across eight separate colleges.

However, the question about its food remains vague. Is it fresh? Is it consistent? Does it even come close to the home cooked meals that now seem a distant vision? The unfortunate answer is that there isn’t a lot to love or hate about the meals being served here. They’re just kind of okay, and Mountaineers clearly aren’t the type to settle. Read on to discover why this Boone, North Carolina based college needs a full culinary revamp.

Appalachian State University has two central dining halls, Roess (known as Central until March 2014) and Trivette. Make note that Trivette is generally regarded as the nicer facility due to recent renovations. It even overlooks a scenic duck pond ! Aesthetics aside, the food is nothing to go crazy over. Typical fried cafeteria food is served alongside cold entrees like salads and wraps. It’s repetitive, lacking flavor and far too pricey. In fact, many students complain about running out of money on their play midway through the semester.

Too be fair, there are some themed nights at the dining hall; “A Taste of Asia” is just one event on the calendar at the time of writing. These would be great if the ingredients used were of more premium quality. Vegans and vegetarians also complain about the severe lack of choices. Someday there isn’t even anything that’s gluten free available. If you have certain dietary restrictions, you might very well starve here.

Across the promenade lies Sanford Commons, this has a variety of popular fast-food chains like Chic-fil-A and Habanero’s. Don’t get in the habit of relying on these types of places, though. They’re unhealthy and costly over time (need we remind you that those meal plan points don’t roll over). Rivers Street Café carries on the carb assault with pizza, baked goods and other quick eats. It seems like there’s nowhere in this college town where you can get a fresh, delicious meal on a student’s budget. On second thought, this is exactly what your expensive dining plan should be affording you in the first place.

Let’s say you decide to bite the bullet and consume this low-grade processed food on the daily. You’re going to have to exercise to keep your body and mental health in tip-top shape. Luckily, Appalachian State University has three state-of-the-art exercise facilities. They’re conveniently located on campus for easy access. There’s also a variety of outdoor activities to pursue, from hiking to skiing perks of living near the mountains. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could eat healthy and exercise, though?

If you attend Appalachian State University, the reality will soon set in that your only options are eating the same unhealthy meals over and over at the dining hall, or relying on fast food options that aren’t much of an upgrade. Nutrition couldn’t be more essential to your academic success. Consider another school who takes its students’ needs seriously, providing them with a forum to design their own menus and appraise quality. They’re out there, but they do take some investigation to find.

Now that you know all about this college’s food program, why not check out its best and worst professors?

Ryan James is a ’13 alumnus of Ohio University’s College of Arts & Sciences with a bachelor’s degree in writing and media. He currently works as a copywriter for a Fortune 500 e-commerce corporation based in Columbus, OH.

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