Dining Halls Across America

(From The Campus Lantern – February 21, 2013)

I have heard some horror stories about college dining halls.  One story includes a student finding a headless fly in their salad.  Another involves a student finding a giant wad of hair in their soup.  In another dining hall, the cups, plates, and silverware seem to never be washed.

I did some research on the subject and discovered that Fordham University in New York City is considered to have the worst dining hall food in America.  Students have reported finding thumb tacks and even grasshoppers in their food.  The dining hall is notorious for serving only bland foods, such as hotdogs and bagels (www.delish.com).  Jokes aside, the dining hall food is a serious issue for the school.  According to cbsnews.com, “New York City health department inspectors cited health violations— including mice, roaches and poor food storage— at four of the university’s dining facilities.”  Students of every university make jokes about their dining halls, but having serious health violations is the number one food horror story I’ve ever heard.

With all of these terrifying images in mind, I took it upon myself to research the best college dining halls in the country.  The dining hall at Eastern Connecticut State University, Hurley Hall, is a great place to eat, but if you want high-class dining, you might consider transferring to one of these universities mentioned.

In my research I discovered that Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine is a dining hall heaven.  The dining hall offers a wide variety of food choices, including sushi, tofu, and fruit and vegetables from the university’s own organic garden.

St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota is a college graded with an A+ in being an organic dining hall.  The college has a student-run organic farm on campus and local farms provide the dining hall with hormone-free meat, dairy, and apples.  Yet, the college still maintains room for indulgence— they are said to have delicious deserts (www.hercampus.com).

The most professional dining hall might be University of San Diego in San Diego, California.  Chefs who work there are trained at Culinary Institute of America, Johnson & Wales, and the California Culinary Academy, so it’s obvious that the food is impeccable.  The school’s dining services also hold food fairs, luaus, and weekly farmer’s markets.

Bryn Mawr College, located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, takes the cake for the dining hall with the most special events.  One example of an event held is one in which students can create their own milkshakes.  There are also fancy days in which students can sample different sparkling ciders, cheeses, and breads (www.foxnews.com).

It is important to remember that school’s food doesn’t define the university as a whole.  Just because Bowdoin College has high-end dining facilities doesn’t mean that the education is Ivy League material.  Just because Fordham University is thought to have low-quality meals doesn’t mean that the professors don’t give a good education to the students.  My point is that dining hall food isn’t everything.


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