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'Lettuce' talk about healthy food alternatives

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Fresh prepared meals for the food cart

Fresh prepared meals for the food cart

Edna Cerritos

Edna Cerritos

Fresh prepared meals for the food cart

Matthew Gonzalez, Contributor

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Are you trying to tone up for your new year’s resolution?  Don’t know where to find any healthy alternatives on campus? Cal State LA has sixteen venues across campus where students can purchase a meal or snack during their down time from classes. The Office of Communications and Public Affairs sent out a mass email last Tuesday informing students of these healthy alternatives which included salads, wraps, and fruit. The email also featured a new salad bar that is available in the Housing Dining Hall and a new electric food cart that will now travel to different locations around campus.

In addition to the new features, and due to a large number of student requests, several venues will now be available after 2pm on Fridays including: Barnes & Nobles now closing at 5pm.  Starbucks closing at 4pm and the Food court now closing at a later time.

The Electric food cart is currently in the Salazar Cafe study area but due to gloomy weather it has remained indoors. The Electric Cart is to be utilized in the main walkway, King Hall, Greenlee Plaza, and the Farmers Market. It was recently used in the Golden Eagle Ballroom for an event hosted on campus.

The cost of the electric food cart is around $6,000. Golden Eagle Hospitality mentioned that in the near future, organizations will be able to rent the electric food cart for fundraisers on campus. The electric food cart will be open to the public, including the local high school students. The food sold on the cart is made the same morning around 5am.

Golden Eagle Hospitality currently serves six different types of salad and protein packs and hopes to make it as affordable as possible with hot meals, including chicken, which should be priced around $6.50. The University Auxiliary services hope to accommodate more student demands, desires, wants and needs in the near future.

“The ‘New’ food options email that was sent out this week was misleading. Nothing about these food options is new. I understand they [now] have extended hours [which] is new. However, the email should have stated that and not “new” food options,” said Leslie Mazariegos-Maldonado, Communication major.

Similarly, senior Communication major, Norma Sanchez, described the email as misleading students into assuming the food is “fresh”. “I feel they are the exact same food options that have been provided in the past semester[s]. The “healthy” alternatives are prepackaged and very expensive. Many are not even fresh. As a commuter that is here [on campus] all day I consistently find myself either bringing my own food or eating El Pollo Loco. That’s all I have eaten in the past four years at Cal State LA.”

“I think the campus should worry more on lowering prices and give more options for healthier foods! Part of students having more stress in their college careers is because of health issues. Trying to focus on homework, jobs, intern, etc. Then to worry about making food because campus food is too expensive and unhealthy? There should be more options for students in a so called ‘multicultural campus’,” said Gabriela Cherbony, senior Television and Film major.

However, according to Executive Chef and Food Service Director of University Auxiliary Services, Daniel Keenan, he expressed that there have been more recent improvements to maintain a more healthy lifestyle within our campus culture. “There are more options now than there has been and if they [the student] were to do a little research and if they look at king coffee in the retail section we have pre made salads, there are a lot of healthy options there but they can also contact me and I have flexibility to do stuff. I have the ability to help them out and place what they want in stores,” said Keenan.

To contact for improvement, you could email Chef Keenan at [email protected]

Photographed: Liz, manager of the food cart, with the food cart

 

Illustration by Val Lesser

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