Friday, August 1, 2008

Cafeterias and Millennial College Students (Financial Cutbacks) - Part 2

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about my university's cafeteria - "Cafeterias and Millennial College Students (Financial Cutbacks)". I have not received any additional information about the cafeteria at my university, but I did read a few articles about other university cafeterias and how they are choosing to cope with the rising food costs.

Fall 2008 = No Trays

Bruce Horovitz, a USA Today contributor, wrote an article about this food service transition process titled, "More College Cafeterias Dump Food Trays". According to the article, food service companies like Aramark and Sodexho are creating a college dining experience that is more "sample and toss" than "take all you want". This move perpetuated a 50 percent decrease in the amount of daily waste that cafeterias produce. New York University reports a food waste reduction of 44.03 ounces per tray to less than 2.37 ounces. 

Scratching the Recipes?

JJ Hermes, of the Chronicle of Higher Education, wrote "Soaring Food Prices Squeeze Dining Halls". He reported that universities like Louisana State University may choose to reduce the amount of ingredients it takes to complete a recipe. In the article, the director of dining services stated, "Maybe we're going to put half an ounce less cheese on a slice of pizza".  Ohio University cut their food service costs by making many items from scratch (i.e. - cookies, rolls, and pizza dough).

Increasing the Costs of Meal Plans

Alternatively, some cafeterias are taking the easy route by increasing the dining costs. The highest meal plan fee increase was reported by Louisiana State University (LSU), which will increase the cost of their meal plans by 7 percent this fall. The LSU meal plan fee increase is followed by a 4.5 increase at the University of Miami and a 3.5 increase by Ohio University.

These articles leave me with a few questions:
  • Will the college buffet continue to exist?
  • Will the trayless and recipe ingredient reduction approach cause college students lose the freshmen 15 stigma?
  • Will college students choose the healthiest food if they have to choose one or two items at a time. 
-Millennial Professor

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