Almost every student at Grambling State University will have had some sort of experience in the McCall Dining Hall before he or she graduates. The dining hall, or the “cafe” as many call it, is the place known for its fried chicken Tuesdays and fried fish Wednesdays, with other various options served daily.
When comparing McCall Dining Hall to food bought and prepared at home, the latter is the healthier option. Many students who attend Grambling live near campus or on campus and are designated to register for a meal plan. When getting a meal plan, you can either get two swipes a day for two meals, or three swipes for three meals. There is also an option to get one swipe a day depending on personal circumstances.
The cafe serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner for its student and is equipped with a pizza station, a salad bar, a grill zone, and a home cooked zone. Vegetarian options (though limited) are available upon request.
The cafeteria opens with breakfast at 7 am and usually serves eggs, pancakes or French toast, potatoes, and either sausage or bacon. If a student is lucky, they may get a bowl of grits that day while other days it will be oatmeal.
For lunch, the home zone options vary daily, while the grill zone usually consists of burgers and fries. The dinner menu is similar to the lunch menu. If you are a student living on campus and have to eat the cafeteria, you will eventually get tired of the repetitive meals.
It is unfortunate students pay for a meal plan and many are left unsatisfied by the choices presented. Lack of options leads to students abusing their tiger bucks in the Express.
Other times, students may go off campus and spend money eating out in the Grambling and Ruston areas where there are hardly any healthy fast food alternatives. The scarcity of choices in the cafeteria and the surrounding areas often leads to students having to be creative in the dining hall or results in students coming out of pocket.
Ultimately the cafe is not the healthiest choice and lacks options for eating healthy daily. When eating at home, you can get what you want whenever you want. The benefit to cooking is that everything is made fresh. Food prepared fresh from the store, and not warmed up after being preserved or frozen, will always benefit the consumer’s body more than processed foods.
When eating in the comfort of your home you do not have to worry about strangers breathing or touching your food, you can season your meal to your liking, and you are not limited to just a few choices.
It is detrimental that the foods being prepared are beneficial and full of nutrients, to ensure you have energy to carry you throughout your day. Since eating in the McCall Dining Hall may not be optional for some, there are healthy alternatives that can be found or created.
Eating healthy starts with the person consuming the food and their specific preferences. If given the choice to eat and prepare your own food off campus or at home, doing so is the healthier course of action.