When it comes to nutrition, Pfeiffer does poorly

by Ryan Steinbach

Sodexho Campus Services is serving food at Pfeiffer Dining Hall that goes against its own nutritional standards, leaving students with a lack of substance.

“I would give Pfeiffer a negative four out of 10 for nutrition,” junior Ruairi Smyth said. “The food is usually overcooked, fried, oily or has synthetic flavoring.”

One problem with the nutritional value of Pfeiffer’s food has to do with proportions. Many students aren’t full after one entrée and therefore eat a combination of foods that add up to an unhealthy meal.

Smyth, for example, had servings of pasta and shrimp as well as a slice of pizza for one lunch. He consumed 50 percent of his calories, 69 percent of his cholesterol, 80 percent of his fat and 99 percent of his saturated fat for the day, according to the Food and Drug Administration’s percent daily values. This calculation doesn’t include sides or a drink.

General Manager Blair Stairs said he is concerned about the nutritional value of Pfeiffer food, but also believes variety is important as well.

“It’s all about choices, you can eat good or bad,” Stairs said. “The students get to choose based on the information provided.”

Stairs sent out an e-mail survey asking students for suggestions about how to improve Pfeiffer. Students appeared to be concerned about the nutritional value of their meals because Stairs received several requests for more fruit.

Stairs has added a variety of fruits to the salad bar because of these requests. He is also trying to offer more fresh fruit, although it’s difficult in the winter.

Not all students are concerned about the nutritional value of the food at Pfeiffer. Sophomore Kit Currie said she doesn’t even look at the nutritional facts provided about the food.

“In some cases I feel like Pfeiffer is doing better than last year, and in others, not,” Currie said.

According to Stairs, one way students concerned about nutrition can learn more is through a Web site hosted by Sodexho. The site, www.balancemindbodysoul.com, provides information and advice about how college students can lead healthy lives.

However, the food being served at Pfeiffer doesn’t meet the criteria provided by the Web site. For example, the site says, “An entrée may not contain more than 15 grams of fat.”

On Nov. 5, the two Entrée Platforms had 23.2 and 21.1 grams of fat. Another entrée at the International Platform went over the recommended limit with a total of 19.6 grams of fat.

Two entrees did meet the fat maximum. The Indian-style garbanzo beans had only 2.4 grams of fat per serving – the most nutritious entrée of the day. The pizza barely passed with an average of 12.65 grams of fat per slice.

Two of the four sandwiches met the fat limit posted on the Web site, and both soups were well under the limit.