Eating healthy on a student budget

Eat Street, one of Santa Monica College's dining options, promotes healthier eating habits, but many find it difficult to afford the $7.25 per-pound salad bar price.

Some students test their luck with the "guess the price" option with the cashier. This allows a person purchasing from the salad bar to guess the cost; if correct, it is free, and if it is within 10 cents, it is discounted.

But there are no guarantees.

Victoria Bront, a full-time student and health-conscious individual, does not seem to be enticed with the marketing idea of the Eat Street salad buffet. She still buys her preferred pre-packed Caesar salad at the Bread Factory for around $4.

However, international student Yoonsuk Roh regularly buys his meals at Eat Street and has even received free salad meals when luck was on his side, he says.

While salads are a healthy option that some students seek, sometimes cravings set in for an old-fashioned burger and fries.

Campus Kitchen is the go-to place for students with such cravings, offering a $5.29 combo meal that comes with a burger, fries and soda. Slices of pizza are offered for $2.

They offer fresh pre-mixed salads for only 45 cents per ounce, aside from the pre-packed salad from their contractors.

The Country’s Best Yogurt, also known as TCBY and The Coffee Spot Shop, located outside the cafeteria and both owned by one proprietor, also serves pre-packed healthy food options offered by the same food suppliers of Starbucks.

Being a college student can mean having a certain amount of allowance or a budget for meals.

Many still choose to bring lunch from home to save money, just like Darla Greene, a business management major.

“All the cafeteria food looks good to me," says Greene. "It’s just that I don’t really want to have to spend so much money for a week, because I know five dollars a day can accumulate in a week.”

The Associated Students are trying to make changes to cater to students' wants and needs, but are finding it difficult to make changes with those in charge.

According to AS President Jean Parker, the advocates of College Operations Services are concocting a healthy food policy recommendation for vendors, but it has yet to be submitted to the upper management and district planning and advisory council.

“We don’t really have the final say,” said Jean.

“The food here is really diverse," said Greene. "I think it covers all the opposite sides of the spectrum.”

Gimlet RiveraComment