Editorial: Casa Loma needs healthy food options

The college should consider the dietary restrictions and food preferences of all students

Editorial Cartoon by Sam Bullis

Editorial Cartoon by Sam Bullis

In a world where gluten-free, organic, vegan-eating humans are taking over, how does one choose a suitable lunch without having to leave their college campus? In many cases, they probably don’t.

Within the new millennium, perhaps the word healthy has abandoned its dictionary definition term and adopted a perspective in its place.

Dietary restrictions and preferences have reached a new height and the numbers only continue to grow.

In a 2013 article in The National Post, a dietary expert stated that only one per cent of Canadians have been diagnosed by a professional as being celiac, or “gluten-free,” even though nearly nine million Canadians are on restricted diets. That is just one category of the dietary restriction spectrum.

Restricted diets are not a trend, they are a lifestyle.

The Casa Loma campus at George Brown College (GBC) makes for slim pickings when it comes to nutritional diversity. The five major food groups in the eyes of GBC food venues consist of coffee, bagels, pizza, baked goods and anything that can go inside a deep fryer.

Although we may love to indulge on cheesy carbohydrates with a side of greasy carbohydrates every now and then, it may not be the best idea for a lunch or dinner, day after day, in terms of health. Not to mention it really takes away from the idea of indulgence.

It’s a fact that eating habits and stress levels are linked. According to the Stress Management Society, a number of items directly linked to high stress levels include various caffeinated drinks, fast foods, sugar, cheese, meat, alcohol and soft drinks–essentially everything that is available on the Casa Loma food venues’ menus.

And no, offering a garden salad as a side at a single venue does not count as variety or availability.

We need to accommodate the diets of celiacs, vegetarians, vegans and those simply with preference. Students put a lot of time, money and energy into their studies and campuses, and deserve to have the kinds of meals that keep them going, fully available.

GBC has some amazing culinary programs with equally amazing chefs standing behind them. St. James campus students have the perk and possibility of being able to sample a variety of daily creations coming out of Chef on the Run, a food venue by the students for the students, and a venue that doesn’t include so much fried, processed and overall unhealthy food options.

What makes it impossible for St. James to share the wealth?

Other than a little distance between campuses, there’s not much. An effort could be made in the future to share their healthy talents with the Casa Loma and Waterfront students.

Casa Loma doesn’t necessarily need to ditch the pizza, fried foods and baked goods, but some venues should definitely be replaced and the health of our student body should be taken more into consideration.

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Editorial: Casa Loma needs healthy food options