The Food History, the college years

Back to the food history! My teen years were mostly a variation of how I grew up. Lots of sweet snacks, breakfast was cereal. No lunch. When I was a second grader, someone ratted me out to my mother that I was only eating the roll. She then tried packing me a lunch, but didn’t pack anything I enjoyed eating. So I again ate the bare minimum and threw the rest away and again, someone ratted me out. She told me to pack my own damn lunch and so eventually, I just quit bringing a lunch all together. And dinner was much the same as it was when I was a kid.

But then, I went to college. In college, I was on the meal plan. It was the cheapest option and my parents wanted to make sure I ate appropriately. Here’s what I found at dining hall:

1. Unlimited soda! It came out of the tap, just flowed freely! You’d see lots of people with two or even three glasses full of the stuff. It didn’t take me long to learn that the sugary stuff had “calories” in it and that was a bad thing and I learned to switch to the diet stuff.

2. Unlimited food! OK it wasn’t very good. If today’s college student think the dining halls get stale, they have no idea what it used to be. You’ve heard of mystery meat? It really was. It was large pans of meat floating in water. Ick. And the veggies were totally overdone too. I think there was a salad bar at some places, but not in the one closest to my dorm. However, there was also unlimited desserts!

I usually didn’t make it there for breakfast, which would have been my very best choice, but at this point, I was sleeping in late and dashing off to class.

I only did the 5-day a week plan and weekends were usually a can of soup, maybe a baguette I’d gnaw on all weekend or we’d get a meal somewhere and follow that up with beer.

After my freshman year, I convinced my parents to get me off the meal plan (it doesn’t matter … 5 days a week of whatever you’re served institutionally, it does get old.) I didn’t have a car and I’d walk a mile to the grocery store. There were few vegetables or fruits in my bags. I only had a mini-fridge and the stove and microwave was 4 floors down. I really don’t remember what I’d buy but I think it was a lot of bread and sandwich meat and Chef Boyardee and chips and salsa and maybe frozen dinners. And I drank a lot of Diet Coke too. A fancy meal might be that I boiled spaghetti and poured Ragu on it. And I ate out a fair amount too, I think.

And after my freshman year, there was a fair amount of beer involved too.

I’m surprised I could get out of bed at all! Anyone else eat any better in college? I hope?

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