The Cadre | UPEI

Letter: Life Gives you Lemons; Meal Hall Doesn’t

Growing up, I was always preached to about eating the daily intake of fresh fruits that was prescribed to me not only by Canada’s Food Guide but also by my parents. They told me tall tales of princesses who gained their crowns from eating a sufficient amount of fruit for the week. Now, if it was that easy, I am sure I wouldn’t be the only princess in this kingdom. But it was an effective way to get my picky five-year-old self to eat my kiwi and honeydew. As I have gotten older I have grown accustomed to eating fresh fruit almost every day. I kept up with the daily and weekly consumption of fruit I needed until this past September when I, like many other students, got a meal plan.

Residence Students who sign up for a meal plan are paying somewhere in the range of $3000-$4000 for either a five-day or a seven-day meal plan, which is supposed to cover all your food needs. While having all the burgers, fries, and garlic fingers you can eat is fun for the first week in residence, eventually the novelty wears off and you want something fresh, like watermelon or kiwi. You then come to the realization that you only have the core three fruits to choose from: the orange, the apple or the banana. Well, it’s either that or the pineapple-grape mixture that is doused in syrup.

How is it that we are dishing out all this money, slipping deeper into debt before the age of twenty-five, to pay for this all-you-can-eat meal plan when the all-you-can-eat description only applies to the foods that are cheese-covered, grease-soaked and not fresh fruit? Sure, sometimes on weekends there are twenty or so slices of cantaloupe and honeydew, but what about the other five days? It is mind-boggling that there is no fresh fruit besides the core three from Monday through Friday. How else will we make it through those 8:30 lectures about the autonomic nervous system?

When the taste of strawberry is slowly washing away from my taste buds along with many others tastes, there must be a problem. A greater variety of fresh fruits needs to be implemented in the dining hall’s menu, while syrup-covered fruits need to be weaseled out. The day when I walk into the dining hall and my eyes are basking in the glory of brightly coloured fruit is the day my princess crown will be placed upon my head again.

Reiley MacDonald is a first-year student living in residence at UPEI.

This article belongs to The Cadre’s opinion section. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Cadre.