Many students at Butler University frequent the Atherton Union Marketplace and may know little about the food they are putting in their mouths.
Atherton offers food to students every day, but where does this food come from? How is it prepared? How can students find nutrition information on the food?
Ed Campbell, manager at Atherton Marketplace, said the food comes from multiple sources.
“We buy 90 percent of our food from Sysco International Food, Inc.,” he said. “We buy all of our produce from Piazza Produce, which is here locally, and from them, we are purchasing local produce when possible.”
Campbell said Sysco delivers three times a week, and the produce comes in six times a week.
Campbell said the menu varies.
“It’s a four-week menu cycle, so we repeat after four weeks,” he said, “but every four weeks we are tweaking the menu based on customer reaction.”
Michelle Bryant-Jones, director of dining services, said in an email that Atherton does not use trans fat or MSG in its foods.
According to msgtruth.org, MSG is a salt of the amino acid glutamic acid that is put in food to trick your tongue into thinking the food is high in protein and nutritious.
“All of our meals are made in- house,” Bryant-Jones said. “We have several certified culinary chefs on staff, as well as associates that we give on-the-job training to dissect and prepare recipes for our students.”
Campbell said a nutritionist is not consulted in the process of choosing the food and that it is each student’s responsibility to make wise choices.
Freshman Kelly Murphy visits the dining hall often.
“It’s definitely not fine dining, but it’s food that’s edible,” Murphy said.
Freshman Mariah Sells said she would like to see healthy choices available all the time.
Students who eat at Atherton can be more conscientious of the nutrition of the food by checking out the dining service website or downloading the free app called CampusDish.
“It’s a great little tool,” Campbell said. “The one pitfall for this is the fact that the nutritional content is based on suggested serving size.”
The free app is available for iPhones and Androids. Students can download the app and then select Butler University.
Nutrition information and serving sizes for meals at Atherton are available and can be a resource for students to be more knowledgeable about what they are eating.
With the new addition to Atherton opening on Sept. 27, students may have more vegetable and meat options when it comes to nutritious food.