Why students should brown-bag

By Kat Slepian

With a lack of affordable and healthy campus options, students should probably revisit the prehistoric art of brown-bagging. FLICKR photo: Jeffrey Beall.

With the distinct lack of affordable and healthy food available on campus, Kwantlen students might want to try brown-bagging it.

Brown-bagging, for those not familiar with it, is the practice of bringing your own lunch in, you guessed it, a brown paper bag just like the one your mom packed your PB&J in during grade school.

These days, the average student’s packed lunch is likely not in a brown paper bag and their mom is probably not packing it, but that’s no reason not to go back to the healthy and affordable habits of your childhood.

The Surrey campus has the most eating options available, so we’ll use that for simplicity’s sake. It has three main option for food; Tim Hortons, the school cafeteria and the Grassroots Cafe, which all have their issues.

Our friendly neighbourhood Tim Hortons, while cheap, is undoubtedly not the healthiest thing you can get.

While donuts, muffins and various other pastries all come in under $2 each, they also come in at around 400 calories of – delicious – fat, sugar and cholesterol.

Not to mention the sugar coma you’ll be in just in time for your three hour afternoon lecture.

The school cafeteria is first of all, upstairs. Good for you? Yes. Convenient? No. Secondly, it also has mostly fried, greasy food, once again perfect for putting you into a food coma for that lecture you have to run – down the stairs – to.

And the healthy options? If you have enough money to be spared a feeling of physical pain for paying $10 for a takeout container of lettuce, chicken and dressing, then you are a lucky, lucky person.

The Grassroots Cafe has the most options of all the eating establishments, but once again, it’s neither cheap nor healthy and it gets a little loud and crowded. It serves alcohol, which is a plus, but if you’re getting the alcohol, who cares about the food?

Brown-bagging it on the other hand can be healthy – just take a salad or a veggie packed sandwich along with some nice fresh fruit.

It also won’t cost you an arm and  leg, because a head of lettuce can come in at under a loonie and an entire loaf of bread not that much more.

Fruit, if you get it from the farmers market or even just Superstore, won’t cost $4.25 a cup and will be fresh.

After all, how long has that overpriced fruit cup been sitting there anyways?


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