On-campus dining options overpriced, fail to provide students with fresh produce

Colleges, even state universities, are businesses aiming to profit. Disappointingly so, this is often prioritized regardless of ethical dilemmas. One of the sacrifices that colleges make is providing students with high quality food.

Geneseo only provides a small handful of fresh produce on-campus for sale, including avocados, lemons, apples, grapes and oranges. It offers a limited supply of vegetables or greens that can be bought on their own. Instead of fresh produce students can use to make a variety of different recipes, students are offered salads and wraps at high prices. 

Many students, however, prefer to make their own food so they can know exactly what goes into each meal. Unfortunately, Geneseo does not present such items for students outside of their “Grab & Go” options in small quantities. 

Not only does Geneseo offer an inadequate amount of fresh produce, but it charges twice, or even triple, the cost of produce in a grocery store. 

The limited fresh produce that is available at Geneseo is incredibly overpriced. A non-organic avocado costs $2.99 in Fusion Market. The same type of avocado costs $1.50 at Wegmans and $1.00 at the Rochester Public Market. One potato costs $2.00 at Max Market, while a three-pound bag of potatoes costs $2.47 at Walmart. One orange at Fusion Market costs $1.05, while a five-pound bag of oranges costs $6.98 at Walmart. A five-pound bag can hold between 8 and 14 oranges depending on size. 

None of the produce listed is organic, so while Geneseo is asking for Whole Foods prices, it is delivering Price-Rite quality.

Not only are the products overpriced, but they are also sometimes sold in poor condition. At Fusion Market, it is not uncommon to find soft oranges and bruised apples. While that may come from students touching the produce, the university should properly care for its goods. 

It is important to commend the university for selling locally grown apples. That being said, the fresh produce at Geneseo still continues to lack organic options and reasonably priced food.

Students have the option to buy their produce from Wegmans or Walmart, but when they have purchased expensive meal plans, there is not much money remaining to buy fresh produce. Even if some students can afford to buy fresh produce and other food necessities, it means that part of the meal plan goes unused, and ultimately to waste.

Freshmen living on-campus are required to purchase the gold meal plan or higher in an effort to make sure the students have enough money to eat, according to the Geneseo website. 

Many students scramble to use the remainder of their meal plan at the end of the semester. Instead of forcing students to buy excessive meal plans, Geneseo should allow students to buy meal plans that best suit their eating habits, and if they need more money, they could easily add funds onto their meal plan account. 

Considering Geneseo requires students to purchase meal plans, one would think the college would at least offer a variety of food options and high quality fresh produce.

Geneseo should put its students’ dietary and nutritional needs first. Adding organic fresh produce will go a long way, and make the college’s food more varied to accommodate students’ dietary needs.