Organic food not a priority at NU

Organic food not a priority at NU

By Jessi Savino

Anastassia Lapteva has learned a few important lessons in her Eating and the Environment class. Among those lessons: Bugs are tough to eat, even when covered in chocolate.

“There’s a company that makes chocolate covered bugs that are edible,” the sophomore economics major said. “We learned that although it’s a good idea in theory, it’s not feasible in practice because they were crunchy and the exoskeletons got caught in our teeth.”

Jennifer Cole, director of the Environmental Science Program, teaches an honors seminar called Contemporary Issues Analysis: Eating and the Environment. She said she has “students who are trying to fill an honors requirement,” those who scoff at what they consider “earthy, crunchy” topics and others who have grown up eating organic and have “a profound respect for the earth.” But she said most students “come in with an open mind as far as learning about what to put in their bodies.”

Although the crunchy chocolate treats were a bit much for some students, Lapteva said students were more willing to try fruits and vegetables.

Classes like Cole’s are becoming increasingly common, according to a recent article in USA Today. The story reported that students nationwide are seriously weighing the availability of organic food when choosing a college. The article claims that “Nutritionally-wired students – many raised on Whole Foods diets at home – are pushing campus dining standards to be measured more by the food’s origin, not its volume.”

Cole said the main benefits of eating organic food are: no extra antibiotics, which can make bacteria antibiotic-resistant, and no growth hormones, which have been tied to the early onset of puberty. Other benefits include higher levels of plant metabolites that help fight cancer and inflammation and higher levels of vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamin C, she said. Artificial fertilizers and pesticide residue are absent from organic food.

The article goes on to say many students are demanding colleges buy food from local farms. It cites several Yale students, who said they would eat in the dining halls more often if more organic food was available.

However, Northeastern students don’t seem to share that enthusiasm.

Susan Dye, Student Government Association vice president for student services, said she has “not received any complaints thus far about the food in the dining halls [being inorganic].” However, Dye says, “If the student body feels the need for more organic options in the dining halls, I will definitely work to

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