Food is a very interesting subject because it revolves around our daily lives. I find myself wondering how much food is consumed, wasted or generated in a day, week or even a year! It’s an integral part of our survival.
\When I take a look at the Normandy Dining Hall on Notre Dame College’s campus, I can’t help but feel appreciation for the four years of sustenance they have graciously provided me as I have pursued my education.
As a resident student, it has been interesting to recount how my dining experience has evolved over the years. I’ve gone from full tables with friends and teammates to a somewhat rather reserved and isolated position as I dine. It intrigues me because of how ritualistic either scenario becomes when a person grows accustomed to a pattern of behavior, whether it comes naturally or conditionally.
The choice to occasionally dine alone has brought about some valuable time for self-reflection and perspective. I suppose you could say that I am one of those individuals who is always trying to look at the world outside of the take-out box.
Whether it is at the beginning or halfway point of the year, new people are always entering the dining hall with fresh perspectives of what it is they will be consuming and where they will be consuming meals as they educate themselves. At the start of my college experience, the dining hall had been somewhat of a disappointment to other students, including myself.
Joining the Undergraduate Student Government to help improve the quality and nutrition of meals along with hours of operation was a feature that I am glad to have made an impact on for future students. Today I can say that the dining hall does plenty to accommodate students the best they can, and that’s alright.
Even though changes are made, it does not affect the fact that people will never be satisfied with what they have, and it’s honestly in our nature.
An article released by USA Today reported a recent study conducted by Vegetarian Calculator, estimating that the average person consumes about 7,000 animals during their lifetime. It’s quite astonishing! Another statistic found by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2011 has estimated that the average American consumes about 2,000 pounds of food on a yearly basis. That’s literally one ton of organic material that we consume, 3.5 tons in animal weight in a lifetime.
That’s quite a lot of food for one person to take in! Dining on campus has definitely brought me to put on some poundage – I mean it’s literally like a bag of potatoes that has been duct taped around my waist. This calls for some exercising and portion control. This dining hall experience has made me excessively indulgent, taking the privilege of being able to eat for granted.
It’s amazing how much perspective can be pulled from thinking about food – and I’m not just talking about how much pull is in that barbecue pulled-pork sandwich, either.
With graduation in a few weeks, I am confronted with new and flavorful challenges that accompanying the next phase of life’s dinner party: the transition into adulthood. Regardless of the worries that arise with paying rent, utilities, groceries and other expenses, I think there’s a lot to appreciate with the ability to eat a meal. With that said, pick up your utensils and dip life into the sauce of gratitude life has out there for us all.
Alejandro Luna, signing off.