No one observes what students eat more than Director of Dining Services, Helmut Mayer. And what he sees he doesn’t necessarily like.
“You’d be surprised at just how bad most people’s eating habits are here,” Mayer said. “It makes me sad.” He pays so close attention that he says he can even guess what certain students are going to put on their plate before they actually do.
The logical conclusion is that if students aren’t eating well in the Hard Knox Cafe or the Oak Room, they aren’t straying away from junk food appearing in other places around campus, such as the vending machines. However, a new vending machine in Seymour offers students more healthful options than candy bars. The new vending machine, which is located in the entrance doors of Seymour, includes choices like all-natural veggie chips, organic chocolate milk, and white tea soda. All choices are served cold. This new “trend,” as Mayer calls it, is a hopeful attempt at increasing healthier eating amongst Knox students.
“The more healthy options we can provide, the better,” Mayer said. “I wouldn’t say the food in the machine is necessarily healthy, but it’s healthier. It’s better than the junk that’s usually in vending machines. The products in the new machine contain less processing and ingredients.”
Just as any other vending machine on campus, Student Services gets the compensation money. If the machine is used enough and makes more money than it costs to run the machine, the machine is kept. Mayer got the chance to receive a free machine and try it out at Knox. He has one more machine that he hopes to put somewhere other than Seymour— CFA is a pending possibility.
“They talk about the famous freshman 15,” Mayer said. “It might be even more here.”
There hasn’t been much feedback on the new healthy vending machine, but the word hasn’t yet been spread about the new contents. If the healthier choices seem to be a success, the original vending machines around campus containing candy and chips may be switched to all natural products as well.