Radhika Sharma’s insight- In the College Kitchen

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1-Do you prefer cooking every day or eat meals on campus?

To be frank, who doesn’t like the ease of grabbing a meal on the go? I know that I do, especially when school gets so busy that I rarely even have time to sit down and have a proper meal, let alone cook for myself. However, now that I will be living in the West apartments ( a cooking building on Stony Brook University’s campus) , I will be cooking for myself and I think one of the biggest challenges that I will face is actually setting aside time to take care of myself by cooking a healthy meal. So as of now, I do prefer being able to grab quick meals on campus even if they are insanely expensive and sometimes not even good.

2-What does your grocery list consist of?

As a vegetarian, I mostly buy:

  • Skim milk
  • coffee (lots of it)
  • cereal (Honey Bunches of Oats which are perfectly healthy and taste amazing)
  • whole wheat bagels
  • fruit (especially since campus fruits are so outrageously expensive)
  • Trader Joe’s cuisines such as their packaged rice
  • sushi etc (everything there looks so good and tastes even better)
  • brown rice
  • vegetables :tomatoes, peppers, cabbage (salad!! OMG i make a good cabbage salad) lettuce, cucumbers and corn.
  • healthy snacks :apples and peanut butter, trail mix, pretzel crisps

3-Do you think it’s cheaper and healthier to eat on campus or cook your own meal?

It is definitely cheaper AND healthier to cook your own meal, only of course if you’re doing it right.

4-What do you recommend students who live on campus to always have in their mini fridge?

Well if we’re talking about a mini fridge, then I’m assuming you don’t have the luxury of a kitchen. I would suggest: healthy easy microwavable dishes, milk, eggs, cheese, and probably some nice wine (or well beer), if you are 21 of course.

5-What value do you give food?

Sigh. The real question is what value do I give myself since in reality this food is nourishing my body. One of my biggest challenges is eating healthy. Food has become an easy and attainable commodity that is useful for any and every occasion and I don’t think this should be the case. I think the food you eat should reflect what you want your body to be. Eating easy and cheap food is most likely not healthy. Just like (for me) stuffing my face with Oreos instead of cooking a filling meal is not optimal. If you invest your time in making healthy meals then in reality you are investing time in making a healthy you.

6-Which is more economic, cooking on campus or having a meal plan?

This really just depends on your schedule. Some people aren’t insanely busy and have the time to cook. I, on the other hand, like the option of having some money on my meal plan while also having a kitchen. In terms of money, cooking is definitely better. However, in college, time is the real constraint and that’s why having a meal plan is so easy and optimal.

7-Do you have any tips to share about how you budget for what you eat?

My biggest tip is: STOP SPENDING MONEY ON STARBUCKS. I swear this drains me out every semester only to leave me starving the last two weeks. Also, instead of eating fruits from your school cafeteria, buy your own because $2 for a whole pineapple >> $4 for a small cup.

For the love of food from:

Radhika S.

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