Some students who eat cafeteria food daily and enjoy it, other students would eat it in an emergency situation, and still other students would rather starve than eat a meal from the cafeteria.
The cafeteria food is often viewed as low quality and unappealing to students. “I don’t buy the lunch because it’s gross and the stuff on the menu is usually stuff I don’t like. Even the stuff I do like, like pizza is awful. I have tried it many times and I do not like it,” junior Dani Feng said.
Buying lunch from the cafeteria can also be inconvenient. Due to the long lines of people waiting to select and pay for food, buying lunch can take up most of a student’s lunch time leaving them little time to eat and spend time with friends, or work on assignments. “When I buy lunch I do not even attempt to go buy it until at least 11:40 because I know if I go at the start of lunch then I will be waiting in line for most of my lunch period,” sophomore Allan Sun said.
Students often turn away from buying lunch in the cafeteria because the options are often simple and similar. “The food in the cafeteria is very generic, and they serve the same things all the time. There is really nothing special about it,” Sun said.
Another reason students often avoid buying cafeteria food is because the price of it adds up. The MCPS website says the average lunch price is $2.80, which adds up when bought every day. “One of the reasons I stopped getting lunch at school is because of the price, buying all the time started getting expensive,” Feng said.
Even if students think the food is not the best, it can still be good enough to eat, especially if students don’t have other options. On a day when a student forgets their lunch, cafeteria food can provide the energy a student needs to get through the rest of the day. “The cafeteria food is kind of like emergency rations. I never really want to eat it, but it’s ok to eat to avoid starving when there is nothing else to eat,” Sun said.
Some students believe that the quality and taste of the cafeteria food has declined. “The food does not look very attractive and it looks kind of messy, and I feel like it is prepared quickly. I think cafeteria food used to be good, but I feel like it keeps getting worst,” junior Rory Sullivan said.
Despite a general negative attitude about the cafeteria food, there are students who enjoy eating it, especially when they serve certain popular items. According to schoolnutrition.org, 30.4 million students do eat a school lunch everyday “I do not really eat the cafeteria food, but I have had this mozzarella stick type dish before and I liked it. It was actually pretty good,” senior Nick Christovich said.
Even students who do not typically enjoy the food may have some items that they like that the cafeteria makes well. “Even though I have a strong dislike for the cafeteria food, I do like the fries. They make the fries well and they are actually pretty tasty. Also, French fries are my favorite food,” Feng said.