Opinion: NYU students need to eat more fruit

It’s time that meal plans provide more fruit options.

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NYU students deserve better access to fruit with their meal plans. (Samson Tu for WSN)

James Bisceglia, Contributing Writer

Say you’re at one of the dining locations on campus and would like to round out your meal with a piece of fruit. Between Third North dining hall, Downstein, Market at Sidestein, Market at Lipton, Palladium dining hall, and the Marketplace at Kimmel, your choices probably consist of an apple, an orange or a banana. That’s it. What the university needs is its own fruit stand. 

New York City fruit stands, much like gum permanently adhered to the sidewalks or the line that wraps around the Cantor Film Center, often go unnoticed. When you’re not looking for them, they can fly right under your radar. What these oases hold, however, are the keys to a healthier, more varied and more exciting life.

For an affordable price, you can walk away with peaches, pineapples, mangoes, clementines, figs, kiwis, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries or avocados. Some stands even offer papayas, guavas, yellow or pink dragon fruit, rambutan and lychee. This range of options, which often surpasses that of your local grocery store, can be found on street corners throughout the city. So why doesn’t NYU have something similar?

Although NYU has attempted to implement a Farmers Market at Kimmel, it takes place pretty infrequently. The last one happened on Sept. 7,and stayed open for a whopping three hours. The next one? Your guess is as good as mine. With the cost being one meal swipe or the Dining Dollar equivalent, $14.15, an overpriced bag of produce is hardly a reliable way to maintain a healthy and varied diet. Swipes are valuable, and replacing a full meal for a couple pieces of fruit is not by any means a fair trade.

Don’t get me wrong — I love that this so-called market exists, but it needs to be treated as a stepping stone toward a more fruitful — pun intended — future, instead of a treat that NYU Eats rarely blesses us with. NYU Eats residential dining locations like Third North, Downstein and Lipton often have pre-cut fruit available at the salad bars but between lack of freshness and oftentimes frozenness, this does not satisfy the recommended daily fruit needs for college-aged adults. 

NYU students deserve access to fresh fruit throughout the semester, not just for three hours a day every couple of months. Imagine that instead of eating your 12th sausage-egg-and-cheese Starbucks sandwich of the week — $4.25 on Grubhub,  you instead quickly stopped at the NYU fruit stand and purchased a peach. Not only would it probably be less than half the price of the sandwich, you’d be able to avoid the Starbucks mobile order line. I’m not saying there’s a correct thing to eat in this scenario, but just having the option is an improvement. 

My solution is simple. Either make a standalone stall — think Peet’s Coffee at Kimmel — or simply add more options at existing locations. Students living on campus are required to have already -expensive meals plans. NYU Eats needs to provide edible and accessible fruit to ensure that these meal plans are used to promote healthy eating habits. Let’s encourage the university to make dining options a bit more fruitful and a lot more full of fruit.

WSN’s Opinion section strives to publish ideas worth discussing. The views presented in the Opinion section are solely the views of the writer. 

Contact James Bisceglia at [email protected]