Counterpoint: Should Schreiber allow independent vendors to sell food in the cafeteria?

Daniel Greilsheimer, Staff Writer

Public restaurants should most definitely not be allowed to sell food in the cafeteria. Eateries such as Boychiks and Domino’s frequently deliver food to students. The food is prepared at the restaurant and then driven to the Schreiber circle, where students pick it up. For the most part, this is not a daily thing.

Outside food is often not the healthiest because there are no national regulations and portion control. In the long term, this could lead to increases in obesity rates at Schreiber. In addition, students can develop unhealthy spending habits if outside food, as opposed to cafeteria food, was offered directly at school. This food would undoubtedly be more expensive than cafeteria food so students would be spending more.

Allergies would also be a problem; if students with allergies think something is safe for them to eat but it really is not, the school and the restaurant could get into legal problems. There are too many risks to be overcome if outside food was allowed to be sold in the cafeteria.

“You need to keep school food that has no allergy issues rather than bringing food that people could be allergic to, so that an accident does not happen,” said sophomore Terry McGinity.

Both the school and vendor have no interest in legal problems, so allowing eateries selling non-school foods to set up a shop or stand in the cafeteria would be difficult. School lunches must also adhere to health regulations passed by the United States Department of Agriculture, and all of their Dietary Guidelines for Americans. These rules include reducing sodium, offering both fruit and vegetables at lunch, making half of all carbs offered whole grain, having no trans fats, and making sure that a meal meets the calorie needs of a person of a certain age.

“It is important to exercise and eat healthy to avoid problems later in life, so school food should be prioritized over delivered food,” said sophomore Andy Ollendorff.

These are strict regulations that must be universally enforced. If outside vendors were allowed to sell their products at schools, they would have to generate specifically tailored lunch plans that incorporate fruits, vegetables, whole grain, and no trans fat, along with meeting calorie requirements. Any food sold on the school premises must adhere to these rules, making it difficult for stores to provide and sell food at school.

While cafeteria food may not taste or look as good as the delivered food products, it is significantly healthier. These health regulations are in place in order to prevent the continuing rise of childhood obesity, which plagues America more than any other country.

In addition to health and obesity prevention, spending habits is another reason why eateries should only be allowed to deliver. Getting a drink and lunch at a restaurant like Boychiks can be pretty expensive, totaling around $10 to $15. While it may be nice for some to splurge once a week or once every other week, not every student can afford it. Over a full year, students would be spending hundreds of dollars that could be spent on other items besides food. This is irresponsible, and should not be a habit taught to high school students. High schoolers are in a critical phase in their lives, where life skills about independence and controlling personal finances need to be taught.

A student’s health, federal regulations, allergies, and spending habits are the major reasons why Schreiber should not and will not allow restaurants to sell food directly in the cafeteria. Although this may be unpopular, as many students are left unsatisfied with the taste or look of the school lunches, it is the smartest option. The school is looking to keep in mind the full student body, not just individuals, so the favorite restaurants will just have to continue to deliver.