Opinion

Larger portions, please

Are You Paying For Seconds?

At the expense of sounding like the fatty in the room, I want to discuss the cafeteria’s portion sizes. I, for one, am a little disappointed with the new food provider’s serving sizes.

I’m not sure if you have had similar experiences to what I have had, but if I ask for a larger portion of food, I am always denied my request. This would be understandable if portion sizes were already gratuitous, but apparently half of a sandwich is a serving size these days. I have requested another half of a sandwich simply so I could have a whole sandwich for lunch, and with no one waiting in line behind me, I have been denied that other half of a sandwich.

On the one hand, I understand the hesitation due to food waste. Believe me, I am all about not wasting food. However, that food has already been made. In this particular instance, I basically turned in a circle to go back through the line that didn’t exist, and I asked for another half of a sandwich. I want to give the cafeteria the benefit of the doubt, but I’d also really appreciate to get my money’s worth at each meal, especially when I know that I can eat a full sandwich.

This is my real issue: athletes are allowed larger portions upon request than non-athletes. People have gone through the line following a male basketball player who receives more food upon request, but if a non-athlete requests more food they are told “We can only serve the athletes more food.” Really?

Again, I want to give the cafeteria the benefit of the doubt here, but unless they memorize every student athlete, how can they know who is an athlete? My only logical response is that they assume who the athletes are based off of stereotypical appearances. Basketball players and soccer players certainly may stand out, but how do cafeteria workers know who the cross-country, golf and cheerleading athletes are? Also, is this not working off a stereotypical assumption that these people burn more calories than I do?

I’m not trying to argue my athletic supremacy, because I am sure there are weeks that those athletes burn far more calories than I do. However, I am a marathon runner and an Ultimate Frisbee player. Are club team members not also athletes? I’d wager that a rugby player burns just as many calories during his practice as a basketball, volleyball or soccer player does. Similarly, I feel that I burn an equal amount of calories, if not more, during my two-hour frisbee practices, which occur three times a week, or on one of my 14-mile runs.

It’s quite unfortunate that a prejudice exists. I know a girl who weighs less than 100 pounds, yet eats as much and as frequently as a college male. But, because of her appearances, she is given skimpy portion sizes simply because cafeteria workers assume she can’t eat much food.

Perhaps I am wrong about this, but unless athletes pay more for their food, am I not just as deserving of the opportunity to ask for more food as they are?

Perhaps athletes do pay more for their food because, once again, I want to give the cafeteria the benefit of the doubt.

However, if the cafeteria does not memorize who the collegiate athletes are, or if collegiate athletes do not pay more for their food—may we just have the portions we initially ask for? Remember, many of us do not want food to go to waste. We’re not trying to be wasteful, we’re simply trying to eat.