Kiana Wright / Opinions Editor

Isabella Pratt

Equinox Staff

The lifestyle of a college student is different to that of the average person in many different ways. These include staying up night, leading a very fast paced social schedule and eating who knows what! Whether students are pressed for time or are simply starving at 1:00 a.m. due to certain circumstances, a popular activity is night snacking. Now, although this is a college town, not many places are open at this hour, creating limited options. The most popular late-night places to get food for Keene State students include but are not limited to: Dominos, Cumberland Farms and McDonalds. Although these are convenient and cheap, they create adverse health effects on both your body and the environment.

Dominos is actually the number one pizza delivery service in the United States, and is very well liked for its cheap prices and convenience of being delivered to your door. However, do you actually know what you are getting in that blue and white cardboard box? The dough is made up of mostly enriched wheat flour, which is whole wheat flour that has been bleached and stripped of all of its nutrients, with only a select few being manually added back. It also has more than four different types of sugar additives that make it so doughy and desirable, all while skyrocketing your blood sugar and then increasing insulin levels. Now let’s be real, sometimes you just can’t get that thought of pizza out of your head and nothing will curb that craving except for pizza itself. So, I urge you to follow a few of these ways to get the most out of your pizza. The first option is to actually prepare for your cravings by having a few simple, cheap ingredients right in your dorm. These include English muffins (preferably whole-grain), a jar of simple pizza or pasta sauce (watch for added sugars) and a bag of your favorite shredded cheese. This will only cost you about $10 total and will make you at least 10 little pizzas, that is $1 per pizza! To make them, simply cut an English muffin in half, layer on some sauce and cheese or whatever toppings you fancy, and then put them in the oven for about 15 minutes or in the microwave for 4. Making your own little pizza will avoid all of those carcinogens and excess oils that you will find in your common delivery pizza.

Another popular option is Cumberland Farms, a gas station and convenience store. Now before I even get into this, we really should not be eating food so often from a gas station, to put it simply! However, in the midst of ice creams, hot dogs and taquitos, they do have some slightly healthier alternatives. So if you do find yourself at “Cumbies” attempting to curb your late night cravings, I suggest you go for some of the following options. Pure Leaf unsweetened iced tea is alow sugar beverage, second to water of course. Grab some nuts or trail mix for a salty snack instead of chips and cheese-flavored Chex mixes. For something sweet, try a dark chocolate bar instead of a sugary ice cream bar or candy. At all costs, I would say attempt to avoid anything highly processed such as the entire Hostess brand, because who wants to be eating an entirely chemically-created food that has a longer lifespan than us? Another big one to avoid are processed meats, such as hot dogs and Slim Jims, seeing as science has classified these as a Class One carcinogen, which means that they are known to cause cancer! The health effects of these products are absolutely undeniable, so I urge you to look for the more simple foods and snacks that they may offer so that you can know exactly what you are getting.

Lastly, the beloved McDonalds. Now here I could tell you what’s bad about it and some healthier alternatives, but honestly there is nothing from this company that anyone should be consuming. Let’s talk about burgers and what effect they have on the environment. The water that is used to produce a single burger patty is upwards of 700 gallons! Imagine how much clean water that is for people to drink! Not to mention the fact that those cows are all fed grain in order to fatten them up ,which is actually toxic to cows, as they are supposed to eat grass and this grain makes them sick. Lastly, these meats are highly processed and may not even be 100% beef, which as I mentioned prior is directly linked to causing cancer. So ultimately, when you get that Happy Meal, think about how happy you could be  by not wasting 700 gallons of water and eating a sick animal that could give you cancer. That is only one of the many problems with McDonalds, not including its links to obesity, type 2 Diabetes and heart disease. So definitely avoid this location at all costs.

Overall, as college students it is part of the lifestyle to stay up late and snack. However, looking at what is in the food you are eating is still important. So to combat the need to spend on these options, try to plan your snacking and have some healthier options ready in your dorm if you know you are going to be hungry later. This will save you money, a couple extra pounds and adverse health problems in the long run!

Isabella Pratt can be contacted

at Ipratt@kscequinox.com