While many would argue that everything causes cancer nowadays, others still find it beneficial to hear the specifics. Roughly two weeks ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) released  news that cured and processed meats, such as bacon, ham and chicken nuggets, cause cancer. At KSC, where many are away from home, they question if and how the dining services will respond.

KSC sophomore Elizabeth Rushford said she tries to eat healthy when she has the time and ability, and that it depends right now on what the Dining Commons offers.

“I would like more fresh fruits and fresh veggies from farms around us; that would be cool,” Rushford said.

Although Rushford said she had not heard about WHO’s announcement, she said she would potentially change her diet, “If I’m given more information about it.”

KSC junior Connor Havron said he heard about this in the news.

“I mean, it makes sense; if you’ve watch ‘Food Inc,’ you can see all the machinery that goes into it. It’s not actually farming anymore; it’s more like a mad science type of deal,” Havron said.

Havron also said, however, that everything causes cancer these days.

“You can’t do anything without having a risk of it. I mean, I’m probably going to choose to still eat meat, I’m probably going to eat more if I can get it organic, but I’m in college; I don’t have much money.”

General Manager of the Dining Services Josef Quirinale said it is more expensive and would clean out the student’s meal plan budget.

“It’s three times the price of [non-local] food so when we do a local lunch for instance, which we do once a semester, that lunch costs three times the amount of a normal lunch,” Quirinale said.

He also commented on the fact that much of the growing season occurs when school is not in session.

“[However], 18.5 percent of what we serve in the dining commons is local,” Quirinale said.

He said the other issue is that it’s not that easy to acquire local food for the DC.

“They [local farms] would have to carry insurance and many times the insurance is too costly for a small farmer,” Quirinale said.

He said this insurance is required in case of a recall. Quirinale said Black River, a Vermont produce company, keeps track of where they get their food items in case of an issue, which Quirinale said is vital in order to keep the KSC community safe.

KSC sophomore Rebecca Hayes said it’s important to be conscious of the food we choose. “I don’t know how much power we would have to change what’s going on exactly, but the more awareness the better,” Hayes said. She said she does eat a lot of meat, but mostly because she has to.

“I have a lot of allergies,” Hayes said, “so I don’t have a lot of options.”

KSC Senior Ginnelle Campbell said she’s a picky eater, so sometimes it’s difficult to eat things besides meat at the DC.

“Maybe when I get home I could change that a little,” Campbell said.

Campbell also said she’s from Jamaica and thinks American food is worse than Jamaican food.

“The meat that we eat [in Jamaica] is actually…very healthy because it’s usually meat that we raised ourselves: chickens and pigs,” Campbell said.

She also said she finds it sad that, even though there is now a definite link between processed meats and cancer, companies are still allowed to produce it.

“I really just hope they can find a healthier alternative to producing meat than the way they’re doing it,” Campbell said.

Quirinale said the dining services faculty really tries to listen to students’ needs and offer applicable variety in response.

Quirinale said, however, that he neither has nor wants the power to dictate what others eat. He said this is why even though the verdict is out that consumption of processed meats may be dangerous, he doesn’t think that means he should get rid of it.

“When you provide food, like we do in the DC, it has to be a matter of choice,”Quirinale said.

It appears there are various responses to WHO’s news.

Dorothy can be contacted at dengland@kscequinox.com

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