Many people are aware that Grand Valley State University is expanding and adding more campus dining locations. In particular, the university is creating The Marketplace alongside the new science building, located across from Padnos Hall of Science. The new facility will house the University Bookstore and will also include two food places: Starbucks and a sandwich shop called Which Wich? In addition, the first level of the Kirkhof Center will feature a Panda Express and an expanded Subway where the bookstore currently resides.

Though these options are a great and necessary addition to an ever-growing campus, it is also necessary to provide healthy food choices for the campus community. With roughly four sandwich shops on campus, sandwiches may seem healthy at first glance – but how much do students know about the real nutritional value? The smoked turkey panini on The Bistro’s menu comes with not only with freshly baked sourdough bread and pesto, but also 1,278.42 calories, 4,544.11 milligrams of sodium and 74.49 grams of fat.

People who are looking for vegetarian and vegan options already experience struggles with finding suitable meal choices with the existing dining locations. Those with gluten-free diets or religious dietary restrictions are also limited in their on-campus dining choices. As campus is growing, not only in enrollment but also in size, the university should make sure to include food choices that satisfy everyone.

Campus dining could implement its practice of utilizing produce from the Sustainable Agriculture Project across all locations on campus. Currently, this practice only takes place in The Connection. Students and others from the GVSU community work hard to grow these items, so why not support student efforts and use these products in more dining locations across campus?

The Connection also informs people where their food comes from – we encourage other dining establishments to do the same. Many students follow organic diets. Therefore, knowing where and how the food is produced can help them pick the right dining option. If this information can be provided in one campus dining location, it should be easily implemented in all locales.

While increased dining options at GVSU is exciting for students, the health aspects should also be considered. It is important to have organic, vegetarian and vegan options for those students who follow these diets. More restaurants on campus can be better, but only if students have the chance to eat nutritious meals if they choose.