Header reads "The Ethics of Food @ Duke and Beyond" against a background of fruits and vegetables.

Following the Food Insecurity Symposium on February 14th, Team Kenan set out this past week to discover what’s on the minds of Duke students regarding what’s on their tables.

Students had a lot to say about what Duke served up. While Duke prides itself on being ranked #1 in the nation for dining, many students are frustrated with the high prices. On the couch, we repeatedly heard comments like: “I think food on campus is really expensive, like a dinner costs me $12” and “I use more food points in a day than I should because I can never find lunch and dinner for under $10”. Others wished for a solution to unequal food points usage, such as a system to venmo food points “as not everyone uses the same amount and some people end up with less and some with more”.

When it came to the offerings on campus, price continued to emerge as an issue because “healthy food costs a lot more”. Another point of contention was the lack of Kosher and vegetarian options. 

In thinking of their diets holistically, one student acknowledged an attempt at going vegetarian for environmental and health reasons, but was unsuccessful. Another commented on the rise in popularity of multiple diets such as the ketogenic diet, the Paleo diet, Whole30, stating “I think there’s a lot of privilege in being able to cut out entire food groups or limit [oneself] to only whole or organic foods”.

Our conversations with Duke students revealed an underlying concern over not only the accessibility and offering of food on campus, but the intersection of privilege and diet.