By Gianluca D’Elia
When it comes to ordering takeout food in college, it’s easy to assume pizza, sandwiches and Chinese food are the top contenders to satisfy a Bronc’s late night cravings. However, a study from the popular online food delivery service Grubhub, found that Rider students may be ordering some of the healthiest takeout options in the country.
Grubhub published a list of the top 20 colleges and universities that order the healthiest items, ranking Rider at No. 16. Two other schools in the Philadelphia area—University of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson University—ranked first and 19th, respectively. Monmouth University also made the list, ranking sixth.
Grubhub’s analysis studied delivery orders placed by accounts with .edu email addresses across the U.S. from the fall 2016 semester and spring 2017 semester collectively, said Kaitlyn Carl, a public relations associate at Grubhub’s Illinois headquarters. The rankings were determined by comparing each school’s healthy food orders to the rest of the Grubhub college population.
Senior communication studies major Chris Garino noted that there is a wide array of options for healthy food in the Princeton and Lawrenceville area.
“I wouldn’t always recommend ordering out if you’re watching your weight, but there is a ton of variety,” Garino said. “Taking a drive through Lawrenceville alone is practically an all-you-can-eat buffet.”
Some of the most popular dishes at the highest-rated local restaurants on Grubhub included salads and vegetarian options. At Candela’s Pizzeria, one of the most common dishes ordered on their Grubhub page is a buffalo chicken salad. Meanwhile, at No. 1 China in Trenton, some of the most popular dishes include vegetable lo mein as well as chicken and broccoli.
Speculating on potential reasons for the trend of healthy takeout orders, Carl said, “This could be due to the fact that college can be a time of culinary exploration for many students. It’s the first time students are away from Mom and Dad, and they get the chance to explore new ways to fuel the body and soul. We’ve also seen orders for vegan and vegetarian dishes grow in popularity this year alone by 19 percent — and that’s for orders outside of just college students, so it’s definitely a growing trend.”
Senior digital media major Emily Row said, “It all comes down to what’s accessible. New York University is in the middle of New York City, so any student can just walk down the street and catch a subway if they want different options. Places like Rider are more isolated, so it’s harder to get places, and Grubhub has the largest selection of delivery. It all correlates.”
Senior marketing major Angie Del Collo said she is concerned that a lack of healthy options on campus may be driving students to fulfill their need for variety with off-campus options.
“It’s good that we’re healthy, but that also might show the quality of our food,” Del Collo said. “People want to eat healthy food but they have to go off campus to get it, even though we’re already paying for meal plans.”
Garino added, “Maybe people are just eating better now because they took the Godfather sandwich off the menu at Cranberry’s.”