Baldwin Café is one out of three places to eat on Albion’s campus if you have a meal plan. Students complain about Baldwin every day.
Around Baldwin, there are posters about the principles of the Bon Appetit Management Company. One of these posters promotes supporting local farms and tells the students that their menus are built around the seasonality and availability of fresh, local ingredients.
Eating food made from fresh ingredients is healthier than eating frozen or processed food. According to the Washington Post, a fresh meal supplies more nutrients, hydration, healthful fats and enzymes in your diet. This is important to all people who care about what they put into their bodies.
Rachel Schott, a senior from Temperance, Mich., said, “I always get tempted to eat bad foods at Baldwin”
Most of the frequently asked questions on the Bon Appetit website are what healthy options are available at Baldwin and what people can do to eat healthier. In response, Bon Appetit emphasizes that they use fresh vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains as featured ingredients in the meals they serve, all of which are locally and sustainably produced items.
Baldwin staff is also trained to focus on appropriate serving sizes, and they don’t condone extremely unhealthy options or large portions. Many students complain about the serving sizes at Baldwin, stating that they aren’t large enough. Giving appropriate serving sizes, however, is important. Even so, though, given that everything in Baldwin is buffet-style, students can get as many servings as they want.
Baldwin is also the only buffet-style place on campus. Students can eat an unlimited amount of food for only one meal swipe. At home, for me personally, there’s a limited amount of food I can eat, and on top of that I have to worry about my family getting mad at me for eating all the cookies.
The biggest complaint about Baldwin, however, is that the food isn’t good, but Bon Appetit has to create meals that cater to students from a variety of backgrounds. This year, they have been trying harder to incorporate foods from different countries in their menus.Not only does it promote diversity, but it gives students the option to try foods that they may have never had before.
The global and classics sections at Baldwin have something different every day, allowing students to avoid eating the same foods repeatedly. For students who don’t like surprises or just want to know what’s for dinner, the menu is posted online every day and can be sent to students’ emails.
If students don’t like what’s on the menu for the day, Baldwin also offers consistent foods. They can count on pizza and hamburgers to be served each day. The deli is also open almost every day, except for when they have special foods (the fondue bar which is the best thing ever). Even when this is the case, they still have a section where students can make their own sandwiches.
The healthier options, like the vegan/vegetarian and salad bar, are always open during dining hours. Even though the vegan section could be bigger,the staff tries to make the food in this section as close to what they are serving in global and classics stations.
Even when options seem limited, students have the ability to be creative and do things such as making tuna fish sandwiches for lunch.
If students really cannot find something they like, Baldwin has comment cards. The staff appreciates comments. These student reviews help them understand what students want more or less of.
Baldwin’s hours, in comparison to the dining halls of other colleges in the conference, are also much longer. Baldwin opens earlier than most in-conference schools, and it closes the latest out of all of them.
Although Albion students do voice some valid complaints, when it comes down to it, Albion College could do a lot worse than Baldwin.