Junk food and caffeine keep universities running. When you step onto a campus and see students bustling to and fro, pumping out volumes of writing, grinding through exams, and still having enough energy to hit the bar or party, all of that movement is fueled by junk food and caffeine. So when I see government and other policy-influencing bodies trying to ban or otherwise limit that oh so vital energy supply, I get a little nervous.
Historically speaking, trying to ban, illegalize, or limit certain consumables does not inhibit the actual use of such items. I mean, look at alcohol, drugs, or marijuana. I know the government can’t resist putting its overreaching mitts in everything it possibly can, but I am putting out my objection here now: KEEP YOUR HANDS OUT OF MY CHIPS!
It’s not government’s place. What I eat is my private space, and if I want to be obese that is my choice. You can’t legislate the nation’s students to good health.
Other than this very good reason, here are 5 reasons why we need junk food and why the nation’s institutions of higher learning would collapse without it:

  1. There’s no such thing as healthy stress food. Plain and simple: a stick of celery just does not deliver the feel-good boost of a plate of nachos or a microwaveable bean burrito. Sure, there is a certain sub-species of student that thrives on soy products and grass. But, for the average joe, we need something rich, sugary or salty, that delivers a significant amount of cholesterol, to calm the soul.
  2. Healthy food is expensive. Let’s say you are willing to feed on rice cakes and gluten-free bread. You better count on paying more for those products and more for gas to drive to a grocery store that sells those products because you won’t find them on a college campus. With all you pay for books, room and board, tuition, parking, and any other host of ridiculous school expenses, few can afford to shell out the extra cash to shop at Whole Foods.
  3. Healthy food is inconvenient. Almost by its very nature, healthy foods require some kind of preparation. It has to be prepared on a daily basis. It’s usually not something you can just pick up in 30 seconds at a vending machine, cafeteria, or hot dog stand and munch on while you sprint to your next class on the other end of campus. Try doing that with a slab of tofu in your hand.
  4. “Fresh” vending machine food is gross. Whenever you open a bag of Doritos, you know it’s going to be good, crispy, and zesty. But who can say the same thing about “fresh” vending machine food, like sandwiches or apples. They almost always have a disturbingly flat taste. Some parts of the sandwich are overly dry, while the other parts are too soggy.
  5. Apples can’t keep you awake for 24 hours straight. Midterms, term papers, and finals equal nights with little or no sleep. Those long hauls require something a little more potent than fresh food. No, to stay coherent for 36 hours or more you need caffeine. There’s no getting around it.

So tell the government to mind their own meals. The future of higher education depends on it. And celebrate your right to scarf that bag of Cheetos or inhale that fifth Mountain Dew.

8 comments on “Get Your Hands Out of Our Chips: 5 Reasons Why We Need Our Junk Food

  • I totally agree with you. I am currently in high school, and they are doing the same thing. Changing out the junk food and replacing it with “healthy food”. I know our situation is different from college, but I still don’t think they should try to control the way we eat. That’s our business.

  • This is one of the most ignorant articles I’ve ever come across.

    1. Exercise reduces stress. High cholesterol causes high blood pressure and other fatal ailments that are also caused by high stress.

    2. Not all healthy food is expensive. You can go to the grocery store and get a bag of celery for 99 cents. You can get a tub of oatmeal for $2.30 that should last you for a week or two. There are plenty of other options as well. Besides, long term health costs caused by all that junk food more are more than outweighed by the cost of “expensive” health foods.

    3. Where is the prep work in eating an apple, carrots, or virtually any other fruit or vegetable?

    4. Ever wonder why such foods are “crisp and zesty”. One reason for the taste in something like Doritos is, among other things, monosodium glutamate, sodium caseinate, sodium acetate, sodium citrate, disodium insinate, and disodium guanylate. Google what these things are and I’ll bet you’ll reconsider that snack.

    5. Have you tried proper sleep and regular studying? You’d be healthier and learn more, which is the point of college in the first place right?

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  • Wow. Jake you need to learn to recognize satire. Otherwise you’ll never lean to enjoy such classics as Best in Show will totally be lost on you.

  • Ha. That was funny. I’m actually about to go on a junk food run for finals week. Honestly I keep up a good routine throughout the year of healthy eating and regular exercising, but the last 3 or 4 weeks I completely slack. I want something quick and delicious and comforting. Fruits, vegetables, and white meat are good, but there’s something about being surrounded by a plethora of junk food and soft drinks that makes finals week so much more endurable. And if I get great grades then I don’t mind gaining 2 or 3 pounds right before bikini season.

  • Gluten is the composite of a gliadin and a glutenin, which is conjoined with starch in the endosperm of various grass-related grains. The prolamin and glutelin from wheat (gliadin, which is alcohol-soluble, and glutenin, which is only soluble in dilute acids or alkalis) constitute about 80% of the protein contained in wheat fruit. Being insoluble in water, they can be purified by washing away the associated starch. Worldwide, gluten is a source of protein, both in foods prepared directly from sources containing it, and as an additive to foods otherwise low in protein.”

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