Don’t get burned by junk food, cook for yourself | The Triangle

Don’t get burned by junk food, cook for yourself

Photograph courtesy of Nate Bolt at Flickr

Before I came to college, I had always taken for granted just how good home-cooked meals were. I sometimes preferred fast food just because of how uncommon it was for my family to have it. Now that’s not to say that the food my family cooked at home was not delicious; I just wasn’t as enthusiastic about it because of how frequently I had it.

When I first arrived at college I was rather shocked by how much freedom I had in terms of what I ate, as I had become so accustomed to breakfast, lunch and dinner being ready and waiting for me on most days. Having to cook my own meals was nothing new, but having to go out and get the ingredients to make the meals was something that I didn’t do on the regular before college.This was rather unfortunate because I consider home cooked food to be superior to fast food in a number of ways.

Had it not been for the layout of Drexel University’s campus and the limited cookware that I had on hand, I probably would have cooked most of my meals during my freshman year of college. The way the campus is structured makes fast food much more attractive than home-cooked food.

Part of the reason for this is that there are so many fast food locations on campus, such as Chick-fil-A, Ed’s Pizza and Subway. And with so many options, it’s very appealing to make a quick stop at one of these places for some food, as opposed to walking to the grocery store to get food that can be made at home.

One major benefit that comes from cooking at home is that it is cheaper than going out to eat for every meal. This way you will save money over time, which I’m sure your parents will appreciate if you are a college student and they are your main source of income.

Cooking at home also gives you the ability to cook what you like and personalize dishes to your liking. Having full control over your food leaves little to no chance for error, and if a mistake is made, at least you will be aware of it. This is far better than ordering a plain cheese pizza, getting it delivered to where you live, giving the delivery person a tip, going back inside your house and opening the box only to see that there is pepperoni on it. We’ve all been there in some way, shape or form even if it wasn’t pizza, and it’s always frustrating.

On the other hand, fast food has some of its own perks that home-cooked food doesn’t. One of the major ones is time. The wait for fast food is very short compared to cooking a meal at home. There’s a reason it’s called fast food after all. The quality of the food is also very consistent — consistently average or subpar, that is. I’ve never gone to Chick-fil-A with the expectation to taste the greatest food ever and I don’t think anyone should. So long as the food is edible and somewhat good, that is all that really matters until society reaches a point where people’s expectations of fast food are higher.

At the end of the day I will always prefer a nice home-cooked meal to any fast food, but there are plenty of times when I just don’t feel like cooking, or don’t have enough time for it. I think it’s good to have a healthy balance between both types of food, because as a college student it isn’t very easy to completely commit to only having home-cooked food.