Feed Yourself Without Putting on Pants (Dorm Food)

The ramen in the stone / Jordan Sitkin / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Anyone who’s grown up with American pop culture knows the cliche: college students feed themselves on cup ramen and coffee, slowly developing scurvy and arteriosclerosis. However, bad-for-you food has come a long way since the days that sitcom comedy writers were in school, and the market for easy-to-make food has improved. With that in mind, I present four cheap, easy options for feeding yourself without leaving your dorm room, because dining is best when you don’t have to put on pants:

  1. Instant Oatmeal: Cheap packets of instant oatmeal can be prepared with nothing more than hot water from an electric kettle. They’re nutritious (by instant food standards), low-calorie, and sweet–they make for the perfect in-dorm breakfast during the winter. A six-pack of the generic brand will run you about $3 and will keep you fed for a week.
  2. Annie’s Instant Mac and Cheese: I’m giving a shout out to Annie’s brand pasta (the one with the bunny on it) because it happens to be organic and, unlike the blue box competitors, the ingredients list has four things on it. The company sells boxes of five individually packaged meals, and they can again be prepared with just an electric kettle to heat water for the noodles. Though it’s probably chock full enough of sodium to kill a small horse, instant mac and cheese allows for vegetarians (and those who don’t want their noodles deep-friend) to join in on the dietary fun in a way ramen does not. Read the rest of this entry »

I Was A College Vegetarian


V is for vegetarian. Image courtesy of Flickr user Renato Pequito. Licensed under CC 2.0.


I was a college vegetarian, and a high school vegetarian, and a middle school vegetarian. Still am, though I’ve eased my restrictions on tuna and cat fish because, uh, I like it. But yes, I’m one of those people and by “those people” I mean “white chick vegetarians.”

I understand that people think it’s fussy. I have no religious obligation to not eat meat, as that would require me believing in God. My family’s not vegetarian, except for various aunts and uncles that I don’t live with. I’ve eaten meat.

That being said, I’ve given it up. I don’t intend to go back. And it can be difficult! Sometimes compromises must be made, and I must sadly report that I will never eat at Fogo de Chao (I mean, not like it was an issue because I’m broke, but anyways). But guys, I promise I’m not a PETA nut. Because guys? Those people are batshit crazy. They think all pets should be put down! They’re really fucking misogynist! They throw paint on people’s clothing and I promise you that that seems like a terrible life decision, not to mention rude. (And, as a veggie snob note, I don’t know that many PETA kids who’ve stayed veggie for very long. I’m nothing if not a little smug.)

But no, I don’t want to eat fried chicken. Or, god forbid, a chicken nugget. Sometimes, I do want to eat pulled pork, but I don’t. And it’s not because I think eating meat is inherently cruel (though factory farming is). It’s because it’s a shitty thing to do to the land.

I had hippie elementary school teachers, and it only takes a few of them telling you about how Tyson chicken ruined the drinking water to change your mind about these things. And I care about ethical food production, I do. If I don’t want the water fouled in my home state, I shouldn’t eat what’s causing it. It doesn’t hurt me, and it helps others. Chicken is not good enough to ignore what producing it does to the environment.

Part of the school of feminism that I subscribe to says that you should limit your environmental impact and you should not needlessly pollute the water of others and if it’s possible to avoid causing harm to other animals (and it is possible for farming to avoid unnecessary pain and fear in the lives of its animals), and so yeah. The personal is political. I am what I eat–or don’t. Read the rest of this entry »