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Pulling Rank on College Dining Programs

It seems like everyone is looking to grade campus food, from PETA to Business Insider...

That the quality of campus dining is a significant factor for prospective students choosing a college has been common knowledge for quite a while. But it seems like this issue has taken on a life of its own recently with more and more services purporting to gauge the relative merits of campus dining programs.

The most venerable of these is the Princeton Review, which has included a "best campus food" list for many years as one of its 62 categories (the latest list just came out with Virginia Tech grabbing the top honor for the third time).

Another one getting a lot of recent play in the broader media is a list of the 75 Best Colleges for Food in America for 2014 from The Daily Meal (Bowdoin College heads that list, if you're curious).

Then there's also Business Insider, College Prowler and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), a vegetarian advocacy organization that grades schools on their vegan friendliness.

Some of these sites do more than offer a list. At GrubHub, they surveyed college students on their eating habits and came away with some interesting, if questionable, statistics. For example, they claim that  college students are 26% less likely to order spicy dishes than the general population and that college students order 25% less vegetarian/vegan dishes than everyone else (PETA take note…).

The most veg-friendly campuses according to GrubHub? Cornell, Yale, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, University of Chicago Booth School of Business and Columbia College. Most astonishing finding: the five most frequently ordered menu items by college students are pizza, fries, wings, soup and salad. Go figure...

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