Students consume pounds of french fries, gallons of ranch in K-State dining centers

(Graphic by Audrey Hockersmith)

All-you-can-eat french fries, pizza, ice cream and more await students after just one meal swipe into any of the three on-campus dining centers.

In 2016, the dining centers received 1,326,884 meal swipes, according to Kelly Whitehair, administrative dietitian for Housing and Dining Services.

The convenience, array of options and not having to wash dishes are just a few of the reasons Kansas State students enjoy the dining centers.

Anna Hill, sophomore in psychology, eats at Kramer Dining Center and said she often falls back on pizza when no other food options sound appetizing.

“The cheese pizza is the best at Kramer,” Hill said. “It’s a frequent go-to food. I would probably eat pizza every day if it wouldn’t cause me to grow as big as a house.”

Hill does not appear to be alone as approximately 334,756 slices of pizza were served in Van Zile, Kramer and Derby dining facilities.

And the ranch dressing that students use to dip their pizza or dress their salads? There were 1,061 gallons of the dressing served in 2016.

Ranch dressing is not just used as a salad dressing or for their pizza, though, as some students also use it as a dip for their french fries. There were 101,028 pounds of french fries served in the dining centers.

Madalyn Tarke, junior in entrepreneurship, eats in the Van Zile Dining Complex but said she probably only ate one pound of those french fries over the last year.

“My roommate, on the other hand, probably can take credit for at least 10 pounds,” Tarke said. “I swear she has fries with every meal.”

Hill said she is also not a huge fan of french fries and probably only ate two pounds of the french fries. However, Hill said she loves the Chinese food served in the dining centers.

“It’s expensive to get elsewhere so it’s really nice to have it as an option every day,” Hill said.

At the Chinese food line, 41,200 fortune cookies were served.

Many other desserts are served in the dining centers — from fresh-baked cookies to chocolate cake — and many require flour.

Whitehair said baked goods accounted for a large portion of the 86,550 pounds of flour that the dining centers used.

“Our favorite number though is hair nets,” Whitehair said. “That’s the best. Our employees always get a kick out of that because we hate wearing hair nets.”

There were 54,576 hairnets used by dining center staff in 2016.

Hi, I'm Kaitlyn Alanis, former news editor for the Collegian and a May 2017 graduate in agricultural communications and journalism. I have never tried a hamburger and I hate the taste of coffee, but I love writing stories and sharing what I learn with our readers. By writing for the Collegian, I can now not only sing along when the K-State Band plays "The Band is Hot," but I also know that most agriculture students did not grow up on a farm, how to use an AED to save someone's life and why there is a bust of MLK Jr. outside of Ahearn Field House. Thanks for reading!