Bowdoin’s Cardone on the Educational Value of Healthy College Food (NEJHE)

MU DiningExecutive Chef Ken Cardone has been pleasing the taste buds and serving the nutritional needs of Bowdoin students for nearly thirty years, and he sees his job as much more than satisfying the need to eat.

In this 2009 essay originally published in The New England Journal of Higher Education, Cardone reminds us that good, healthy food from Bowdoin’s self-sustaining dining service is a significant part of the educational experience.


  1. Anne Austin says:

    Dear Mr. Cardon,

    I’ve followed the scuttle over Malcom Gladwell’s podcast and have decided that, beyond Bowdoin’s official and appropriate response, doesn’t deserve any more of my attention—for so many reasons. My opinion of his professionalism has gone way down. Enough said.

    THANK YOU and your staff for your hard work and creativity in providing Bowdoin college students with healthy, varied, and cultural meals within a budget. There are so many bad eating habits in our American culture and there is so much room for improvement. I think I can say that unhealthy eating is part of our healthcare dilemma! Good food (value, source, preparation, simplicity, tradition) are essential to a life well lived and I’m grateful that it’s valued at Bowdoin. The students will take their dining hall experience with them and it will make a difference in their lives and their communities.

    Anne Austin

  2. Charlie Wallace'65 says:

    I’m guessing this is in part a response to Malcolm Gladwell’s recent “Revisionist History” podcast comparing Bowdoin and Vassar dining programs in relation to to the percentages of Pell Grant-eligible admissions (=less affluent students) that each has achieved. It raises some complex questions that all small liberal arts colleges face (including Willamette University, in Salem, OR, where I spent most of my career). In any case I look forward to Bowdoin’s current reflections on the issues.

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