An open can of ravioli, a six-pack of beer, and otherwise a huge void. This is what you would imagine a typical student refrigerator to look like. So it’s not exactly healthy. The reality often looks very different. “The basic idea of healthy eating is always there,” says Nils Gerland, a medical student from Marburg. “If I have to choose between something fatty or healthy in the canteen, I always choose the healthy option,” says the 26-year-old. So he prefers the baked peppers instead of the burger.
Only in times of stress do students become weak. “When things get more stressful at university, for example during the exam phase, it’s often about filling up. You just have less time,” explains Emma Süllow, who studies medicine in Marburg. “But when there’s more time like on the weekends, I cook whatever I want,” says the 29-year-old. Gerland also agrees. “How healthy you eat depends on the stage of your studies,” she says. “When you’re relaxed, as healthier.
For students who are less interested in cooking, but still want to eat cheaply, the canteen is probably the first address. Especially since the face-to-face events have started again, more students are coming to the canteen, says Franziska Busch from the Marburg student union. “The number of visitors has increased steadily in recent months. It’s good for the students to go back to their dining room,” she says happily. They adapted the courts to the needs of the students. “We offer at least one fully vegan menu that includes a vegan dessert every day. There is also a vegetarian menu every day. Sales of these dishes have increased significantly in recent years,” says Busch. But classics like schnitzel and burgers are also available.
5 tips from the expert
who is short of money you should think about what and how you spend your money. Nutrition expert Misava Macamo from Marburg gives five tips for a healthy diet even on a shoestring budget. Macamo’s motto: “Healthy nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated and expensive.”
tap water Drink: “You don’t need to buy water. In Germany you can drink tap water without hesitation,” says Macamo.
Integral products essen: “The price difference with the ‘normal’ is not that big. In addition, whole grain products contain fiber and keep you full for longer”, explains the 24-year-old. Oatmeal can also be on the menu. “They are cheap and nutritious.”
Look at your own buying behavior: “Analyzing your own buying behavior can help you figure out which foods make sense,” says the expert. Even if you pay less for a so-called benefits package, this is not necessarily an advantage. This makes you eat more. So just two quark balls at the normal price instead of the five on offer. In general, Macamo points out that you should eat three servings of fruits and vegetables a day. “Frozen is fine too,” she says. “A healthy diet helps you be more productive and focused.”
Seasonality and regionality: “If you eat seasonal products, such as cabbage in winter or berries in summer, it can also be cheap,” says the nutrition expert. Germany’s “superfoods” are also good: beets, flaxseed and berries.
Vegetarian dishes: “We should eat vegetarian dishes more often,” says Macamo. Vegetables are not necessarily expensive.
Several pharmacy students confirm that a balanced diet is also possible with the food offered in the Marburg canteen. “I like to go to the canteen. You can always eat something different,” says Vanessa Breitbarth. She spends most of her money each month on her apartment and her groceries. Her fellow student Nils Gerowitz also goes to the canteen. “In the canteen you eat well, healthy and varied.” However, both are critical of the increase in the price of the dishes. In general, “healthy foods are getting more expensive,” adds Gerowitz.
money for housing and groceries
Inflation also contributes to this, says law student Leon Siemund. “With rising inflation, it has become more difficult to eat healthy,” says the 20-year-old. However, he almost always has fruit at home. He often eats vegetables in the canteen. Fellow student Laura Kondraschow adds that, although prices have risen, “you can have a healthy and balanced diet.” Greta Schütte, who is studying political science, adds: “I always go to the canteen at lunchtime. After college, you are often too tired to cook.”
the money is loose Not for most students. This is also reflected in BAföG’s average funding amount of 574 euros for 2020 (source: statista).
According to a recent study of the Moses-Mendelssohn Institute, students pay 350 euros in full rent, including additional expenses, for a room in a shared flat in Marburg in January this year. According to the survey from January of the previous year, the monthly income was 340 euros. The national average price of a shared room in January 2022 was 414 euros.
in Frankfurt the average monthly price is 550 euros, in Heidelberg it is 450. Munich is the leader. There you pay an average of 680 euros per month for a room in a shared flat.
By Lucas Heinisch, Leonie Rink and Larissa Pitzen