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Daily Meal names best U.S. colleges, foodwise

PHOTO: Doesn’t the Bowdoin College eating scene look inviting?  |  PHOTO COPYRIGHT MICHELE STAPLETON

Earlier this week I offered up my tips for staying healthy while away at college and of course I stressed the importance of eating well to do well in school.

I said it isn’t hard to eat well on campus these days, and The Daily Meal just proved my point. It just released its fourth annual 75 Best Colleges in America for Food.

Notice, this isn’t a top 10 list. Instead, there are so many colleges that serve great food the list can’t be stopped at 10. When The Daily Meal did the list in 2012 it included 52 college. In 2013 it expanded it to 60. Last year was the first year it named the top 75.

At the top of the list is Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. Three Illinois schools make the cut: Northwestern (6), University of Chicago (36) and Wheaton College (62). And if you think it’s only private colleges with outstanding food programs, think again. California has 15 schools on the list, with several state schools, showing the commitment to eating well can be a statewide thing.

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Wheaton College food scene.  |  RICH HEIN~SUN-TIMES MEDIA FILE PHOTO

The questions The Daily Meal asked to come with its results were pretty thorough. First and foremost the college food service had to be working to not only ensure the health of the students, but that of the environment, too. Then it asked, when it came to meal plans, are those offered by the school affordable? And they have to  have some flexibility built into them too.

Teaching students about the importance of nutrition was a factor, too. And of course the fun factor was prominent as well. Food is meant to be enjoyed, and in a good atmosphere. That’s an absolute must.

Take a look at the entire list here.