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April 6, 2016

Holla fo’ Yo’ Dolla

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p class=”p1″>It’s a day ending in “y,” so Cornellians are hungry. From trudging up Libe Slope with bookbags to prolonged periods of intense studying, life at Cornell can quickly drain you of every ounce of energy you may have. Away from home, you can no longer rely on Mom or Dad to prepare snacks or dinner; instead, you have to scour campus dining to curb your appetite. And more often than not, hunger seems to strike at the most inconvenient of times: when the dining halls are closed, when you’re far away from one, and when you have a class to make in a couple of minutes. This is when on-campus eateries come in handy. But anyone who has prematurely depleted their BRB balance (like me) knows that responsible food choices are key to staying full while not breaking bank. You may have a hankering for a salad, but will a bunch of lettuce really give you as much energy as you deserve for the amount you’re paying? Will you be hungry a couple hours after eating that salad?

In setting out to write this article, I hoped to identify the items at various campus eateries that provide the most nourishment for the least amount of money. To this end, my first instinct was to relate the prices of foods to their masses. The logic is simple: Foods with large masses tend to physically fill your stomach more than those with smaller masses. But there is one problem with using mass to measure fullness. You don’t have to be a food scientist to know that drinking 100 g of water is different from eating 100 g of peanuts. Thus, it is critical to analyze the nutritional composition of food to determine how full it will leave you.

As an engineer, I am pretty much clueless when it comes to making sense of different nutritional properties. But one thing I do know about is the Internet, and I used it to find a formula that computes the “Fullness Factor” of a given food — that is, how much given food will satiate you on a per-calorie basis. Multiplying the Fullness Factor index value by the total amount of calories in a given dish yields a relative measure of how full that dish will leave you. I will be using this metric to quantify the satiety of a given food. If you’re interested, I included the formula used to arrive at the Fullness Factor at the end of the article.

But measuring fullness is only half the story. If a filling item is exorbitantly priced, is it actually worth purchasing? To address this issue, I will be ascertaining how much a given food fills you up in comparison to its price by dividing the Fullness Factor by the cost of that item. This means that items with a higher ratio fill you up more for less money. I have also included the pure Fullness Factor rankings in case you want to purchase the most satisfying item irrespective of its cost.

Note: Nutritional information is provided by Cornell Dining. Not all items/vendors have nutritional information available. I have only included items that Cornell Dining has listed on its website.


Bus Stop Bagels

Item Fullness Factor/Price Ranking Fullness Factor Ranking
Bagel with Butter 1 16
Route 10 PBJ & Banana Bagel 2 10
Bacon Egg & Cheese Bagel 3 2
Sausage Egg & Cheese Bagel 4 3
Route 65 Tuna Melt Bagel 5 7
Turkey Sausage Egg & Cheese Bagel 6 5
Route 32 Chicken Avocado Bagel 7 1
Turkey Bacon Egg & Cheese Bagel 8 8
Route 15 Caprese Bagel 9 12
Ham Egg & Cheese Bagel 10 9
Route 41 Turkey BLT Bagel Sandwich 11 4
Egg & Cheese Bagel Sandwich 12 13
Route 31 Roast Beef Bagel 13 6
Route 92 Goat Cheese & Olive Bagel 14 14
Route 21 Avocado Veggie Bagel Sandwich 15 15
Route 13 Salmon Bagel Sandwich 16 11

Cornell Dairy Bar

Item Fullness Factor/Price Ranking Fullness Factor Ranking
Grilled 3 Cheese Sandwich 1 1
Vegetable “Gyro” Wrap 2 2
Thai Peanut Vegetable Wrap 3 3
The Big Tuna Melt 4 5
Pork Barbacoa Sandwich 5 6
Muffaletta Sandwich 6 4


Item Fullness Factor/Price Ranking Fullness Factor Ranking
French Dip Sandwich 1 1
Chicken Panini 2 2
BLT Wrap 3 3
Apple Brie Melt 4 5
Green Goddess Sandwich 5 6
Orange Ginger Salmon Wrap 6 4


Item Fullness Factor/Price Ranking Fullness Factor Ranking
Italian Sub 1 1
Egg and Cheese Bacon Sandwich 2 14
Ham and Cheese Croissant 3 15
Turkey Sub 4 3
Chicken Club Sandwich 5 4
Egg Cheese Sausage Sandwich 6 16
Chicken Bacon Ranch Sandwich 7 5
Chicken Quesadilla 8 2
Buffalo Boneless Chicken Wings 9 8
Egg and Cheese Sandwich 10 18
Vegetarian Hot Wrap 11 13
Tuna Melt Sandwich 12 10
Egg Cheese Ham Sandwich 13 17
Chicken Chipotle Wrap 14 11
Vegetable Quesadilla 15 6
Cheese Quesadilla 16 7
Spicy Italian Wrap 17 12
Roast Beef Sandwich 18 9


Item Fullness Factor/Price Ranking Fullness Factor Ranking
Pasta Bake with Alfredo Sauce 1 1
Marinara Pasta Bake 2 2
Pasta Bake with Garlic Herb Sauce 3 4
Chicken Marinara Pasta Bake 4 3
Grilled Cheese Panini 5 5
Tomato Grilled Cheese Panini 6 9
Ham Grilled Cheese Panini 7 6
Turkey Pesto Grilled Cheese Panini 8 7
Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese Panini 9 11
Thin Crust Hot Italian Pizza 10 8
Thin Crust Phzani Pizza 11 10
Stackt Cobb Flatbread Salad 12 12
Thin Crust Aloha Pizza 13 14
Vegan Tuscany Thin Crust Pizza 14 15
Thin Crust Margherita Pizza 15 16
Thin Crust Mediterranean Pizza 16 17
Stackt BME Flatbread Salad 17 13
Thin Crust Tuscany Pizza 18 18
Thin Crust Genoa Vegetable Pizza 19 19
Vegan Aloha Thin Crust Pizza 20 20
Vegan Margherita Thin Crust Pizza 21 21
Vegan Phzani Thin Crust Pizza 22 22
Vegan Tomato Pesto Thin Crust Pizza 23 23