Changes to the dining hall program and menus, including all-vegetarian meals, vegan desserts and more toppings and salad dressing options, are based on feedback and the dining hall staff’s desire to learn more and have variety in their daily work, according to Michael McCarthy.
“I believe our goal as educators is to help students make healthy choices by providing plenty of options and by occasionally offering meals that might take them out of their comfort zone and try something new,” Mr. McCarthy said.
Over the past five years, the dining hall has offered a salad bar, diversified vegetarian options, fresh and local vegetables, and organic fair trade coffee.
“The dining hall has always strived to produce healthy, delicious meals for the community,” said Mr. Michael McCarthy, Director of Food Services. “We have adapted menus over time to stay contemporary with our offerings and to meet the ever-changing needs of the community.”
Shanisha Coram ’13 enjoyed the recent vegetarian meals, however, she believes that it would be a wise decision to integrate these new meals slowly; ““I like the fact that the dining hall is trying to make healthier meals, but they should try to get feedback on the dishes that people liked versus those that didn’t go over so well.”
Tasnim Elboute ’13, a vegetarian student, appreciates the new healthy options. “All of the regular vegetarian options start to get old, because they are just the meat options with tofu or meat substitute… I’m a vegetarian to eat vegetables, not meat substitutes!” she said.
Some students, however, are unhappy with the newer, greener dining hall. An anonymous student ’13 added, “I enjoy vegetarian food, but I would not want to always have a vegetarian meal. I would feel as though we aren’t getting the right balance of foods.”
Another anonymous boy ’15 said “I always eat meat and I don’t like the fact that I am having another lifestyle forced upon me.”
More students also feel that this program is an excellent idea. “I think it’s good for kids to have a chance to try new vegetarian foods during lunch, and to see that a meal can be just as good without any meat,” enthused Michelle Kelly ’15.
Head of the M.E.A.T. Club, Ben Turner ’13 said “the M.E.A.T. Club celebrates the joys of the grill and the satisfaction that comes out of a more carnivorous orientation.” This came after a lunch announcement in which he stated that those who were left unsatisfied by the dining hall’s offered vegetarian meal should look for emails from the M.E.A.T. Club.
The program is a work in progress, slowly adding new meals and learning new recipes. Mr McCarthy said, “Who knows what [students] might try and if they might like something new, vegetarian or not.”