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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Lack of options

 
 

“Time Out Sports Deli” at the Student Recreation Center stands out from other dining facilities at Texas A&M in that it provides vegetarian students with a meatless alternative. However, it still manages to fit in with the other dining services, which supply limited or inadequate vegetarian or vegan selections by cooking veggie burgers on the same surface as hamburgers.
In order to correct this problem, A&M should start providing its students with more varied dining options and make sure that foods containing meat are cooked separately from vegetarian dishes. There are many universities that do this, to the relief of many incoming freshmen who wish to maintain a vegetarian diet for animal rights or environmental reasons, or just want stay healthy.
“In a large dining hall where individuals choose from a large selection of food, students ought to be able to fulfill various common dietary preferences without ‘making a statement’ or defending their food choices,” said Gary Varner, a philosophy professor at A&M and author of “In Defense of the Vegan Ideal: Rhetoric and Bias in the Nutrition Literature.”
Customer satisfaction is essential for any university dining service. In a survey of more than 100,000 college students, provided by Lemonslice, almost a quarter said that having vegetarian options available on campus was important to them. Lemonslice is an organization that has helped to provide Amy’s Kitchen organic vegetarian food to hundreds of college convenient stores. Amy’s Kitchen is a line of ready-to-serve vegetarian dishes that can be bought in grocery and convenience stores.
“I feel that there aren’t enough vegetarian options on campus. If you look hard enough, you can find vegetarian things to eat, but they are few and far between. Sbisa has some good choices, but if you don’t have a meal plan, they aren’t worth the high price,” said Ben Chenoweth, a senior philosophy major. “Also, when there is a vegetarian option it is often cooked on the same surfaces as meat.”
By predominantly or exclusively providing dining options that contain meat, the Department of Food Services is sending students the message that eating meat is healthy, which is a questionable fact. It also supports the myth that one must eat meat to have a balanced diet. The American Dietetic Association reported that one could live on a vegetarian diet and still meet all of his nutritional needs. Numerous other studies have shown that not only is a balanced vegetarian diet sufficient for sustaining one’s health, but it can be healthier than eating meat.
Vegetarian and vegan meals are also less costly than meat dishes. Students wouldn’t have to worry about meal plans becoming more expensive, as vegetarian dining options would be cheaper to buy and easier to prepare, making them a good option for students who are in a hurry.
“It seems reasonable to me to expect at least one entree at every lunch and dinner to be lacto-ovo vegetarian or vegan, with a couple of vegan side dishes at every meal, in addition to the now ubiquitous salad bar,” Varner said.
Some might point out that it is not economically feasible for dining services to provide food for every dietary preference. However, there are many vegetarians at A&M, and there are also those who would choose to eat non-meat dishes if they were available for reasons of taste or health.
“Almost 60 percent of people sometimes, often or always order a vegetarian item when dining out,” according to the Andrews University Nutrition Department. By providing a decent variety of appealing vegetarian and vegan options, Food Services would be catering not only to the needs of students who do not eat meat, but to the preferences of many non-vegetarian students as well.

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