At Manhattanville College, it’s pre y fair to say that Chartwells Catering offers a decent variety of foods for college students. However, the “large variety of food options” are not sufficient enough for students who require specific foods to eat while on campus.
It’s not to say that Chartwells isn’t offering any vegetarian or vegan options, but, it’s the lack in fully understanding what vegetarianism is, and more specifically what it means to be vegan.
Salads and steamed vegetables aren’t going to cut it for students who choose to not eat meat, or any products that come from animals. While the dining services on campus have improved over the past year or so, there still seems to be a lack of knowledge of food allergies and limitations. Vegetarians are those who do not eat meat, yet still will eat dairy products. Vegans do not eat or use anything that was produced by an animal, including clothing. Being a vegetarian myself, I can personally say that our campus does have a vegetarian section in the cafeteria and they do make decent vegetarian meals. But, it appears that they are only offering vegetarian meals. This still creates a huge problem for those who are vegan, since their food options are even more limited compared to the scarcity of food options or vegetarians.
Neah Lorton, a senior, has been a vegan for about a year and has been relying on Chartwells to help her make this change in lifestyle.
“I think that they’re trying harder this year. Last year, it was a lot harder for me. I think that they could certainly do more, but they are making a lot more active o ers this year which is nice,” said Lorton.
There is also an issue of mislabeling the foods, which can lead to a problem for students who choose to eat meals that don’t contain meat or have severe food allergies. There was an incident that occurred when Maricruz Herrara, a sophomore, was eating a meal that included vegetarian gravy, which is typically cooked with meat. As soon as she took a bite she could tell that something wrong with it.
“I took a bite and I was like, ‘this tastes really good’ but then after I swallowed it I felt nauseous,” Herrara said.
Herrara went up to the counter and asked one of the employees if the gravy was vegetarian and they said that it was. She sat back down and was about to take another bite when they called her back and told her they used the fat of a turkey to cook the gravy.
“I told them that next time they should put that it’s not vegetarian because it had animal fat. It got me very mad because I was about to eat something that was not vegetarian.” she said.
It’s clear that Herrara is just one of many students who was misinformed, and unfortunately, ate something that was potentially harmful to her own health. This is an example of the school not being well educated in which certain foods count as being vegetarian/ vegan. While I understand that Chartwells Catering has been taking baby steps towards delivering more vegan/vegetarian options, there needs to be more of an effort demonstrated in ensuring that all students are satisfied
with their meals.