Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Bama Dining supports Meatless Monday campaign

Bama Dining supports Meatless Monday campaign
Pete Pajor

/CW | Pete PajorAmericans are eating less meat than they were five years ago and Bama Dining is no exception to the trend. Fall 2012 brought more vegetarian options than ever in campus dining halls, especially on Mondays.

Meatless Mondays is a nonprofit campaign initially developed by Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health offering information and recipes for meat-free meals according to Various celebrities such as Tamera Mowry and Emily Deschanel are on board with the campaign, promoting its health and environmental benefits, and the Humane Society of the United States recently recognized The University of Alabama’s development of their own Meatless Monday program.

Bama Dining supports the Meatless Mondays campaign by providing more vegetarian-friendly meals all over campus.

“Each dining hall has a vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free station that features an array of meatless options,” Rachel Barwick, residential marketing assistant for Bama Dining, said. “We also have a variety of meatless items available at the Ferguson Center Food Court, Julia’s Market, Stewart’s Corner and throughout our on-campus convenience stores.”

Kenny Torrella, outreach coordinator for the Humane Society of the United States said they were excited to get the University on board for Meatless Mondays.

“It sends a message to other institutions that Meatless Mondays is a growing trend and shows that it’s a simple and effective way to make a difference,” Torrella said.

(See also “Project Green Challenge  urges eco-friendly choices”)

Olivia Bensinger, a junior majoring in ecological economics and Spanish, said she was happy to find out about Bama Dining’s moves towards meatless Mondays. As the chair of the sustainable foods committee for the environmental council on campus, Bensinger was already involved in her own efforts to make dining hall food more healthy for students.

“[Bama Dining] has gotten better since my freshman year, but freshman year was kind of bad,” Bensinger said. There was maybe one vegetarian option, but no one was there to cook it or it would take forever. Some of the places like Burke I could find mostly side dishes and I could put something together to make a meal, but it wasn’t the best.”

Bensinger said she thinks all students can benefit from cutting down their meat intake, even for once a week.

“My reasons [for being a vegetarian] are mostly environmental because you have less of a carbon footprint if you’re a vegetarian,” Bensinger said. “Cows release methane and raising them in such closed quarters in feed lots is not good for the environment. It’s unhealthy for the cows because they aren’t eating grass.”

Bensinger recommended the Meatless Mondays campaign to friends on an individual basis who are considering becoming vegetarians.

“It gets them thinking about how they feel when they eat meat and how they feel when they don’t,” she said.

Allie Hulcher, a junior majoring in journalism and English, has been a vegetarian since her senior year of high school. She said Bama Dining has been conducive to her vegetarian endeavors, and she frequents the Fresh Foods dining hall salad bar and panini center.

“I think they’ve done really great,” Hulcher said. “They’re kind of encouraging everyone to cut back on their meat consumption. I think everyone can move towards eating less [meat]. I don’t think you need it for every meal or even every day.”

Hulcher said Mediterranean restaurants in Tuscaloosa are the most accommodating for her meatless preferences.

“My favorites are Tut’s and Hooligans,” Hulcher said. “They have really good falafel, which is ground up chick peas and fried in a little ball. They’re really good in wraps. Even Quick Grill has great veggie burgers. It’s really good for just $5.”

Although the new program does not completely rule out meat, Barwick said Bama Dining is aware of the health benefits of programs like Meatless Mondays and encourages students to take part.

“The new program has been well received by the students,” Barwick said. “Our meatless options are always popular with the students. It’s important to promote the health and environmental benefits going meatless once a week provides and Meatless Monday is a great way to encourage the students to do so.”

Leading in today’s Crimson White:

[Opinion] Praise for women in America who make themselves

[Opinion] Police your own – greeks shouldn’t be afraid to speak up

Women’s golf team must replace Pancake

More to Discover