Dining hall staff adds new vegan/vegetarian station for students

Kelsee Brady, Campus Carrier Staff Writer

On Feb. 4, the Dining Hall opened a new vegetarian/vegan station with new sauces, entrées and desserts. After two weeks of operation, the station has received positive feedback.

Fraser Pearson, general manager of Dining Services, has had the vegetarian/vegan station in the plans for a while.

“We have been talking about this over the last six to eight months. When the interest group asked if they could put up some signage we jumped on the opportunity to gather real Berry-specific interest to maximize satisfaction and success, ” Pearson said.

The station has provided Berry students with new options, and the Vegetarian/Vegan Interest Group has been credited with the momentum to open the station.

“The creation of the Vegetarian/Vegan Interest Group gave us the opportunity to gather common ideas from a group rather than individuals,” Pearson said. “Once we had a good list (of foods) that would satisfy the majority, it made sense to create the station.”

Pearson is not the only one excited about the opportunity of the new Vegetarian/Vegan station. Members of the Vegetarian/Vegan Interest Group are overjoyed about the new options and optimistic about the future of the station. Junior Margaret Ashton is the founder of the interest group, and she shared about the process that to the creation of the station.

“Fraser from the dining hall wanted our input because he wanted to make things more inclusive, and so what we did was we gave him a document of suggestions. We actually didn’t know he was going to give us a whole station,” Ashton said.

The Vegetarian/Vegan Interest Group has also been working on implementing “Meatless Mondays” in the Dining Hall.

“Something we’d really like to do is get Meatless Monday every Monday in the Dining Hall. One of the main pressing reasons is climate. Greenhouse gas emissions have been causing climate change to accelerate, (they are) largely due to the animal agriculture industry. There are actually more emissions associated with agriculture than the whole transportation sector.”

While “Meatless Monday” is still a work in progress, the interest group is celebrating their victory of the vegetarian/vegan station. Dering Morales-Matarrita, a sophomore biochemistry major, has been vegan for nearly four years now, and he discussed his role in the new station.

Morales-Matarrita enjoys being able to eat in the dining hall more often rather than always using his flex bucks.

Overall, Morales-Matarrita feels positively about the changes that the dining hall has made so far.

“I feel happy because I came into D-Hall with a neutral face, and I saw that (station), and I was so happy,” Morales-Matarrita said.

Pearson has plans to keep the vegetarian/vegan station improving by adding more diversity.

“We have developed a variety of menu items for the entrée and are working on alternatives to the vegan burger. When we return from spring break, we will have some new compound salad options there as well,” Pearson said.

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