City College officials are attempting to provide a larger variety of healthier food choices for students by offering more vegetarian meal options on-campus.
“I heard numerous times not to have a salad-bar but to provide more gourmet vegetarian options that not only would please vegetarians, but also educate students on the impacts of beef and animals as it comes to resources to raise cattle and any other type of animal, and the impacts,” said Perrin Pellegrin, a managing partner at Innovative Workshop Consulting, as well as the author of the district sustainability plan.
As stated on its website, The Center for Sustainability is working with the Student Sustainability Coalition, community organizations, and several staff members to “add new opportunities for students to gain value added skills in the many emerging fields that are incorporating environmental and social responsibility.”
By providing more food choices at City College, campus leaders hope to educate students on the effect that raising animals for meat has on the environment.
According to research done at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, industrial animal production “contributes to ecological harms that affect our land, air, and water.”
As outlined in the plan, City College will be increasing vegetarian options to 30 percent of entrees in the cafeterias. This also includes offering at least two vegetarian options on the JSB Cafe and John Dunn Gourmet Dining Room menus.
“I’ve been eating a lot at JSB, and I’ve noticed the goals that we have outlined in the plan have either been met or are in the process of being met,” Pellegrin said. “I’ve been very impressed with the menu at JSB.”
While vegetarian options are going to be incorporated into the cafeterias and cafes, it is currently unclear whether other options such as vegan and gluten-free choices will be available.
“As a pescatarian, I am sad to not see more fresh fish dishes prepared in the cafeterias,” said psychology major Pearl Rakowski. “It is also frustrating to have my food options restricted to the salad bar. It’s my only choice.”
Rakowski stated that she supports the initiative to add more options for the diverse needs of students.
In addition to adding more meal options for students at City College, the Center for Sustainability will be working towards incorporating biodegradable containers as well as more recycling bins near trashcans on campus.
The compost collected from the biodegradable containers will be used throughout the campus, such as in the gardens.
The sustainability plan was introduced March 4, 2015, to the College Planning Council and was approved. The plan will be presented to the Academic Senate for approval next week.