As the newly arrived freshmen grapple with their freshmen 15, vegetarian and vegan students on campus face a dilemma of a rather peculiar nature.
Kavya Ajbani, a junior biomedical sciences major from Ahmedabad, India, is a strict vegetarian for religious reasons and as such, she does not consume food which comes in any contact with meat or meat products.
“I avoid the pizza at the dining hall because they use the same utensils and gloves to make and serve the cheese and pepperoni pizza,” Ajbani said. “There is a vegetarian station, but it is closed during the weekends, so I wish they would come up with something better.”
While vegetarians can find a somewhat adequate variety of “meat-free” food on campus, it is difficult for vegans, says Heaven Lee Anhalt, a senior mathematics major and a practicing vegetarian from Nashville, Tennessee, who is trying to go vegan.
“With the hibachi places and omelets and the salad bars, it is reasonable for vegetarians, but it is just half the salad bar for vegans,” Anhalt said. “The addition of a Togo salad bar and a fruit or vegetable bar or even a smoothie bar would provide more options for vegans.”
With the increasing diversity in special dietary needs, dining services have to get creative and sometimes have to go out of their way to cater student needs.
According to Elizabeth Eaise, the Unit Marketing Coordinator at Troy University Dining Services, there are a wide variety of vegetarian options at Trojan Dining and the Trojan Centre.
“On weekends we (Trojan dining) run fewer stations and there is only so much vegetarian food we can offer,” Eaise said. “We are also looking to expand the vegan options but there are many factors to be considered so it will take some time before we sort things out.”
Eaise also said students can always request their food to be prepared without contamination of unwanted ingredients and can always talk to the management about their dietary needs.
According to Eaise, the dining services is looking to expand food options for vegans in the Trojan dining, but in the Trojan ce1nter, because most of the stations are branded, there is little option to expand.
Magellan’s, the upstairs hibachi station in the Trojan Dining, is completely unseasoned and students can get both vegan and vegetarian food.