Vegetarian options limited in cafeteria


Story by Whitney Silkey, Assistant News Editor

Complaints about Sodexo’s food choices at the Long Student Center can be heard across campus, but there are some students who have a particularly hard time finding something they can enjoy. Vegetarians who eat in the cafeteria face the struggle of having limited options for daily nutrition, and those with meal plans are left with limited options.

Now in her seventh year as a vegetarian, junior Isabelle Huyett has had her own personal difficulties with cafeteria food. Huyett decided to become a vegetarian when she was 15 because she never was a big fan of meat while growing up, the only exception being chicken nuggets.

Huyett said being a vegetarian has worked out well for her, at least until she arrived at Baker, where she learned that eating a vegetarian diet can have its challenges.

Huyett’s first few semesters in college were rough. Though campus food, which is offered by the Sodexo company, had better options on the weekdays, Huyett struggled finding meals that worked for her on weekends. The only option available to her would be scrambled eggs, and the lack of options forced her to seek out food elsewhere. Huyett remembers that on one occasion there were no options for her all weekend.

“It just felt like a waste of money,” Huyett said.

On occasion, Huyett would talk to Dean of Students Cassy Bailey about her problems with the food selection. Bailey, a vegetarian herself, communicated with Sodexo several times to make sure Huyett had vegetarian options available. This semester Huyett said the options have been better.

“My advice [for vegetarians eating at Baker] would be to be really inventive and not afraid to ask,” Huyett said.

Thinking of all the options, being creative and asking for options without meat are other strategies Huyett uses. Huyett also suggests talking to Bailey if vegetarians are having trouble eating in the cafeteria.

Katie Reed, the catering coordinator and manager of resident dining, personally goes around to all of the stations in the cafeteria to help vegetarians find meals that they can eat. The options at the grill include veggie burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches and cheese quesadillas.

Other vegetarian options are cheese pizza, almost anything at the salad bar, the sides at the classics table and veggie wraps at the deli bar. Sometimes the meat can be left out of the meals at the chef’s table as well.

Reed says they try to always have something available for vegetarians. She says to always ask if there is an option at the grill because they most likely will have something.

“We’re here to make sure they get to eat,” Reed said. “If people are willing to ask, we’re willing to help.”