One of the more noticeable changes on campus this year is in the cafeteria.
Students now have more healthy options such as fish tacos and vegetable casseroles. There’s even a “Tofu Day” on Tuesdays and kale dishes on Thursdays.
The new menu is better for students, said Jane Bass, a manager for ABL Management Group, which operates the University’s cafeteria.
“I’ve been here a few years, and every year, it seems like we have more overweight and obese students in our institution,” Ms. Bass said. “I feel as if our healthier menu, with more tofu and vegetable casseroles, will help the students have a broader choice of healthy foods to eat. I notice that a lot of our students have high blood pressure, asthma and other various deficiencies that can be prevented, or tamed, with a healthier selection of foods from us as a company.”
As Dr. Damon Tweedy noted in at a lecture and discussion last month at the Prezell Robinson Library, African-Americans are more likely than other citizens to suffer from a host of medical conditions. He said this is due a variety of factors including diet and access to health care.
But the changes are getting a mixed reaction from students. Devion Newkirk, a junior, thinks the healthier menu was a great idea. “You can’t just eat meat all the time, and expect to be healthy,” Newkirk said. “I personally only eat fish and vegetables so I actually love the new menu.”
But many share the opinion of Quante Williams. “It’s disgusting,” the sophomore Media and Communications major said. “We are college students, so of course our money already isn’t where it needs to be, but you find a majority of students going out to eat with what little money they do have, because the café has been serving a lot of things that we just don’t eat.”
For now, ABL is giving students time to get used to the changes.
“All you have to do is give it a try,” said Elnora Sanders, who has been with ABL for more than 10 years. “You notice a lot of students don’t mess with the vegetable platters, but if they give it one chance, it might change their life, because it changed mine,” she stated. Sanders said she has lost 10 pounds since the beginning of the school year from eating the healthier menu.
“At the end of the day, you have to try new stuff, because in the long run, it’ll help you live longer,” Bass stated.
The changes are not that drastic, Sanders said. “We still serve everything we used to sell, it’s just a broader menu to choose from now,” she said.
One thing ABL did not stop serving is fried chicken, but they moved the day from Thursday to Wednesday.
Williams is not a big fan of the new menu yet. “I just sit back and wait for ‘Fried Chicken Wednesday,” he said.
— Avon Thomas