“Meatless Mondays” are filled with debate and meat. Last Monday Sodexo Food Services stopped serving meat in the main line in an effort to make students more aware of what they are eating. This served as one of their many programs they plan every month.
Some students embraced the special day, but many were less than satisfied with the theme.
“The majority of people didn’t like it, so I don’t think we’ll be doing that anymore,” says Lamal Foreman, manager of Sodexo Food Services.
“Many schools served by Sodexo such as the University of South Carolina, Central State University, Morehouse College, North Carolina A&T, Georgia Institute of Technology, and others have tried [Meatless Mondays],” says Foreman.
“Some, like Georgia Tech are doing it permanently.”
Shevon King, Sophomore Business Administration major, was one of the few that embraced Meatless Monday.
“We have ‘Fried Chicken Wednesdays’ and nobody eats the baked chicken. Then we have ‘Fried Fish Fridays’ and nobody eats the baked fish. I think they should do it more often because it will give students the chance to eat different foods that we’re not used to.”
Laterria Whitener, on the other hand says “Meatless Mondays” are “pointless” and “dumb”.
“If I want a cheeseburger, I will get a cheeseburger whether it is at McDonald’s or in the cafe.”
Foreman says, the theme was “Meatless Monday,” but meat was still available in the cafeteria. “There was the burger line, the pizza line, and the grill line, and sandwiches. Technically it wasn’t a ‘Meatless Monday’.”
The main line is where most people go. Foreman says that Sodexo could not completely eliminate meat because they had to have options for everybody.
“I personally have to have meat, some people have to have meat with their meals therefore we need to have that option.”
Practically everybody who had an opinion on “Meatless Monday” related it to a campus effort to minimize weight gain and practice healthy eating habits.
“On ‘Fried Chicken Wednesdays’ students can eat up to three plates, if there was no chicken, nobody would get three plates! It would help people lose weight,” says Shevon King.
Sophomore Andrea Henry says there are too many overweight people on campus. She supports having “Meatless Mondays” regularly. “Any other day the food is greasy,” says Henry. “Having ‘Meatless Mondays’ will force people to pay more attention to what they’re eating and will encourage more use of the salad bar.”
Foreman says that the food is not generally greasy, and that students have various food options to choose from daily. “Do you know how many apples and oranges that we throw away because they go untouched?” Foreman goes on to say the grease in the food is not the biggest problem. “You should see how many students go to the grill line, the main line, then the burger line to sit down and eat. They often won’t finish one thing before they get up and grab something else.”
He says that weight was not thought about in implementing “Meatless Monday.” “ ‘Meatless Mondays’ was not a goal to make people lose weight. It was to make students conscious of what they are eating, but people who eat less meat tend to have a lower body fat.” He says it was simply a theme. “It was just one day, and a part of our planned activities.”
If students are concerned, Sodexo Food Services posts the meal and the calories of each meal item in every line everyday.
Sodexo Food Services is responsible for planning special themed events in the Sallie Walker Dining Hall. “Some have been Chinese Culture, ‘Fried Fish Fridays’, and even birthday celebrations every month.”
Foreman says we should be looking forward to an Indoor Cookout theme, “Belles Just Want to Have Fun!” and Mardi Gras soon again. But another “Meatless Monday” does not seem probable.
Foreman says that when students have a problem with what is being served Sodexo Foods is always open for suggestions.
By: Delrisha White
Diet and Nutrition FAQs
Q: Do I need to worry about getting enough protein on Meatless Mondays?
A: Generally speaking no. Protein deficiency is very rare, even in full-time vegetarians. As long as you’re eating enough calories to maintain a healthy weight, and following the FDA’s healthy diet guidelines, you’re almost certain to get enough protein.
Q: Should I be concerned about iron and B12 deficiencies?
A: Going meatless for one day a week is not likely to create iron or B12 deficiencies. Iron and B-vitamins are present in many fruits and vegetables.
Q: Is a meatless diet automatically healthier?
A: No, eliminating meat does not automatically make your diet healthier. Overall, it’s important to eat the right balance of healthy foods and to limit the intake of unhealthy foods.
Q: Will going meatless make me lose weight?
A: Not necessarily. Depending on how they are prepared, vegetarian protein sources like beans and legumes can be lower in fat and calories. Also people who tend to eat less meat tend to have a lower body weight. However, meatless diets aren’t necessarily lower in calories.
Q: Is this a push to promote vegetarianism?
A: No. This is a wellness program to help people think about having an overall healthier lifestyle. Making informed decisions about food intake is a part of that process.
Courtesy: Sodexo Food Services