Eggs, sausage, bacon, hamburgers, tacos, pizza and steak are just some of the many foods that Americans love to eat. With a growing student body, Campus Food Services has been making attempts to better accommodate different diets and food choices including vegetarians and vegans.
“There has been a noticeable increase for these types of requests,” said Tina Carlisle, UVU catering manager, stating that even though these diets have been around for years there have been more requests for meat-free meals in the past two years.
Vegetarians and vegans have chosen their meat-free lives due to any variety of reasons, from ethical to disliking meat’s taste. Vegans abstain from eating anything that comes from an animal while vegetarians are willing to consume things like eggs or milk but still not any type of flesh.
“As a facility hosting national and international guests, we need to work with any type of diet,” Carlisle said. “We do, however, need to know ahead of time to appropriately prepare it.”
With the addition of Subway and Costa Vida in the food court, which offer vegan and vegetarian meals, dining services has added more options in Valley View Dining, which provides vegetarian meals once a week and any day if ordered in advance.
In 1994 Campus Food Services had a budget of $1.2 million from food sales. In 2011 the estimated gain has been over $3 billion. These gains, according to Val Brown, Director of UVU Food Services, have had little to no significant influence from these alternative diets.
“What affects our budget is how we conduct our business,” Brown said. “If we have a larger numbers of consumers who say they want to eat meat then we will serve meat. It’s the same if the majority wanted meatless entrees. I do, however, share with my associates the desires that these clubs have so we may better communicate what we can for best serving our customers.”
Even though Val Brown has received requests from campus clubs asking for changes from Food Services there is only so much that can be changed until students start purchasing more of those types of meals.