Creative thinking

Campus Dining, the organization responsible for a great majority of the dining options available for students at Grand Valley State University, has been criticized in the past for its lack of suitable food choices for people with restrictive diets. Vegetarians, vegans and people with medical conditions such lactose intolerance have been forced to eat the same items from Campus Dining restaurants because of the company’s limited variety.

But with the adoption of Meatless Mondays, Campus Dining has taken a significant step toward expanding its service to cater toward underrepresented groups while still maintaining the norm at specific Campus Dining venues. This move will go a long way toward improving student opinion of Campus Dining.

But vegetarians and vegans aren’t the only ones that will benefit from Meatless Mondays. The initiative will introduce the GVSU population to less traditional offerings with a healthy spin. The change-up also comes with environmental benefits and ensures that students have the option of eating cruelty-free food. Encouraging students to eat more meat-free entrees supports the university’s sustainability initiative, and partnering with the Human Society of Grand Valley further proves the university’s commitment to student innovation.

However, no carnivores will be harmed in this endeavor. Meatless Mondays, which will be restricted to Fresh Food Company and Engrained, will not completely eliminate the meaty entrees in these restaurants. Rather, students will simply have more vegetarian- and vegan-friendly options to choose from, giving students the chance to have their vegetables and eat them, too.

Meatless Mondays is a start, but Campus Dining can go further and find new and innovative ways to expand services to afford more gluten-free items. The company should use Meatless Mondays as a stepping stone to expanding its service to be more inclusive and accomodating.