Tofu Parmesan won't be the only organic-sounding dinner item this Thursday at Forbes College and the Graduate College, and if it all goes well, students may soon see a wide selection of eco-friendly menu choices.
A campus environmental group has paired with Dining Services and the president's environmental oversight committee to bring the meal to students.
Thursday's dinner is the annual "Unit Special" or theme dinner in the dining halls where the staffs decide on a special menu.
Menu items include jalapeno-fried free-range chicken, farm-raised corn meal-crusted catfish with cilantro cream and organic Colorado quinoa with caramelized onions.
Organic foods have strict guidelines for production and are reportedly better for the consumer and the environment. They limit the use of harmful chemicals, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and require the humane treatment of animals.
Despite the added expense, Dining Services Director Stu Orefice is enthusiastic about the possibility of adopting organic foods on a more regular basis.
"In the future we may present recommendations to the Priorities Committee to request additional funding in order to add more organic products to the regular dining menus," Orefice said.
A change may happen sooner rather than later. A residential college at Yale University will next year serve only organic food, local produce and antibiotic-free meat.
"It's pretty clear that Princeton isn't going to want to let Yale get far ahead on the quality of dining services," said Kai Chan GS, coordinator of Greening Princeton.
The group has been working to bring organic meat, eggs, seafood and dairy products in the dining halls and has led a campaign to raise support for the dramatic change in food services.
At Thursday's dinner, representatives from other campus environmental and social organizations such as Princeton Environmental Network and Another World is Possible will be handing out material and talking to students to educate them on the benefits of these foods.
"Dining Services would like to move drastically in this direction, but is constrained by budget. Such food often costs a fair bit more," Chan said. "They need support from the University and in order to get that, they need support from the student population."
Orefice said some foods served now are organic and farm-raised, but the meat for Thursday's dinner has been ordered from a different vendor.
"The fish is from the same fish vendor. Our standard catfish has always been organic," he said.
One of the aims for the organic dinner is to make customers aware of what Dining Services tries to purchase.
Students in Forbes are enthusiastic about the special menu. Devon Wessman-Smerdon '05, a Forbes resident and self-proclaimed "gung-ho" vegetarian said the organic menu reassures her.
"I was raised vegetarian and the majority of the food I eat at home is organic, so that gives me a greater peace of mind about the food I am eating here at school," she said.
Reader Comments (0)
No comments yet. Be the first to post your opinion on this article.