Friday Menu Looking Meaty

Ellen Hoffman, Editor-in-Chief

Students who follow the 40-day Lenten tradition are asking for more meatless options for oncampus meals.

Junior Tamara Bradley fasted on Ash Wednesday, planning to eat only two small meals, breakfast and lunch, and a larger meal for dinner. She was disappointed by the options available for Catholic students in the Metz dining hall.

“I planned on having dinner as my big meal but came to find country fried steak as the main option. The other Lenten option was fish, which I really don’t like,” she said. “That left me with salad and soup, which I had for lunch, because they ran out of the meatless option [popcorn shrimp] at the grill.”

Bradley understands that not all students follow the traditions as she does. But with daily options at the deli and grill stations in the cafeteria, she feels it is sometimes difficult to find something that follows the Lenten dietary rules.

“Because we are a Catholic school, I think the main dishes should always be meatless during Lent,” she said, “especially because the grill always has meat options and so does the deli. Someone who doesn’t want to eat meat on Friday doesn’t necessarily like the fish and that is really the only main option.”

Bradley also feels meatless options, when they are served, are available mid-week.

“I don’t know why those meals aren’t saved for Fridays,” she said.

Other students posted their meatless concerns on the Metz Dining at Misericordia University Facebook page.

Two students voiced their concerns that Ash Wednesday meals could have been meatless. A pasta was offered, but it was in a meat sauce, eliminating a possible option for Catholics.

The Metz Corporate team responded to the comments saying they will better advertise available meatless options. “There are multiple meatless options available at each meal for Fridays during Lent as well as Ash Wednesday. Even though Misericordia is a Catholic institution, not everyone who dines with us follows the Lent traditions. We do recognize that you may not have noticed some of the meatless options available, so new signage has been developed that will specifically highlight Lenten Selections for the season. The Cougar’s Den also has signage in place to make your dining choices more recognizable. The dining areas on campus will not be entirely meat free on Fridays during Lent.”

Signs have been posted inside and outside The Cougar’s Den and by the entrance to the cafeteria. Executive chef Dale Lent, who is responsible for the menus, said there are plenty of options for students who follow the Catholic tradition: a tuna deli selection every day, and the soup and salad bar, which is also always available. He said the dining staff would hear complaints if they changed the menu to mostly seafood options.

“We try to keep the days at least 50-50,” he said. “We have to try to keep the whole population happy.”

King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, another Catholic institution, offers meatless items on Fridays and holy days during Lent.

“The main reason that we do it is because we are a Catholic college and we’re following the Catholic tradition of fasting and abstinence,” General Manager of food services at King’s College, Mary Wood said.

“King’s College offered a meatless menu only in residential dining halls in the past but included the entire campus to meatless menus during Lent,” Wood said.

“We do get a lot of positive comments about what we do serve. I mean I do get comments about meat, too,” she said. “But I think the students do like what we offer.”

Lent said he is unsure if only offering meatless items during Lent would work at MU.

“I would have to talk to the people above me,” he said. “I’m not sure that would be in our best interest simply because a lot of kids still do eat meat. We have to provide for them as well. And like I said, we have plenty of options on the Fridays during Lent.”

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