FCLC Vegetarians Dissatisfied With Options in Cafeteria


The lack of vegetarian and vegan options in the cafeteria has led some students to spend their meal plan on snacks and buy food elsewhere. (Megan Stillwell/The Observer)

Published: December 11, 2008

Many vegetarians and vegans say that they are dissatisfied with the vegan and vegetarian options in the cafeteria at Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC). As a result, many use their meal plans for snack foods or foregoing the cafeteria altogether and shopping at places like Whole Foods.

“It is our commitment to provide every student with nutritionally sound and well-balanced menu offerings each and every day. We proudly serve vegan and vegetarian food,” said Brian Poteat, general manager of Fordham University Hospitality Services.

“I didn’t find [cafeteria food] appetizing at all.  There was a lot of repetition… sometimes I would get nauseous from it,” said Anne Kunsemiller, FCLC ’09.

“The important thing for vegetarians is variety, and I really don’t think there is a lot of that, not a lot of protein, either,” said Joe Visconti, FCLC ’09, a lifelong vegetarian.

However, not all vegetarians are opposed to the cafeteria’s options. Cristina Brito, FCLC ’12, said that she enjoys the hummus wraps and reported that she is “content” with the cafeteria.

The Fordham Hospitality Web site allows for students to see the nutrition facts of all the vegetarian entrees.  For the week of Nov. 10, lunch and dinner accounted for 43 percent of a vegetarian’s protein requirement, 15 percent of his or her calcium requirement and 22 percent of his or her iron requirement, on average. Vegan options were sold for three out five days, and the vegetarian/vegan entrees sometimes contained 168 percent of a person’s daily cholesterol allowance.

“They don’t have any protein rich dishes; it’s mostly really starchy foods that aren’t very healthy,” Kunsemiller said.

Tibor Ivanevic, FCLC ’12, who has been a vegan for four years, he was forced to temporarily quit his vegan diet because “there weren’t many vegan options.”

Popular vegetarian alternatives to the vegetarian entrees are fruits, salads, bagels and soup.

Kunsemiller said that she spread her meal plan out over four years. “I would buy junk food and ice cream because that was the only thing I wanted to eat.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t have bought them,” Kunsemiller said.

Kunsemiller said she mostly eats at Whole Foods, where she generally spends about $300 a month.

Responding to these complaints, Poteat said, “[The cafeteria] is not actually designed for a traditional Resident Dining Meal Plan for several reasons.”

Poteat said that because McMahon Hall’s apartments have kitchens of their own, “the accounts are meant to compliment the students’ ability to cook food in their own rooms…Our locations at Lincoln Center are retail establishments and not designed for a traditional dining experience.”

Poteat also said that students with special dietary needs “can arrange to meet with our Registered Dietician as well as one of our Executive Chefs, and we will work with them to ensure we are meeting their individual nutritional needs.”