FAMU’s plant-based options have room for improvement

Picture of a plant-based meal, by everyday health. Photo courtesy, famu.edu.

FAMU has various dining options to cater to students, including two dining halls on campus, a food court, and three restaurants on campus.

According to FAMU’s dining webpage, they commit to offering “a variety of healthy, balanced meals with an emphasis on customization to better serve our customers’ ever-changing needs.” Even though this is stated, the meal options on campus do not reflect this commitment.

Although the university provides meals for meat-eating students on campus, the vegan, pescatarian, and vegetarian options are limited. The dining on campus lacks diversity in plant-based items, and the ones they do have lack the nutrition of being filling.

Many vegan students are forced to turn to off-campus options to get the food they need, which can be difficult if they do not have reliable transportation.

Janyah Johnson, a second-year student, says she eats on campus as little as possible.

“The vegan options are just not cutting it.” She speaks. “The only things for me to eat in the dining hall is mainly salad, bean burgers, and sandwiches occasionally. They are very repetitive. I can never enjoy anything that is on the main plate menu because they are always meat-based.”

Eating on campus with these limited options is even more challenging if you live on campus and must get a meal plan. According to the FAMU Metz webpage, all students who live in traditional residence halls are required to enroll in a meal plan. This includes every residence hall on campus besides palmetto, phase III, and FAMU Towers.

Amara Gordon, a first-year pre-vet major, says finding options that she can eat on campus is “a difficult challenge.”

“I always find myself eating the same thing in the dining hall. Anything I eat anything different is when I am eating in my own room or order out. I don’t have transportation, so is it a bit more difficult for me to eat off campus.”

Noella Williams, a senior journalism student, says the plant-based options on campus have improved but still don’t meet her needs.

They recalled a time when they’ve eaten a garlic knot that they thought fit with their vegan diet, but it still had dairy on it. Many of the plant-based options on campus still include dairy, which doesn’t align with vegan diets.

Along with the plant-based options on campus being generally limited, many of them include dairy, which isn’t fitting for vegan students on campus who can’t consume dairy. This makes dining choices even more scarce.

“A lot of the plant-based options on campus still have dairy on them, which is not fitting me, who is vegan and doesn’t eat dairy. There are many ways to incorporate vegan options into many of the meals on campus.”

They also gave some ideas on plant-based meals that FAMU could include in their menus, such as buffalo cauliflower or using beyond meat to make things such as tacos and quesadillas. They also mention that Metz could incorporate some more tofu in their meals.
Students shouldn’t have to turn to alternatives to get the food they need to meet their diets. Metz needs to work on diversity with their meals and include more options that all students on campus can enjoy, regardless of their diets.

There are many ways that Metz can become more inclusive in the meal options they serve. Hopefully, the concerns of the student’s body will be taken seriously. Improvement will be seen in plant-based options on campus.

A worker making stir-fry in residence dining hall, by FAMU. Photo courtesy, famu.edu.