Dining halls should remember those not observing religious holidays

By Dana Bronstein

I am writing respond to Jennifer Wheeler’s article, “Practicing Faith Through Food” which was published on March 2nd.

While Jennifer is correct in stating that students who have food restrictions based on their particular faith are entitled to the food items that meet their specific needs, a fine line needs to be drawn.

Last week began Lent, and as a non-Christian, I felt immensely out of place as I searched the dining halls for a meat dish of any sort (fish doesn’t count). Unfortunately, there were not any and I left the dining halls hungrier than I arrived and felt that a waste of my ten dollar meal dinner was unnecessary and highly inconvenient as I do not celebrate and follow this religious activity.

Although I am specifically responding to Jennifer Wheeler’s article, I might as well address this issue to the dining hall staff and “cooks” who prepare the meals on a daily basis.

If a student chooses to follow an alternate lifestyle that is defined by their eating habits (whether it’s based on faith or not), they should seek the food items independently without disrupting the dining hall ecosystem that we have in place during times when there are no religious holidays.

This way, they are not limiting the food that us “mainstream” eaters would and could be eating.

It’s not fair that each dining hall serves mostly vegetarian and vegan items, especially during religious holidays that not everyone celebrates, when the individuals who follow these strict eating habits can create their own dishes using the items that are already available at the dining halls.

It’s not like us carnivores can suddenly create a steak or chicken dish out of thin air.

However, because I am Jewish and find this system to be disproportionate to the Jewish students, Jennifer Wheeler states that, “Kosher dinner meal options are served Monday through Thursday at Allen Hall for Jewish individuals.”

She forgets to include the fact that Kosher Kitchen is open from 4:45 p.m. until 6 p.m., so it clearly limits the time the people who follow a kosher lifestyle have to eat. Very few people eat dinner (regardless if it’s kosher or not) at 4:45 p.m.

Also, for example, by the same logic of including meatless dishes during Lent, why doesn’t the dining hall serve all wheat-less and yeast-less products during Passover? Case and point.

Dana Bronstein

freshman in ACES