Eickhoff Hall expands vegan, vegetarian menu for students

By Ariel Steinsaltz
Staff Writer

For many students at the College, eating at Eickhoff Hall is a staple activity. From spaghetti and meatballs to self-serve ice cream, there are options for everyone to enjoy.

The dining hall now serves more plant-based meals (tcnj.edu).

However, this year, the Atrium at Eickhoff Hall is expanding its options even more, including both vegetarian and vegan choices. Starting in October, it will participate in Meatless Mondays, and the Veggie Loop section of the dining hall has turned into the Vegan Loop. 

“The base got larger,” said Natasha Parker, a sous chef at Eickhoff who purchases the food. “The vegetarian and vegan base got extremely large. And we have a committee here that is vegetarian and vegan that was asking for things.”

The Veggie Loop, which had previously been only vegetarian, turned vegan to accommodate more people and more fresh vegetables were put out, according to Parker. The cooking of the food stopped using margarine so that vegans could eat it. The dining hall also serves vegan eggs and burgers. Parker, who was vegan for eight years, said that she would gladly eat the burgers and that it is possible to find good dishes. 

There is also more grain and quinoa being served in order to give vegetarians and vegans more protein.

“We’re trying to give them the same options that people who eat regular protein get,” Parker said. 

Soy oil has been replaced with canola oil for a cleaner option. There are also more beans out, which Parker said are “flying off the shelf.” She said it’s good to see students eating healthier, which is one of her goals.

“You shouldn’t live to eat, you should eat to live,” Parker said. 

The gluten-free MyZone section now has more vegetarian and vegan options as well. Parker explained that she bought pre-packaged items like oatmeal, which is gluten free and vegan. They are trying to accommodate as many people as possible. 

Students on campus have been in favor of the new policy, including Dustin Marino, a sophomore interactive multimedia major.

“I think it’s always good to have options in general for food,” he said.

Some students, who were unaware of the changes, are pleased to see the new dining accommodations.

“Vegetarian meals are something everyone can eat and meals based on meat aren’t something everyone can eat,” said Russell Johnson, a sophomore mathematics major. 

Sophomore mathematics major Cassie Oleniacz also noted how much she liked the  new update’s inclusiveness.

“…Compared to like, the ’70s, there’s more people who are vegetarian and vegan and would like to eat those types of foods so it’s nice that they can accommodate more students who have a lot of dietary needs because pretty much everyone can eat plants,” she said.

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