Story by Olivia Coleman
Photos by Holly Warfield
JMU ranked No. 5 in Best Campus Food in the 2015 Niche Rankings. Among the 28 dining locations on campus, JMU is flowing with vegetarian choices at every location. According to Dining Services Marketing Manager Angela Ritchie, “[JMU] make[s] sure there are vegetarian options available.”
Among the most popular dining locations on campus, PC Dukes, a food court, and D-Hall, a buffet-style dining hall, are very vegetarian- and vegan-friendly. “D-Hall [has] areas set up specifically for vegetarian and vegan options in addition to pizza, pasta, vegetable sides and the salad bar,” Ritchie says, adding that PC Dukes has many vegetarian pizza options, pasta with marinara sauce, quesadillas and vegetarian wraps.
Also on main campus is Top Dog Café, a food court where Ritchie says the stir fry at Mongolian Grill and the tuscan panini at Madison Bread are considered “favorites” among JMU students. At almost all food courts, including Market One and Festival, pita chips with hummus, soups and salads are offered on a daily basis. Many meat alternatives are offered, such as tofu and soy products. These options are typically offered at the dining halls on both east and main campus.
Many students don’t know that most food can be made vegetarian or vegan by simply asking or ordering creatively. Paninis at Madison Bread in Top Dog Café are pre-made, but cheese can easily be taken off if students ask. At dining halls, when chefs prepare food, students can ask if any meat in the dish could be left out for their own individual portions. Although JMU students talk up the barbecue chicken bites at Dukes and the chicken nuggets at E-Hall, more vegetarian and vegan dishes are popping up around campus. Vegan chicken nuggets and hot dogs are becoming favorites at E-Hall and hummus wraps are replacing meat in the diets of students and are offered at all food courts.
JMU also plans to eventually only use eggs from cage-free chickens. People are becoming more conscious of what they eat and, according to Ritchie, JMU is making an effort to “provide nutritious meals for all of [its] students to enjoy.”