Malott Commons: Meatless Mondays

By Hannah Long ‘15Food Columnist

Malott Commons’ Meatless Monday is a program designed to promote healthy eating on campus, yet the structure and aims of the program can be confusing for many Scripps students.  While the name suggests that Mondays at Malott are completely meat free, the actual aim of Meatless Monday is to provide vegetarian options in addition to the normal dining fare.

This program has developed a lot over the past year. Tom Adkins, the General Manager of Malott Commons, explains the new, long-term plan devised by the Scripps Food Committee in Sept.  “We want customers to have the option of participating in Meatless Mondays while not alienating the customers who want to eat meat,” explains Adkins.

With this goal in mind, the new program includes a variety of specialty vegetarian options to be served on Mondays along with the usual meat fare. Vegan and vegetarian soups will be featured each Monday along with a vegetarian lunch special at the grill and a meatless option for Taco dinner.  Adkins explains that this version of the program allows for a nice balance.

“We don’t want to force people to participate in the program if they don’t believe in it,” Adkins said, “but for those that do participate, it is a great way to show that you care about and believe in the principles of the program.”

In addition to catering to vegetarian students, the Meatless Monday program also aims to promote a more far-reaching healthy lifestyle on the Scripps campus.  Studies have shown that copious meat consumption can lead to an increased risk of health problems such as diabetes and cancer.  Equally worrisome are the environmental hazards generated by the meat industry, including excessive water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and pollution.

Adkins explains that the Meatless Monday program hopes to help combat these issues by reducing students’ reliance on meat products: “I believe that [the program] has great benefits for health and environmental sustainability,” he said.

Although reactions to the Meatless Monday program have been mixed, its attention to health is certainly a perk that many Scripps students appreciate.  Devyn Parks (’15) says, “I think that the Meatless Monday program seems like a great initiative that could have a really positive effect on the Scripps campus.  I’m really impressed by Malott’s dedication to sustainability.”

Balance, however, is key for Parks, who thinks that Meatless Monday successfully caters to many different students’ needs: “I’m really glad that Malott provides so many options for vegetarians and those who don’t want to eat meat, but I also like that they always serve hamburgers at the grill and have meat available.”

In the coming months, Adkins hopes to expand the Meatless Monday program to include even more unique vegetarian options: “We would like to develop even more recipes for the gluten-free and vegetarian stations.  We will also be featuring our Cheese tasting event on Mondays this year, where we have local California vegetarian cheese available for everyone to taste.”

Another important component of the program is encouraging student input and participation. Information about Meatless Monday is distributed to the Scripps community each week via email and Malott’s Facebook page.  In addition, Adkins hopes that this year students will be able to take a more direct role in determining Malott’s weekly menu: “We would like to have a vegan and vegetarian recipe contest with the winning recipes featured on Mondays for Meatless Monday.”

With so many varied components, it seems certain that the Meatless Monday program will make a positive contribution to the Scripps campus this year.