In response to a commentary article, “Fed but not nourished” (March 20, 2017)
As a University food service we can always do better, but this article was a little misleading. Our dining halls offer a wide variety of choices, some in the comfort food or unhealthy snack category, while most are balanced or healthy options.
Your statement, “Presently, Mcgill cafeterias cater more to what a student wants to eat than what a student needs to eat” is false; we aim to do both.
We do offer poutines once a month in most residences and we do a cookie madness day 2-3 times a semester in only two residences. Our unhealthier options are staggered throughout the year, whereas Meatless Monday, however, is held and subsidized in all residences once a week all year.
There was a reference to Nutella by the kilo; SHHS only offers 11g or snack packages.
We offer soft drinks, but we also offer more than 10 choices of “milk” – 1 per cent milk, skim milk, chocolate milk, three fla- vors of soy, three more of almond, lactose free… as well as more than thirty other non- carbonated/ non- sugar drinks.
We offer only soups made from scratch and there is always a vegetarian or vegan option available. Many of our “cream soups” are actually creamed with liquid tofu!
In dining halls the “Hot Meals” are not usually carbohydrate options but are most often a lean, sustainably sourced protein and a vegetarian and or vegan option with protein coming from tofu and legumes, with a side of fresh- roasted or steamed vegetables and a wide selection of rice, grains, pastas, and potatoes.
SHHS has two full-time and one-part time nutritionists on staff. We are the first Canadian university to seek and achieve a certification from SPE ( a third- party certification) for nutritious and sustainable choices in the dining halls. — Oliver de Volpi Executive Chef, Operations and Sustainability