Monday, September 15, 2014

Happy Meatless Monday!

Happy Monday Ithaca College,

From Labor Day to electrical issues at the Business School, we've finally made it to our first full week at school! Before we get too settled into our new routines and agenda, I wanted to suggest a mindful action that the student body could participate in together. The action is called Meatless Monday.

Meatless Monday is a global campaign that started in 2003. Since then, it has expanded to over 34 countries and is continuing to grow. The concept is simple: once a week, cut out meat. And what better day than Monday to start off a new routine?

Why participate in Meatless Monday? It's shocking to learn about the benefits that can come from cutting down meat consumption. Meatless Monday can improve several aspects of life, ranging from our health, our planet, to our budget. This blog will highlight one benefit each week in our Monday posts. Be sure to check back every Monday to learn more.

To kick off this week I would like to encourage my fellow Ithaca College students to make a small change that will have a long term impact. Each Monday, try to select the entrees in the dining hall that are meat free. Some students are wary of this task, for many reasons. You may be afraid that there are not enough options. Or maybe you feel that you won't be satisfied from a meat free meal. However, from participating in Meatless Monday for two years now, I have some tips and tricks to help you along the way.

You may even be eating more meatless meals than you think! For instance, today at Terrace Dining Hall, Food lab is featuring a Caprese Panini with mozzarella cheese, fresh tomatoes, basil and pesto. The hot line served black bean chilaquiles. Some days, you may have a pasta dish or a casserole that is meat free. It is a lot easier to eat meat free than you think. Especially with the large amount of variety and options at our dining halls.

Give Meatless Monday's a chance. Motivate yourself to live a healthier lifestyle by making one simple change. And check back here every Monday for more encouragement and advice. Happy Meatless Monday!

- Jaclyn

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Supporting the Food Bank of the Southern Tier

     As new and returning students settle into their dorms and apartments, we are making Ithaca College our home away from home. This semester we will meet hundreds of different people that live down the hall from us, across the quad, or in the circle next to ours. Communities will form as we all find commonalities between one another. We may be a part of the dorm community, the Park School community, or a student organization community. But I urge you as students to also take a closer look at the bigger community that you are now a part of. The Ithaca community. It is filled with families and homes of those who are year round locals. This community serves a huge part in our lives. It supplies our professors, our dining hall staff, and our favorite places to visit downtown like Wegmans, Viva or Stewart Park.

The community members of Ithaca rely on us and we as students rely on them. It’s important for us to understand the Ithaca community that we are a part of, and give back in as many ways as we can. This Friday, September 12th is one opportunity that you can give back. 

Over 2,000 elementary students in the Southern Tier receive free or reduced lunch during school hours, but are struggling with hunger over the weekends and holidays. In order to remedy this, the Food Bank of the Southern Tier started a BackPack Program. Every Friday afternoon, this program provides children with a backpack full of nutritious, easy to prepare foods. Each backpack contains at least 2 proteins, 2 grains, 2 dairy, and 2 fruits or vegetables. Examples of these foods are peanut butter, canned fruits and veggies, tuna, cereal, and more. Children are able to use these foods to stay full during the weekends and holiday breaks and return to school ready to learn.

                Chris Allinger, radio personality of Q Country 103.7, will be walking over 100 miles over the course of one week to raise money for the BackPack Program. As he walks around Tompkins County, he will be collecting donations for the Tompkins County sector of the BackPack Program. One of his lasts stops on Friday, September 12th will be at IC Square at 3pm. As Chris will have been walking for 5 days when he arrives at IC, we are excited to greet him with a warm welcome. At IC Square, we will provide refreshments and a chance to meet Chris Allinger. He will say a few words about his mission, and will take any donations that are offered to him. Surprisingly, it only takes 3 dollars to fill a backpack with nutritious food for a student. A 3 dollar donation is all it takes to make a different in a young student’s life. Please join us at 3pm in IC Square to cheer on Chris, show your support for our community, and to make any donations if possible.
 Walkin The Country

For more information on Walkin’ in the Country, or the Food Bank of the Southern Tier’s BackPack Program, visit: 

We hope to see you there!
Jaclyn Cheri
Ithaca Dining Services

Monday, April 28, 2014

Secrets of Soy

When someone mentions they're a vegetarian, most people flash right to the stereotypical vision of that person eating salad and tofu. But as many people know, there's a whole host of meat alternatives that vegetarians enjoy on a daily basis! 

From Boaca Burgers, to Tofurkey sandwiches, and Morningstar Chik'n nuggets, our food industry has done a great job at providing us with great tasting copies of meat products, made from wheat, vegetable protein and large amounts of soy.

But recently in the news, soy has gotten a bad rap. Not only is it beginning to have a negative environmental impact, but eating too much soy has been linked to negative health effects.

Because the soy business has been growing exponentially the past few years, a lot of the crop has been genetically modified and improperly fermented. Scientists found high amounts of natural toxins in the composition of the soy which are not particularly the healthiest for us.

Environmentally, soy is being grown in extreme quantities down in South America to feed to livestock. Increasing meat consumption in China and other Asian countries has led to a higher demand for this animal feed. Soy is therefore being grown in enormous monocultures and causing deforestation in dense biodiverse tropical areas.

So what does that mean to you? Eating soy is not going to kill you. Just as with many other foods, it's ok to enjoy soy in moderation! Especially organic soy products! Soy is packed with protein and a bunch of amino acids, which is why it makes a great substitute for the active vegetarian. Keep a look out for the non-processed versions of soy, which have proven to prevent heart disease and lower cholesterol.

So to avoid all the confusion and hype around eating soy based foods, I've done the research and here's the bottom line. Consuming too much processed soy-based products is not the healthiest, but eating organic or natural sources of soy (whether that's tofu, edamame, or soybeans) can be a great source of protein! ​

- Erika

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