For the past two years, the Carmel High School cafeteria has taken action to increase healthy option and appeal to all students’ nutritional needs, and food services continues to do so into 2017.
In terms of health, grass-fed, all-organic, no-preservatives-added beef and chicken were added to the students’ diet within the past year, and most recently all-natural Kosher hot dogs joined the lunch-time party.
“We’re really just trying to feed the kids better and make sure we have something for everyone,” food service manager Denise McGregor says, “and while we’re at it, we’re helping the environment.”
McGregor cites the meatless Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays that were implemented to provide food for vegetarians, encourage health and discourage the toll placed on the environment in meat preparation.
“I was approached by the Humane Society in hopes of creating a Meatless Monday at CHS to which I responded, ‘Why not Monday, Wednesday and Friday?’” McGregor explains.
The food service manager also adds that within their attempt to reduce the environmental impact, the cafeteria staff is also attempting to bring health to students while keeping a tight grasp on what students want to eat.
Junior Grace Heidtke takes full advantage of new vegetarian options in the cafeteria, created for people just like her.
“I’m really happy that recently I feel as if I have more vegetarian options so I can eat more in the cafeteria than I used to,” Heidtke says.
Vegetarian or not, the cafeteria holds student favorites.
“We’ve found that the hamburger bar is the most popular right now because the students definitely like the fries they get with their lunch,” McGregor says.
In response to this, McGregor has begun designing and hand-folding compostable fry containers to hold the made-on-site fries, ensuring she touches upon all three goals of the cafeteria: being environmentally friendly, healthy and yummy.
McGregor summarizes the intent of the cafeteria simply: “We’re always trying new things that we think you may like, so we just want your feedback. Come talk to us!”