Oxy's Own Dining ranks #8 of U.S. Schools
Occidental ranks #8 in The Daily Meal's annual study of dining at almost 2,000 4-year colleges around the nation, and #3 for Vegetarian Friendly Campuses
On August 13th The Daily Meal released their annual “75 Best Colleges for Food” survey. While the study used much of the same criteria as last year, this year they considered the area food scene; with a plethora of diverse food within walking distance, Oxy is certainly good on that front. The Daily Meal also didn’t consider student input, because they “didn’t want school pride to interfere with the ranking.” Never fear though – apparently Oxy’s food is even better with an objective view! Considering the jump from #14 last year, to #8 this year, Oxy’s Own Dining Services certainly represents an exception to the old mantra that College cafeterias are the domain of cold mac-and-cheese and bad meatloaf; as the article notes, “college dining halls are not typically culinary havens.”
Here are a few highlights from some of the categories The Daily Meal examined in this year’s survey:
Nutrition and Sustainability:
This category examined each college’s efforts to provide nutritionally balanced meals, as well as nutrition education. It also examined the sustainability efforts of each college – a category in which Oxy’s Own is excelling. From working with FEAST – the student led food and sustainability organization – to collaboration with Veg Club, we are committed to integrating sustainability with nutrition. Given our successful waste-management program, increased local and sustainable food purchases, free dietary counseling, a focus on balanced meals, and accessible nutrition information, Occidental certainly sets a high bar.
Accessibility and Service:
Each college’s ability to provide for various dietary preferences was examined in this category, as well as the locational convenience and operational hours of dining facilities. At Occidental, we have a Gluten Free, Vegan, and Vegetarian alternative at most stations for every meal, with clear labeling. We even publicize daily Vegan offerings on our Twitter feed – follow us for regular updates!
Education and Events:
This category looked at nutritional education and food-related events. Again, Occidental excells; The Daily Meal highlighted the many theme meals and events hosted and co-sponsored by Dining Services, including Cooking with Joe, Local/Organic Thanksgiving, the annual Food Justice Month, Earth Week, and many more!
In a separate article, in collaboration with Grubhub data and The Daily Meal, Spoon University rated Occidental #3 for “Best Campuses for Vegetarians.” While the criteria they used to rate each campus is unclear, a quick walk through the Marketplace will corroborate the success, with a vegan/vegetarian option available at every station. Grubhub’s data also ranks Oxy #2 for Most Spicy Food Ordered. We’re not sure if it’s all the Thai food, or maybe the myriad Indian options, but if they could count taco trucks Oxy would definitely be #1.
Thanks to the hard work of executive chef Meesh Montygierd – recently plucked from the fine dining world – and his dedicated team, Oxy is defying college dining standards. The Daily Meal says it best: “Occidental’s goal is to focus on community building and community learning, and we think that it is a noble goal. But it’s not just the events that impress us. Their menu sounds more like that of a five-star restaurant than the menu of a college dining program.” Congratulations Occidental!
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