Becoming a vegetarian: What SHSU can do for you


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Vegetarians are not rabbits. We dont just nibble on lettuce all the time. This seems to be a common misconception; one which Sam Houston Dining Services took seriously. I spoke with SH Dining Services Marketing Coordinator Jimmy Williams to see just what Sam was doing to help out those trying to live with a vegetarian lifestyle, and I learned a great deal.

To begin, I would like to note the shift between the late Belvin dining facility and Old Main Market. For those that are unaware, Belvin once housed a cafeteria underneath the dorm. Belvin used to just offer a salad bar as virtually the only approach for vegetarian options. This, of course, did not suffice for those who attempt this lifestyle.

Thats why SH Dining Services began implementing a vegetarian option into the new cafeteria, Old Main Market. Through focus groups, they found that vegetarian doesnt mean “salad bar,” but simply “meatless.” It became evident that something had to change.

Along with the improvement of quality of food offered at cafeteria, SH Diving Services decided to offer a vegetarian station not just a dish or two. There is something vegetarian all the time at Old Main. That is wonderful news for people who are vegetarian or just want to see what the food might taste like which brings me to the best part.

SH Dining Services looked into not only eating vegetarian, but eating healthy vegetarian. Many “vegetarian” foods dont offer all of the proteins necessary for a balanced diet. On large part, these are made up by eating beans or rice, which are “half-proteins” which together would make a full protein. However, after doing a bit of research, SH Dining Services now makes a few dishes with quinoa. This is a magical little bean that, when planted, sprouts into a beanstalk! Okay, not quite that magic, but quinoa does offer a full protein all by itself. This thought propelled them into creating new dishes featuring the magic little grain.

Furthermore, you can find a vegetarian option at any facility offered by SH Dining Services. That is a tremendous victory for all the vegetarians on campus, I personally thank them for moving toward a more inclusive menu.

You can go to Burger King in Pawprint and ask for a veggie burger (from my understanding). Heres a tip for all those that feel some of these places need to offer more; if you want to see a larger selection, talk to dining services. Now, they cant offer it unless the main chain offers the food, but they could try to get the food you want here!

What needs to be understood, though, is that SH Dining Services doesnt necessarily think like vegetarians. I dont say this to demean any person or entity because, quite simply, if youre not vegetarian, the issues arent as salient to you. That being said, if you have suggestions for SH Dining Services (vegetarian or otherwise) feel free to email them to They always accept suggestions, comments, and grievances.

SH Dining Services take what the students say seriously because, after all, they are working in tandem with the student body.

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