Goodbye government, hello Chipotle bar

by Chris Rini ‘15

Once again, the Wildcat Cafe is on the cutting edge of school lunches with the introduction brand-new options catering to students’ tastes and nutritional needs, all of which have been made available by this year’s decision to forgo involvement in the National School Lunch Program.

In a typical school cafeteria, the norm is to meet all governmental requirements and restrictions while still providing some decent food. However, Campus Dining, led by Mr. Pietravoia, has decided to go above and beyond that standard. In fact, this year, for the first time, Saint Ignatius has gone off of the federally funded National School Lunch Program, which means that campus dining is able to serve what they wish in our cafeteria without having to purchase frozen and processed products. In other words, campus dining is spending more time and money to give students better-tasting, higher quality, and healthier eats.

While serving the student body, campus dining is also doing a benefit to the Cleveland community and the Ohio community. Every time you get a Riche burger, you’re biting into an antibiotic- and hormone-free hamburger produced in Lorain. When you risk the taunts of your friends by going through the salad line, you’re filling your box with pesticide-free produce from Ohio farms. Furthermore, just about every container is recyclable or compostable.

Believing that our student body’s should take responsibility for their diet, Mr. Pietravoia proclaims, “I believe the customer has a right to make a choice.” With their choices of meals and snacks, the cafeteria’s staff has to strike a balance between food that’s healthy and nutritious and that actually sells. Case in point: the burrito bar (which also serves subs every Wednesday). So if you’re that kid that goes to Chipotle at Crocker Park every day of the week and parks your obnoxious, desert camo, black-rimmed Jeep a foot away from the curb and then devours a burrito, you can now replicate that experience in the senior lounge, with a healthy burrito made with all natural and local ingredients. Students can now wash their wraps down with a caffeine-free, vitamin-enriched, calorie-free Monster.

Along with healthy additions like these, dropping out of the National School Lunch Program campus dining has also allowed some favorites to stay the way they are, such as keeping pizza the same size, and on traditional white crust. Mr. Pietravoia asserts that, “We’re keeping our standards very high for local sustainability; pesticide-, hormone-, antibiotic-free products, healthy choices, and good food.” So no matter what food it is you choose to indulge in from the cafeteria, it is ensured that time, care, and thought have gone into it.