Students across campus have seen a recent change from regular beef burgers to “50/50” burgers in all Stanford dining halls. Fifty percent beef and 50 percent mushroom, these new patties have elicited curiosity toward the motivations that inspired the shift.
Some students believe that this replacement of beef burgers represents an attempt to promote vegetarianism. According to Stanford’s Residential and Dining Enterprises (R&DE), however, the decision has nothing to do with encouraging a quasi-vegetarian lifestyle.
“All of the burgers now being served in the dining halls are a 50/50 blend of mushrooms and beef to create a healthier, more sustainable burger,” said Jocelyn Breeland ’81, director of communications for R&DE. “This is consistent with the Menus of Change‘s principles of healthy, sustainable menus. Research by the Culinary institute of America and UC Davis has shown that consumers prefer the taste of this flavorful blend over 100 percent beef burgers.”
While one of the main goals of the dining halls is to provide students with both healthy and delicious food, the new burgers have left many student questioning the change and responding with hesitation.
“I feel like vegetarian burgers should be 100 percent mushroom and beef burgers 100 percent beef,” said Melody Rodriguez ’19, a Wilbur resident.
“They have a weird texture,” said Lara Elcavage ’19 about the burgers. “If [dining halls] want to promote healthier eating, I think that reducing portion size would be a greater way of reducing the amount of meat we eat.”
Contact Arielle Osorio at arielle3 ‘at’ stanford.edu.