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UNH Dining Services Cutting Back on Bacon

Contributing Writer
Bacon is one of America’s favorite foods – we stuff it, wrap it, weave it, glaze it, and work it into every conceivable foodstuffs – but the dining service at UNH has recently reduced its offering of these cured slabs of salty tradition.
This delicious staple is being scaled back in the omelet and salad bars of the dining halls for a variety of reasons. The first of these reasons is cost.
“This decision was partly due to rising costs. Bacon was once a by-product, like bacon bits, but now it’s becoming more and more expensive,” David Hill, the assistant director of culinary operations for UNH said.
A large reason for the change are initiatives UNH, particularly in dining services, is involved in to increase healthiness and sustainability. One program is Healthy UNH, an initiative supported by President Huddleston to make UNH the healthiest college in America by the year 2020. In addition, Holloway Commons was recently Green Restaurant certified for its health and sustainability changes.  UNH Dining is also involved in Menus of Change, a cooperative effort between businesses, scientists, communities, and the food service industry to try to create economically viable ways to bring healthy and sustainable products to the table.
“It’s only to the level that the guests accept it,” Hill said. The omelet bar still has sausage and ham for choices as well as the newly substituted chopped turkey, and the salad bar has added sriracha sunflower kernels to substitute bacon’s flavor and protein.
“We’re not the ‘Food Police’ – we’re here to give you choices and try to educate you,” Hill said.
Those options are always expanding with change after change. Dining services is always looking at new products and new ways to get them to their facilities by asking a number of questions of them.
“What’s the quality, what’s the price, can it be locally sourced, and what’s the nutritional value?” Hill said.
Hill also said that he wasn’t sure students noticed most of the changes that Dining Services made – including the trimming of the fat in the offerings of cured pork products. He said for the most part he had only heard positive feedback. Hill said that Dining services swapped the four ounce bagels out for three ounce bagels – a healthy and cost-saving change.
“I don’t think anyone has noticed,” Hill said.
Chris Jones, a senior student, said he’s rather indifferent about the change.
“I don’t have an opinion either way, I never put bacon on anything. I’m sure some people might miss it,” Jones said.
Other students are applauding the decision.
“I think it’s a good move. Students can still eat it if they want, they just won’t feel tempted all the time. People need to be more health-conscious,” Jenny Turner, a junior said.
What’s the final call on the salty, savory cuisine? It will still be offered at every dining hall’s breakfast at least once a week, and in a variety of other dishes.
“You can’t ever take bacon away, it’s a staple for sure,” Hill said.
Keep an eye out for more changes as dining services strives to bring patrons healthier, cheaper, and more locally produced products.

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