Update at 3:31 p.m.: Just heard back from Paul Quinn President Michael Sorrell who told me this is part of an ongoing effort to make the school's dining options healthier. They've added a grill and cut back on fried food in recent years, and there's the garden, of course.
"The reality is that our student population comes from demographic that struggles with the type of health concerns that you see in underresourced community," he told me. "We just think it's irresponsible" not to do anything.
He's heard from one student, "who should be most grateful that we made this change," who is mad, but the rest seem to have taken it in stride. Not that he's taking any chances.
"Minority people and ham in the South, you know. I may not be able to go back to the cafeteria for the next couple of days."
Original post: Paul Quinn College, you'll remember, turned its football field into a community garden. There were a lot of reasons for doing so. The school had cut its football program, the garden promised to supply fresh produce in a humongous food desert in southern Dallas, and it was a symbol of the school's rebirth, as well as its commitment to helping feed southern Dallas. Also, it was healthy. You can't very well grow soda or Twinkies on a farm.
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Yesterday, the school took another step in that direction when President Michael Sorrell declared in an email to students that Paul Quinn is now officially pork-free.
We know there are many negative health consequences of consuming pork (eating pork can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer, sodium retention and heart problems, not to mention weight gain and obesity). Therefore, as a part of our continued effort to improve the lives and health of our students, Paul Quinn College and its food service partner Perkins Management have collaborated to create a pork-free cafeteria. From this semester forward PQC will no longer serve dishes containing pork. That applause you hear in the background is the blood pressure of our students, faculty and staff.
This raises a lot of questions. I have a call into Sorrell's office, but I'll go ahead and ask some here. What happens if you sneak in a bacon cheeseburger onto campus? Are we talking a raised eyebrow? A stern talking to? Expulsion? And how much, Mr. Sorrell, has the fruit and vegetable lobby contributed to Paul Quinn's endowment? Also, how do the students feel about this?
Also: Red meat? They can't eat the Other White Meat, but they can still eat the red kind?