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Dining considers kosher deli to replace Red Mango's Bryan Center spot

A potential successor to Red Mango's location in the Bryan Center has stepped forward.

Robert Coffey, executive director of dining services, unveiled the status of the empty space at the Duke University Student Dining Advisory Committee meeting Thursday. He said there are plans to possibly introduce a kosher deli to Red Mango's former location in the Bryan Center, which has remained vacant since the vendor's move to Wilson Gym to replace Quenchers.

Committee member Allie Rauch, a junior, challenged the idea.

“I’ve never seen people flock to a deli that’s actually kosher,” Rauch said. “What if they want to choose a different meat?”

Coffey said that the deli would try to balance the needs of the Jewish community while keeping enough mainstream appeal to stay in business.

Dining is also launching a nutritional program for first-years that will have monthly themes. The committee hopes that the program will teach first-years about good nutrition and its effects on their mental, physical and environmental wellness. The program follows last year’s “Don’t Skip out on…” program with the same goal.

Each month, a new pop-up stand will appear in Marketplace to inform students about different aspects of their diet. Thursday, the program focused on fruits and vegetables. The stand featured locally grown apples and a smoothie made from blueberries, bananas, spinach, milk, yogurt and orange juice.

Samantha Glover, Trinity ‘18, is helping with the program. She reported an overwhelmingly positive response from the students who visited the booth during her shift.

“So many of the first-years were so interested today, and I loved it,” Glover said at Thursday's meeting. “One girl was like, ‘Oh my god, I haven’t had a good smoothie in so long!’”

Next month’s theme will be “Fuel Your Fitness,” and it will aim to educate students about the best foods to eat before and after workouts. Glover said she hopes to change the public’s perceptions of protein powder and post-workout drinks. 

Glover noted that many gym-goers consume a larger amount of sugar than they probably intend. 

“I’ve heard some misconceptions about natural sugars versus artificial sugars, and it makes me so angry,” she said.

The Fuel Your Fitness booth will introduce “several different types of milk” as alternatives to sugary protein drinks. It will also offer unorthodox post-workout and pre-workout fuels.

Senior Caroline Bay lauded the goals of the Chew on This program but was skeptical of its practicality.

“Is the idea that students are supposed to make a similar smoothie in their dorm rooms or find something similar in Marketplace? I don’t think we can find whatever smoothie you made at Red Mango or Marketplace,” Bay said. “How can students take your advice and make use of it themselves?”

Glover responded by reiterating Red Mango’s promise to create a make-your-own smoothie and juice bar that DUSDAC heard its owners discuss three weeks ago. She also said the chefs at Marketplace were responsible for making the smoothie on Thursday and might see an incentive to introduce it to the regular menu if enough students like it.

DUSDAC co-chair Aryaman Gupta, a junior, pointed out that Ginger and Soy could benefit from changing up its offerings occasionally.

“I know Duke students have a tendency to get tired and bored of foods really quickly,” he said. 

Future Chew on This stations will be set up in Marketplace from 9 to 11 a.m. apart from two "Tealaxation stations," which will reside in the Brodhead Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Glover noted that the stands in Marketplace will not be exclusively available to first years. 

“Our primary concern is educating students on nutrition and how it affects their bodies,” she said.

Correction: This article was updated Friday evening to reflect that senior Caroline Bay discussed the Chew on This program, Aryaman Gupta was referring to Ginger and Soy and that Dining, rather than DUSDAC, is leading the nutritional program. The Chronicle regrets the errors.

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