If you’ve heard that the Binghamton Food Co-op is for crunchy granola loving hippy environmentalists, put those preconceived notions beside. If you’ve heard nothing about the food co-op, that’s because hidden in the basement of the old union – you’re going to want to listen up and keep reading.
The food co-op is a place (the only place on campus) where Sodexo is not reining king. It is an iconic staple that has been a part of campus life since the 1970’s. You don’t have to be an environmental major to eat here, you don’t have to be a vegan; all you need is respect for what is good for your soul and your body and wholesome food that tastes awesome.
At the dining hall, meal time can feel like that scene in the movie Mean Girls where the mall turns into wild animals feeding at the water hole and fighting each other aggressively. At the co-op, an entirely different dining atmosphere has manifested. Communal tables give sudents the opportunity to dine with anyone. Sometimes professors, or random strangers who could be your new best friends.
Run by students and student volunteers, the co-op gives off a bit of a utopian vibe. Cashiers are not working for a company for the sake of making money; they are working because they believe in the co-op’s mission and want to support it. Behind the scene, the student chefs (and student volunteers) skillfully prepare food each morning; food that is flavorful while being low in sodium, preservatives, and all that other (for lack of a better word) crap that floods our dining halls.
Each day Monday through Friday hot buffet lunch is served from 12 on. The menu has a funky flair whether it’s silly titles or an ethnic theme. The coop will serve a protein dish (beans, tofu, tempeh), a starch (sometimes exotic grains you wouldn’t buy and cook at home, sometimes potatoes or gluten-free pasta), always veggies and salad. To finish off the meal in bliss there are homemade desserts – gooey chocolate cakes, fresh baked cookies and steaming cups of fair-trade coffee. Find out what’s on the menu here!
When leaving the co-op after a lunch time meal, you’ll feel rejuvenated. You’ll have that good kind of full that you don’t feel after cheese and grease at the food court. After the food co-op, you’ll walk around campus and wonder how people don’t know about this home cooking loving happening right under there feet.