News & Politics

Students at Oberlin College Bellyaching about 'Inauthentic' Ethnic Food

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Don’t these kids have anything better to do? Like, you know, study?

A controversy has erupted at Oberlin College over the way some ethnic food favorites are being prepared.

Some of the complaints are bizarre.

New York Post:

Gastronomically correct students at Oberlin College — alma mater of Lena Dunham — are filling the school newspaper with complaints and demanding meetings with campus dining officials and even the college president.

General Tso’s chicken was made with steamed chicken instead of fried — which is not authentically Chinese, and simply “weird,” one student bellyached in the Oberlin Review.

Others were up in arms over banh mi Vietnamese sandwiches served with coleslaw instead of pickled vegetables, and on ciabatta bread, rather than the traditional French baguette.

“It was ridiculous,” gripes Diep Nguyen, a freshman who is a Vietnam native.

Worse, the sushi rice was undercooked in a way that was, according to one student, “disrespectful” of her culture. Tomoyo Joshi, a junior from Japan, was highly offended by this flagrant violation of her rice. “I f people not from that heritage take food, modify it and serve it as ‘authentic,’ it is appropriative,” she said.

Oberlin’s black student union joined in the fray this month by staging a protest outside Afrikan Heritage House, an on-campus dorm.

The cafeteria there wasn’t serving enough vegan and vegetarian options and had failed to make fried chicken a permanent feature on the Sunday night menu, the school newspaper reported.

Those students started a petition that also recommends the reduction of cream used in dishes, because “black American food doesn’t have much cream in it,” according to the Review.

The Nevada-based Universal Society of Hinduism joined the food fight last week after students discovered that the traditional Indian dish, tandoori, contained beef.

“Consuming beef was considered sacrilegious among Hindus,” blasted society president Rajan Zed, the Chronical-Telegram reported.

Campus dietitian Michele Gross told the Review this week the first meeting between college officials and dyspeptic students went well, and changes are being implemented to address all concerns.

I’m so happy “changes are being implemented” to satisfy the persnickety palates of a bunch of spoiled brats. Kissing the asses of 18-22-year-old tyrants is what college officials are supposed to do these days, although when even a lowly dietician is attacked, you might think the students are running out of primary targets to harass.

I suppose I’d be a little weirded out if I was in Japan and they served me a hamburger on pita bread, but I don’t think I’d make a federal case out of it and start making demands right and left. But then the kids don’t really care whether their chicken is steamed or fried — at least from the standpoint that it tastes different. They are pretending to be offended that their culture has been insulted.

Solution? Give them all barley soup and grits, with a meat option in the soup. Not much variety, but then, no one can be insulted, right?

Problem solved.