NEW YORK — Vegetarian students considering colleges have to look at more than just the course catalog.
At some schools, they could end up surviving on salad bars and peanut butter, while at others, entire dining rooms are devoted to vegetarian food.
"Food service directors are really working hard in meeting each segment of the student population's expectations," said Clark Dehaven of the National Assn. of College and University Food Service in East Lansing, Mich.
Vegetarian eating has grown slowly but steadily over the past decade in colleges, Dehaven said.
An estimated 8 million to 9 million Americans are vegetarians.
The Marriott Corp., which provides food for about 400 colleges, offers at least one vegetarian entree at lunch and dinner in addition to salad bars and yogurts, spokeswoman Kathy Boyle said. The company had about a dozen vegetarian recipes in its menu rotation 15 years ago, and now has about 50, including carrot loaf with pea sauce, curried vegetables with beans and sunflower seeds, and vegetable quiche, she said.