Beef labeling problems at Oberlin College draw criticism from Hindus

By Valerie Urbanik -

The mislabeling of food at Oberlin College has the Universal Society of Hinduism asking dining staff to be more careful when marking their food.

Headquartered in Nevada, the group aims to represent Hindus across the world. President Rajan Zed issued a statement this month citing OC student complaints about mislabeled foods in the campus dining area.

There are worries Hindu students will accidentally consume beef, his remarks indicated.

“Consuming beef was considered sacrilegious among Hindus,” Zed said. “(The) cow was held sacred by Hindus and was considered the seat of many deities.”

Zed urged Oberlin College president Marvin Krislov and board of trustees chair Clyde McGregor to look into the issue, meet with the students, and reassure them.

“Oberlin should be respectful to all the faith traditions while preparing food for its students,” he said.

Michele Gross, Oberlin College’s director of dining services, released a response.

“In our effort to provide a vibrant menu we recently fell short in the execution of several dishes in a manner that was culturally insensitive,” she said. “We are committed to making sure these missteps don’t happen in the future. We have met with students to discuss their concerns and hope to continue the dialogue.”

Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.

By Valerie Urbanik