Veggie Caucus Using Twitter to Capture Cafeteria Transgressions

Last week fish was labeled "vegetarian."

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Congressional Vegetarian Staff Association head Adam Sarvana doesn't really want it to be considered a food fight.

"I keep wanting to not treat it like it's a battle, that there's a confrontation there, because that's not how we approach it," Sarvana told Whispers.

But for months now, Sarvana and his veggie-loving cohorts have been pressuring Restaurant Associates, Capitol Hill's cafeteria contractor, to provide vegetarian options.

"We're making a request that we think is very reasonable and easy to try and they seem very loathe to do it and I don't know why," Sarvana explained.

@ushrcafes Here's what we talked about this week. Looking forward to announcing some progress at our next event. pic.twitter.com/wRt1LLteGQ

— Cong Veg Staff Assoc (@congressveggie) December 13, 2013

[READ: 'Top Chefs' Tom Colicchio, Mike Isabella Tout Food Policy Scorecard]

Thus Sarvana and friends are upping the ante by turning to Twitter. On Wednesday, at one of the caucus' occasional luncheons, Sarvana announced that the Veggie Caucus was now represented by @CongressVeggie on the social media website.

"We have been talking about doing an occasional walking tour of all the cafeterias on the Hill and writing down what we see and taking pictures and recording everything," Sarvana said. "And then anything that we see that is off we're going to tweet it at Restaurant Associates."

The Twitter account already came in handy last week when, as Roll Call first reported, Restaurant Associates labeled lemon baked cod -- yes, that's fish -- as vegetarian.

"Which I'm sure was just an oversight, [but] it's a symptom of a larger problem," Sarvana said.

For instance, the collard greens being cooked in bacon fat, or the chicken soup being slopped into the veggie soup as food workers are serving it.

"Things as simple as that you could think a little harder about fixing rather than acting like there's no big deal here," Sarvana said.

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