The scoop on Atherton’s oat milk ice cream

Butler dining switches up ice cream offerings. Photo by Jada Gangazha.


Atherton Union’s dining hall has switched to oat milk ice cream in lieu of dairy ice cream for the month of November. Flavors include chocolate, vanilla and a swirl of the two.

The decision to attempt this trial came after student surveys and feedback requested more vegan alternatives and allergen-friendly options. Butler dining said they value the importance of creating a more inclusive campus. 

While student reviews are mixed, Joe Graves, general manager of Bon Appétit, said he hopes students will take the opportunity to diversify their food choices. 

“The decision was made to provide an alternative for students who are unable to enjoy traditional ice cream due to allergies or dietary preferences,” Graves said. “Offering plant-based ice cream also aligns with our core values of providing a variety of plant-forward options.”

November is celebrated as world vegan month, making it the perfect time for this trial.

First-year elementary education major Noah Lipscomb hopes that Butler continues adding lactose-free options on campus to accommodate a wider range of students.

“It always made me feel somewhat left out, because it’s hard being lactose intolerant and feeling like I wasn’t able to enjoy something simple, even if it was just ice cream,” Lipscomb said. “I want ice cream just like everyone else.”

While the change has been positive for some students, others found it unnecessary. 

First-year actuarial science major Drew James enjoyed the dairy ice cream after most Atherton meals, but does not agree with the choice to switch to a plant-based alternative.

I think it was definitely a school decision to try and make it healthier, along with accommodating dietary restrictions,” James said. “But ice cream in general isn’t all that healthy anyway. So I do find it pretty pointless to change it.”

The trial ends Nov. 27, which will mark the return of dairy ice cream to Atherton dining hall. 


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