Dining services works to bring vegan and vegetarian options to campus


Ohio State dining services has improved its meal selections for vegans and vegetarians, giving students more variety when eating on campus. | Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor

Ohio State dining services has improved its meal selections for vegans and vegetarians, giving students more variety when eating on campus.

Gina Forster, assistant director for nutrition at Ohio State dining services, said new gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian and vegan foods and desserts have now been added to this year’s menu.

For example, Forster said dining services has recently added tempeh, a meat substitute made from soybeans, which can be found at a many campus eateries include Market Place and Scott Traditions.

“We’ve also brought in falafel, which was a big request found at the food truck, Union Market, Morrill and Kennedy,” she said.

Additionally, Forster said new vegan and vegetarian desserts have been added to the list of dining options, such as vegan muffins and vegan cupcakes for a limited time only.

Sierra Logsdon, a third-year in zoology and a member of the Vegetarian and Vegan Society at Ohio State, said she is excited to try these new options. Logsdon has been a vegetarian for six years and a vegan for two.

“The dining halls have a lot of options for vegans and vegetarians, but they are always the same, which is boring,” she said. “Having a meal plan, you get very tired in a month or two, so I’m glad they are trying to find new foods to provide for us.”

Changes like these are typically inspired by the food fairs hosted by the Office of Student Life. With the help of student feedback, the biannual events allow more foods to be added to dining hall menus. The Spring Semester fair will be held on Jan. 18.

The food fair will consist of many local food companies hoping to put their items onto the plates of students, like Darista Dips.

Darista Dips, an Ohio-made hummus company, features flavors like roasted beet, za’atar hummus, Moroccan carrot and sweet pea hummus –– all of which are gluten-free and vegan.

Though the hummus dips are not offered in dining halls, students can get a taste of the different flavored dips at campus C-stores and at this year’s football games.

Ohio State recently added Darista Dips to the roster of concessions available at Ohio State home football games, bringing the product one step closer to the selection of foods provided in dining halls.

Students who wish to share more ideas for food selections can provide feedback for dining services by attending Forster’s focus group with executive chef Lesa Holford on Oct. 17 at 4 p.m. at Kennedy Loft at Kennedy Commons.

The focus group is designed for vegan and vegetarian students with the opportunity to give advice and feedback on how dining services can improve its selections.



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