Project Title: Increasing Vegan Options on OWU’s Campus
Project Participants: Shannon Schlater. As well as help from Callan Yanoff and Emily Scott
Description and overview of the project: I am a vegan here on campus and have been since August, 2015. I have found it extremely difficult to find healthy, vegan options on campus, and subsequently have been purchasing much of my food off-campus, usually from a grocery store. Reasons most foods on campus are not vegan include: cheese on everything, vegetables cooked in butter, soups often use chicken stock or cream, eggs or egg whites, etc. The items that are vegan are often not a full meal or are not healthy. For example, french fries might be vegan, but they are not a substantial meal, nor are they a healthy option.
It gets more and more difficult as you get farther away from Hamwil. The cafes in Merrick and the science center rarely have a vegan option aside from granola bars or a piece of fruit. Smith dining hall is especially difficult as they rarely have more than one vegan option.
Another difficulty is the fact that the vegan meals are often tofu based. Tofu, for one, is not the healthiest option. It’s fine in moderation, but consuming large amounts of soy can have negative effects on your body. Secondly, tofu is not a way to attract non-vegans to try a vegan meal.
1. I have already met with Dan Magee to discuss some of the problems I mentioned earlier, like using chicken stock, putting cheese on everything and cooking vegetables in butter
-Possible solutions include giving people the option to add cheese, only steaming vegetables, and always using vegetable stock for a soup that’s vegetarian.
2. Dan also discussed getting steamed vegetables in the cafes that would just need to be heated up
-Need to think about what kinds of vegetables people would choose. I personally think cauliflower, broccoli, and spaghetti squash (with a side of marinara) would be attractive to people.
3. I also plan to meet with Cheryl about more options to stock in Thomson. I’m currently trying to compile a list so I can give her a couple options at once.
-Whole spaghetti squashes, sweet potatoes, frozen Amy’s dinners, frozen veggie burgers, etc.
4. I also want to encourage veganism on campus, because having vegan food on campus only does so much if people don’t want to try it or look for it.
-Possible ideas include: during green week bring in a pig? Try and promote veganism while people oh and aw over how cute it is. Also maybe by handing out some kind of vegan deserts. I don’t think people would care much if I handed out samples of cooked broccoli, but maybe if I found a cool desert online I could try that.