Wednesday, August 10, 2011
One UNT cafeteria to switch to all-vegan food
Several vegetarian and vegan restaurants in the Dallas-Fort Worth area served as inspiration.
UNT students returning for the fall semester will find major changes when they visit Maple Hall cafeteria.
When the cafeteria reopens later this month, it will serve completely vegan food for the first time, and have new décor inside.
The features of Maple that students are used to -- two hot food lines, a pizza bar, a panini bar, and a salad bar -- will still be in use, but all food served will be vegan-friendly.
Foods are deemed vegan when they contain no animal products: meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, cheese, eggs, or honey.
According to a press release concerning the changes at Maple cafeteria, “The culinary staff has been creating recipes using nothing but fresh herbs, vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains.”
Ken Botts, director of special programs for UNT Dining Services said that the new all-vegan cafeteria would add to the variety of food on campus and attract students with specific dietary needs to the university.
“In our department, we handle a lot of the questions, complaints, concerns that students have,” Botts said, “And probably the number one question we get is, ‘I’m a vegetarian, where can I eat?’ Because the perception is that there aren’t many vegetarian options.”
Communication design junior Jena, who has been a vegetarian for four years, said she believes the UNT vegan community will be glad to have more on-campus dining options.
“When I ate in the cafeterias, I would try to find anything vegetarian. But most of the time, I ended up just eating pizza from the limited selection, which probably wasn’t very good to do,” Pyle said.
People aware of the change have shown concern about getting proper nutrients from a meal that is vegan, Botts said.
“We put a lot of effort into designing recipes that would provide protein, would provide the necessary vitamins and nutrition to a balanced diet,” Botts said, “So chances are, you’ll get a better balanced opportunity in your food choices at Maple than you would at any other eating establishment in and around campus.”
To gain inspiration for the food and the new decorations, representatives from UNT dining services visited several vegetarian and vegan restaurants in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including Spiral Diner and Cosmic Cafe.
Marketing specialist Alexis Barnfield was among the dining staff that did research for the new food and decor.
Barnfield said Maple’s new “look” was east-Indian with bright colors, and said it was inspired by the interior design of Cosmic Cafe.
“We think this will attract more students to UNT,” said Barnfield, “I’m not sure how many schools have an all-vegan cafeteria, or if there even is one.”
The cafeterias at Bruce, Kerr, Champs, and West will still offer food containing meat and other animal products.
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