OHIO prides itself on its diverse dining options.
Oct 21, 2011
From staff reports
Ohio University is one of 32 schools vying to be voted the most vegan friendly campus in America in Peta2's sixth annual survey to find the most vegan friendly university.
OHIO has ranked top 10 for the past few years and in 2010 made top five. OHIO has made healthy and diverse dining options for students a priority. Students can choose from a wide range of vegan options including black-bean wraps, vegan ravioli, Tofurky sandwiches, and vegan cheesecake.
“When the students request to have more vegan friendly options, we listen and try to accommodate as much as we can,” said Carlos Samano, assistant director auxiliary sales for OHIO culinary services. “Even though they are vegan friendly, a lot of our items have flavor combinations that really appeal to everyone."
Samano has been involved with the promoting OHIO's vegan friendly status for the past two years. Recent changes include new icons that were posted to better label food choices, including vegan items, vegetarian items and gluten-free items.
Some vegan options are always offered at each dining hall on the Athens campus. When figuring out which new food items should be offered, Culinary Services handed out surveys to students to see what foods they would like to see. Students mostly said they wanted healthier options and more variety, creating an opportunity for more vegan items.
According to Samano, last Oct. 1,800 students responded to the survey for Nelson Grab 'N Go. All surveys were read and graphs were created to see what students wanted. This led to the addition of a variety of salads, veggie sticks, and wraps.
Vegan items are a healthy option because they are low in saturated fat and often contain no cholesterol. The number of students who identify themselves as vegetarian or vegan has more than doubled in the past six years.
The winners of the vegan friendly campus competition will be announced in November. Students can vote via Facebook “likes” on the competition's page*. The nominated schools are set up in a bracket to make it easier for students to cast their vote.
Peta2 will choose the winner based on four factors: the number of votes received, the quality and variety of vegan food options, the campus’s enthusiasm in promoting their options, and student feedback.