Vegetarian? The University of Akron has your back

The University of Akron is striving to bring a healthy and sustainable lifestyle to every student on campus. In recent years, there has been an increasing number of students enrolling at the school, and with that comes a responsibility to provide them with more choices.


The University of Akron is striving to bring a healthy and sustainable lifestyle to every student on campus. In recent years, there has been an increasing number of students enrolling at the school, and with that comes a responsibility to provide them with more choices.

One goal that has become a priority on campus is to give students more vegetarian offerings. Many students have expressed their concern about not being able to easily find vegetarian meals and products on campus. Because of this, The University of Akron will be making improvements to the quality and accessibility of vegetarian meals and snacks.

The improvements being made all start with the dining services that are offered to students. Zee’s Convenience Store, Robs Café and the Union Market are promoting and providing healthier options for vegetarians on campus. Zee’s offers a variety of products that can be stored, frozen or come ready-to-eat. One of the most popular brands they offer is Amir, which provides ready-to-eat snacks including four flavors of hummus and two types of plated meals.

Zippy Express also supplies Zee’s with salads, veggie wraps and sandwiches that cater to a vegetarian lifestyle. The Union Market supplies students with a full salad bar, soups, pizza and other homestyle items for a vegetarian diet.

Dining Services’ all-you-can-eat venue, Robs Café, also offers healthy vegetarian and vegan selections. You can choose vegan and vegetarian selections from their exclusively vegetarian section or from stir-fry made-to-order. There are also multiple healthy vegetarian options offered at the two full-service salad bars.

I believe that if there was a dedicated vegetarian venue, more people would know where to get it and more may try it, Don Eisenhut, manager of Zee’s store, said. A large problem thus far has been that many students do not know that Zee’s, Union Market and Rob’s Café carry vegetarian products.

Zee’s Student Union has a growing selection of vegetarian, all natural and healthy choices, Eisenhut said. Currently, we are in the process of expanding these lines in all Zees’ locations. We understand the demand for these products and are working very hard to meet the needs of our students, staff and customers of The University of Akron.

A vegetarian diet provides benefits such as the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. Studies have shown that vegetarianism is linked to the prevention of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and stroke. By giving students greater access to foods such as whole grains, nuts, fruits, legumes and vegetables, The University of Akron is also providing students with a better quality of life. The goal is to be a leader in promoting healthy lifestyles and not just to follow the trends.

The University of Akron and Dining Services are positive about the growth of this project and the need to stay current. Recently, Gary Goldberg was hired as the new director of Dining Services. Before coming to The University of Akron, Goldberg was hired as the director of Dining Services at Purdue University, where he succeeded in offering students more vegetarian selections by opening an Urban Market, a dedicated vegetarian venue.

Executive Chef Matthew Regula is working with United National Foods and other local produce suppliers to enhance offerings in all venues and to begin introducing them this spring and more in the fall. The Union Market will move toward a more organic and healthy menu.

It is the hope and priority of The University of Akron and Dining Services that something similar will be accessible for students on campus in the near future. More information on the products and services provided by Dining Services can be found on their website, www.uakron.edu/dining.


” #1.2148788:3626204634.jpg:veggies::Written by Lindsay Hudson, illustrated by Mahala Bloom, layout by David Sickels”