WSU dining halls and markets are increasing students’ options this semester when it comes to diet and nutrition.
The university hired registered dietician Alice Ma in October, and she began working with the dining halls to improve options for students with vegan and vegetarian diets.
Ma saw a lot of requests and a general curiosity for vegan and vegetarian options over the summer when Alive! groups were coming through.
“Plant-based diets are becoming increasingly popular,” Ma said. “There are even some college campuses that have all-vegan dining facilities.”
Atania Gilmore from Allie’s Vegan Pizzeria in Spokane recently visited Ma and other Dining Services employees to inform them of vegan cooking substitutes, such as vegan mayonnaise and ranch dressing.
“Just think of the impact we could make,” Ma said, “if we didn’t have to use all those eggs and dairy products.”
All three dining centers have a “natural” station, which features allergen- and gluten-free foods such as fresh tacos with vegetables, beans and rice.
The chef’s creations stations also always have a vegan or vegetarian option available, such as tofu stir-fry or soba noodles with vegetables.
The market at Global Scholars Hall provides vegan cheese, soymilk, tofurkey and vegan frozen pizza that students can purchase using their RDA dollars, Ma said.
Ma is available to meet with students who are interested in altering their diet and is also willing to give tours showcasing vegan and vegetarian options.