02 November 2010

Oklahoma City University introduces nation’s first raw vegan dining option

Oklahoma City University (OCU) opened the first known raw vegan food station and juice bar on a college campus on October 25. Operated by hospitality company Sodexo, the stand was installed in the public cafeteria to offer healthier dining options for students and the campus community.

“We’ve made several recent changes in our menu options to promote students’ health, but this is certainly the biggest,” said Kelli Keegan, director of operations for OCU Dining Services. “Students, and their parents, should rest easy in knowing that they’ll be able to get tasty and nutritious meals.” Keegan added that having the daily raw vegan options would also be a good recruiting tool for the university and hopes it becomes known as the best college in the country for vegetarian students.

The brainchild of Keegan and Brett Wheat-Simms, Sodexo’s regional labor specialist, the station will feature guest chefs from local, raw, and vegan restaurant 105degrees Café and Academy – the restaurant that inspired the idea. “We loved the food and the fact that it retains more of its nutritional value than other cooking methods,” Keegan said.

OCU Dining Services also uses fair-trade coffee and tea, organic vegetables, and gluten-free grains. It is the first university in the state to exclusively use cage-free eggs, and is incorporating milk alternatives such as almond, rice, and soy milk. The cafeteria began using fresh ingredients like basil, thyme, and peppers from OCU’s new community garden this summer.

Jaya Bhumitra Facebook
Jaya has eight years of experience in public affairs and communications, and degrees in business and psychology. She is a Volunteer Outreach Coordinator with Compassion Over Killing in L.A. and an avid runner.

Photo credit: cc: flickr.com/photos/rutlo