Plant-based food options offered to gain student feedback


Malina Andamasaris

Students, faculty, staff and community members check out different vendors at Good Food, Better Earth.

Different vendors provided plant-based foods for student feedback at the Good Food, Better Earth event.

Kent State Culinary Services hosted the event in the Student Center from 1 pm to 3 pm Thursday. Although the event’s focus was on student feedback, anyone could attend including faculty, staff and community members.

The event consisted of vendors coming in with food not yet available on campus, and giving students the opportunity to try it and give feedback.

This feedback will determine what types of new food and culinary services want to have on campus.

Some of the foods included acai bowls, vegan pepperoni, vegan cheeses, plant-based meats and noodle dishes.

“We are really trying to target a specific demographic of our students, but also ensure the products we bring on campus are something that everyone would eat,” Assistant Director and Registered Dietitian Sarah Korzan said.

There were about 20 vendors at the show, and everything at the event was completely free.

Every vendor had a QR code at their table so when students tried their product, they could leave feedback of what they thought of it.

“All of the feedback is compiled by our marketing team and it really helps to derive what to bring into the dining halls,” Korzan said.

This is Culinary Services’ second vendor show and last year they brought in five different items specifically from the show and received a lot of positive feedback from students, Korzan said.

One of those items was Oatly Ice Cream, which is gluten and allergen free. This ice cream is served in dining halls and is a non-dairy option.

Eclipse Foods’ plant-based ice cream on display for students to try. (Malina Andamasaris)

This show was not only promoting plant-based products, but it was also a sustainability show.

Although the main focus was food, all of the silverware and plates that were used were more sustainable products than plastic silverware and paper plates.

Culinary Services is looking into bringing those utensils to campus.

Eclipse Foods was one of the vendors at the show this year. This company consists of only plant-based products, including ice cream.

They sell different flavors of soft serve, hard-pack ice cream tubs, and liquid ice cream mix as listed on their website.

“From an allergen standpoint there are multiple health benefits from our product such as gluten, allergen, and dairy free,” said Cathy Greenwood, sales manager of Eclipse Foods.

They had mini samples of multiple flavors at the show with plant-based whipped cream to go on top.

Culinary Services wants to have this event every April so it coincides with Earth Month due to it being a plant and sustainability-based event, Korzan said.

Malina Andamasaris is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]


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