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Vegan dining hall opens at Texas college

Sept. 1, 2011 at 9:41 AM   |   Comments

DENTON, Texas, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Students at the University of North Texas in Denton now have the option to eat in a completely vegan dining hall.

Mean Greens dining hall, located in Maple Hall, began serving vegan fare last month in an effort to reach out to students who are on special diets or seeking a healthier lifestyle, the university said.

Vegans do not eat animal products, including meat, milk, and eggs. Students who prefer more traditional southern cooking have been given their own cafeteria specializing in fried chicken, jambalaya and other Cajun/Creole specialties.

Ken Botts, director of special projects for the school's dining services, said UNT began developing the all-vegan concept based on feedback from some of the school's 36,000 students. He said the all-vegan dining hall aligns with dining trends emerging at other U.S. schools.

A 2004 survey by a food service provider showed that one of every four college students wanted vegan meal options in their school dining halls, ABC News reported Thursday.

"Most schools only have one or two cafeterias, so it is difficult for them to dedicate an entire dining hall to one type of cuisine. We are fortunate to have five cafeterias on our campus, so it made sense to diversify the dining halls to offer more variety," Botts said last month in a university news release. "UNT has a very diverse population with many different tastes and lifestyles, and we believe that this new dining option will be attractive to current students and community members."

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