Dining expands dietary options


LAR dining hall offers a vegan egg substitute from JUST Eggs, which comes in both liquid and patty forms. The substitute is made out of mung beans and will help expand food options for students with special dietary needs.

By Samantha Boyle, Assistant Daytime News Editor

Students who are vegan or have any kind of egg allergy can now expand their diets with a new egg substitute, which has been added to the menu at the LAR dining hall.

Made from only plants, the egg substitute comes in a liquid form and a patty form. The liquid form can be used to make scrambled eggs and the patty can be used in meals such as breakfast sandwiches.

The University has adopted both versions in the LAR dining hall, said Jenna Cameron, who works on the food partnership team for JUST, the company that developed egg and other food substitutes.

“We’ve already been working with the University for a couple years with our other products,” Cameron said. “We do a great line of mayos and dressing, edible cookie dough, baked cookies for food service.”

Cameron said as soon as the new egg product launched, she was contacted by the dining services at University to get samples, which debuted at LAR on Oct. 17.

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    “When we were there we got a lot of requests from students for the other dining halls where they said there weren’t a ton of options for them, and they really wanted something like the JUST Egg in the other dining halls, so that definitely is in progress,” Cameron said.

    Kit Smith, assistant director of menu management and procurement, said in an email that it’s important for students with special dietary needs to have sustainable and quality food options.

    “The students always appreciate when we increase the number of food options available,” Smith said. “Some of the newer vegan products being released on the market today are becoming very similar to their non-vegan counterparts compared to  five to six years ago.”

    Smith said dining services is always looking to incorporate new menu ideas. For example, the Beyond and Impossible burgers are slowly being added to the menus.

    “It is great to see people step outside their comfort zone and openly embrace different food experiences,” Smith said. “Dining services has a great culinary that works tirelessly to provide an awesome dining experience for everyone.”  

    Smith said any purchasing decisions made by a Big Ten school can have a great impact throughout the food supply chain.

    “So we strive to have a positive impact on the food system as a whole,” she said.

    Cameron said the egg substitutes are made from mung beans and do not contain any cholesterol.     

    “In general for colleges and universities, the students there are already looking for the ‘better for you’ kind of options,” Cameron said. “And like I said, demanding them on their campus, that’s the perfect setting for the JUST Egg.”

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