NAIT opens first all-vegan campus food outlet in Alberta
Square Root gets back to basics for students and staff seeking healthy meals
EDMONTON – Campus food doesn’t have to mean burgers, fries and donuts. At NAIT, it can also mean avocado toast, lentil curry and tofu banh mi.
NAIT has opened Alberta’s first campus food outlet serving exclusively vegan dishes, like tofu scramble wrap and Mediterranean sweet potatoes, topped with crispy chickpeas and fresh tomatoes.
Square Root, the new eatery in the HP Centre on NAIT’s main campus, is the first of its kind at a post-secondary in Alberta, and among the first in Canada. The menu was created by Nick Creelman, NAIT’s registered dietician.
Many of Square Root’s recipes were inspired by Forward Food conferences across North America, which bring together chefs, businesses and organizations interested in plant-based foods. NAIT hosted a conference in May, leaving campus chefs feeling inspired.
The move comes as more people turn to vegan and vegetarian eating, or have food sensitivities like dairy allergies. Requests for vegan and vegetarian menu items at NAIT have been on the rise, leading to more plant-based options in recent years and the introduction of meatless Mondays at NAIT’s Common Market food outlet.
• a recent poll by Dalhousie University found 7.1% of Canadians are vegetarians and 2.3% are vegan
• Canadians under 35 are three times more likely to be vegan or vegetarian
• Almost 12 per cent of Canadians say they have allergies
Nick Creelman, NAIT’s registered dietician
“More students are choosing plant-based food for health reasons, but also because they’re less expensive and more sustainable. I think we’ve done a great job on all of it – taste, look, appeal and price point.”
The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) is a leading Canadian polytechnic, delivering education in science, technology and the environment; business; health and trades. With nearly 40,000 credit and non-credit students and a 95% employer satisfaction rate, NAIT also delivers solutions for industry. These include technology adoption, business and product innovation and industry-driven research to create competitive organizations that are the foundation for prosperity.
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