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UNT Goes Vegan With Mean Greens Cafeteria

When UNT's fall semester gets rolling in a couple weeks, vegetarians, vegans and meat-haters across Denton will have cause for celebration.

Mean Greens cafeteria, formerly one of UNT's five beef/pork/poultry/fish-infested eateries, has recently converted its menu to adhere to an all-vegan diet after years of requests from students and faculty alike. The kitchen is preparing to unveil its veg-tastic new menu next Thursday complete with samples (lettuce samples, tofu samples, etc.) for any and all curious UNT students.

According to Dining Services executive director Bill McNeace, the menu was designed by Chef Wanda White, who along with a production crew has been working all summer long preparing for the new cafeterias reveal next Thursday.

A vegan diet, McNeace says, has always been manageable through UNT's six cafeterias. But he admits that for true vegans, no animal products should make their way into the kitchen whatsoever. This is less-than-stellar news for those Maple Hall residents looking for a little cream in their coffee or a little honey for their morning English muffin. (Note: The Observer cannot confirm the presence of English muffins at Mean Greens.) (Note II: Anyone know where to get a good English muffin?)

Although the all-vegan cafeteria is yet to open to the public, the response has been overwhelmingly positive, McNeace says.

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"UNT has already been getting several requests from non-students all over Denton asking if they're able to eat here. They say vegan cooking at home is too hard to do on a regular basis."

His response? "Of course, come eat!" McNeace also says that a handful of Texas colleges have since contacted UNT, looking for a helping hand to unveil their own vegeteria.

"I got a call just the other day from SMU.," he says. "They were wanting to know just how we started an all-vegan program and the steps they could take to do the same. Really, our phones have been ringing off the hook."

When the phones to a university dining service are "ringing off the hook" and there is not a salmonella outbreak, then they're likely doing something right. Put me down for one lettuce with sliced carrots come the beginning of the semester.

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