STONY BROOK, N.Y., Oct. 21, 2022— CulinArt has created a “Plant-based Eating Road Map” which directs students to nearly 350 plant-based dining options across the Stony Brook University campus, including residential dine-in centers as well as retail operations.
The guide was created to help students find foods that come primarily from plants like fruits and vegetables, beans, seeds, oils, whole grains, nuts and legumes. The diet differs from a vegetarian or vegan diet in which meat or dairy is rarely eaten or not eaten at all. Instead, the plant-based diet derives the majority of one’s food from plant sources with a limited to no amount of animal protein. The guide was emailed to all resident students and promoted via social media and on the dining website’s wellness section.
Some examples included in the guide are Chickpea “Tuna” Bagel Sandwiches at Peet’s Coffee, Vegan Grain Salads and Hummus Wraps at the Market at West Side convenience store, Vegetable Samosas, Pakoras and Papadum at Tadka – the Essence of India retail establishment, and Jackfruit Sancocho and sides at La Olla, a Latin Cuisine retail establishment. At the residential dining centers, the “Rooted” station is dedicated to a plant-based lifestyle. For flexitarians, vegetarians, or carnivores, or those who just want to eat healthier, CulinArt has recharged Rooted with all new center-of-the-plate–worthy menu options that are focused on wellness and sustainability, available for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
“We were looking for a way to help students navigate the dining locations with ease when it comes to plant-based eating,” says Rich Maha, CulinArt’s regional director of operations. “With the increased focus on a plant-forward movement, we felt the need to create a guide that showcased the hundreds of options we offer.” Once the student reaches the location, they are able to seek out items accompanied by signage indicating “I’m Plant Based,” as a menu identifier with nutritional information.
Consumption of plant-based meals tends to be highest at SBU locations offering ethnic cuisines. For example, more than 28% of sales at Tadka, an Indian concept, are of plant-based dishes, as are 23% of sales at Delancey Street (a kosher deli), 21% of sales at a noodle bar, and 14% of sales at Cocina Fresca. At locations where grilled items or sandwiches dominate the menu, plant-based sales are about 5%.
A team of CulinArt chefs worked with Laura Martorano, MS, RD, CDN, CulinArt’s registered dietitian at Stony Brook University to thoroughly research menus and facilities to ensure every applicable location and all their options were included in the guide. Martorano also shares and reviews the guide and educates students about potential health and nutritional benefits when following a plant-based lifestyle.