Sustainable Vendor Showcase Teaches UT Students Healthy Habits
Oct 19, 2023

Sustainable Vendor Showcase Teaches UT Students Healthy Habits

Reporting Texas TV

AUSTIN, Texas – UT Housing and Dining hosted a sustainable vendor showcase on Oct. 12 at the Texas Union patio to educate students about sustainable food brands.

Mr. Greens, Teatulia and Lonestar Farm’s Local Salad were among the 13 vendors that participated in the event. Students gained insight on eco-friendly practices by visiting the booths.

Each vendor offered students samples of sustainable dishes to take home. Many dishes were vegan or plant-based. The vendors aimed to promote sustainability, which is a social goal for people to co-exist on our planet for a long time.

Sustainability studies major Olivia Ring worked at the Teatulia booth. She said it is important to encourage sustainability on campus.

“Promoting sustainable brands and consuming sustainable brands is so important, especially going forward, and this tea is in the dining halls on campus,” Ring said.

“Knowing about this tea and kind of engaging with the company, I think, is really important, especially if you like supporting sustainable companies.”

Teatulia’s types of tea include black, hibiscus, Earl Grey, chamomile, black masala, chai, and lemongrass. The Teatulia website states its garden originally started as barren land, but was brought back to life through regenerative farming.

Olivia Ring works at the Teatulia Tea table at the Texas Union patio in Austin, Texas, on Oct. 12, 2023. (Edly Termilien/Reporting Texas TV)

Mr. Greens offered a variety of fresh produce to students at their booth such as sweet potatoes, apples, okra, and other vegetables. Sales manager Todd Avila said the company wants to help students learn more about sustainable products.

“We bring in local farmers’ local products to try and support not only sustainability but actually the local businesses as well,” Avila said.

“We try incorporating that into the university’s purchasing.”

Students plant fruits and vegetables at UT’s organic and micro-farms. All of the produce from these farms goes to the UT Outpost, a food pantry for students. Students can stop by the Outpost and pick up groceries they might need.

Mr. Greens workers give vegetables to university students and staff in Austin, Texas, on Oct. 12, 2023. (Edly Termilien/Reporting Texas TV)

The university offers a variety of resources for students to learn about healthy eating habits and how to make the community green.

Jessi Drummond, the campus environmental center coordinator at the Office of Sustainability, said finding healthy foods is a bigger issue.

“It can be difficult at times to get access to fresh farm organic food,” Drummond said.

“Students have really put a lot of effort and time in making sure that students are providing that peer-to-peer, as well as the university is providing an outlet for students to find local, fresh, organic food on campus for free.”

UT Housing and Dining will host more organic food events this semester including Sustainability Talk and Coffee Tasting on Oct. 25 and UT Farm Stand Market on Nov. 1. You can find more information on the Housing and Dining website.