Could Odd Burger fill Fanshawe’s missing gap in vegan options?

A photo of Odd Burger's 'Famous Burger'. CREDIT: ODD BURGER
Odd Burger, a local vegan fast-food chain, works to remake popular foods into vegan alternatives.

Fanshawe has plenty of food options located around the various parts of its campus. This food selection ranges from burgers, butter chicken, pasta, burritos, and more.

One of the largest gaps for students on campus comes from a lack of vegan and vegetarian options, with little able to be found further than salads, some of which even include dressings that aren’t included in a vegan diet.

“Especially with our food security referendum coming up, that has been a topic we’ve been talking about; how do we tailor our food that we have on campus to meet the dietary needs of students,” says Fanshawe Student Union (FSU) president Stephin Sathya.

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“Not just being healthy, but actual dietary needs, because we want to be able to serve all students in principle, so we have to think about that.”

This comes as the other major educational institution in the city, Western University, welcomes an Odd Burger location onto their campus.

Odd Burger, which is a locally developed vegan food chain, is a 100 per cent plant-based business, with locations across Canada. They focus on remaking popular fast-food favourites into vegan options.

This includes renditions of everything from Big Macs, Whoppers, chicken sandwiches, and more, in an attempt to give those who are vegan and vegetarian an option to still enjoy some of the world’s most popular food choices.

Sathya said that there is a huge demand for a vegan option on campus at Fanshawe and that he and his team have been working on tackling it.

“We want to get a survey out to the students just about food programming, as well as food options in general, out to the student body on campuses to try and get that student voice out there in terms of what they actually want on campus,” Sathya said.

He went on to say that once they get a better idea of the scope of students, as well as a harder number in terms of direct interest, it’ll make it immensely easier for them to take action.

“Once we get the number, it will give us a stronger position in terms of advocating for another food option, something like Odd Burger, or bringing something along those lines onto the campus.”

Having other chain locations already on campus, including Harvey’s, Starbucks, and Tim Hortons, as well as previously offering such options as Smoke’s Poutinerie, the college proper is no stranger to bringing in local and popular options.

With that, Sathya said there a few routes the college could take that could make the most of already available space on the campus.

“We’re actually looking into reconsidering one of the options that we have on campus already, for the FSU too, whether to continue it or not. That’s another possible avenue to bring something new on campus. We just have to see how much of an appetite there is, pun intended, on campus for that kind of move.”

Vegan options are becoming more and more of not just a want, but also a growing need for students attending Fanshawe.

Until a new option, such as Odd Burger is seriously considered, students who are facing these dietary restrictions may have to stick to salads or their own selfmade preparations in order to enjoy eating at the college.