By Beth Hanson
There’s a new co-op on campus this semester, catering to vegans.
Rachel McCarty’14 started organizing the vegan co-op last spring through talks with Clara
Baker’13, a member of the slow food co-op. “I was really interested in that co-op,” McCarty said. Baker suggested that McCarty start a co-op catering to vegans since the slow food co-op serves vegetarian food.
The slow food co-op provided assistance to McCarty and the vegan co-op researching how to start it up, but now the vegan co-op stands on its own feet.
Cooking vegan has proved cost-efﬁcient for the co-op. The eight members have each chipped in $75 so far. The co-op made a deal with Scotch Hill Farm in Broadhead, Wis. in which they work on the farm and, in return, receive free vegetables. Co-op members take turns visiting the farm, which is roughly a half hour drive from Beloit.
“It’s really nice to have a home-cooked meal. Commons does a good job at accommodating vegans, but it’s not the same as cooking for yourself,” McCarty said.
Though the co-op cooks strictly vegan food, not all members are vegan. Non-vegan members have interests in eating vegan more often as well as learning how to cook.
The vegan co-op eats dinner together Monday through Friday, alternating in shifts of two
cooks. The Interfaith House is the primary host of the vegan co-op, providing storage and venue for the Monday through Thursday meals. Due to a Hillel meeting in the Interfaith House on Fridays, the vegan co-op uses the Japan House.
“Ideally, we might need to ﬁnd a bigger space,” McCarty said. The co-op currently dines outside, but McCarty expressed concern about what the co-op will do when winter arrives. McCarty would also like to expand the co-op, but a bigger space would need to be found in order for that to happen.
Those interested in vegan dining can check out the co-op’s blog on http://beloitvegandining.wordpress.com, where they post about their meals as well as information related to the co-op and vegan dining in general.