A new Instagram account has taken Kenyon’s student body by storm: @kenyontofu. Members of the vegan and vegetarian communities submit photos of Peirce Dining Hall’s tofu to the account, and the images are then posted with a description and a rating out of 10. In the month it has been active, the account has amassed 140 followers, including Kenyon students and even some parents.
For the first month that students were on campus, meals were served grab-and-go style, with a significantly reduced number of options. There was one vegan option available to students each meal — and, more often than not, it was tofu. Jack Braun ’24, noticing this trend, began taking photos of the tofu. He mentioned this to his therapist, and she suggested he create an Instagram account rating the meals. He then told Eva Donahue ’24 and Shelby Goodwin ’24 about the idea, and they decided to run the account as a group.
The group aims to create a space where students can laugh about the copious amounts of tofu together. “I think a lot of the humor that I find in Kenyon tofu is that like one day the regular option was fish, so they tried to make the tofu fishy,” said Braun.
The photo that inspired the account features a takeout box containing three strips of tofu and nothing more. There was a tornado warning that day, so Braun understood why the kitchen staff was unable to give them anything more. However, he and many others still found the situation humorous. “It was so sad looking,” Brain said.
Oftentimes the co-founders’ ratings are not in agreement. “Jack and I almost everyday have differing opinions on the tofu,” said Donahue. On Sept. 14, Braun rated the tofu 3/10 and posted that it was “mushy, wet, and dry all at the same time.” However, Donahue gave the dish an 8.5/10, describing it as “crispy on the outside, actually seasoned.” They decided to make two posts that day and let their followers comment on which opinion they agreed with.
The Peirce servery reopened on Sept. 20, and since then there has been noticeably less tofu. However, the account is still going strong, providing food reviews and humor for the non-meat-eaters on campus.