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New food truck to focus on balance

Colorful cartoon fruits and vegetables will bring a healthy eating message to Dunedin when a new food truck hits the streets in 2022.

Designed by the Department of Human Nutrition at the University of Otago, this eye-catching truck will allow students to bring the fruits of their studies to the hungry public.

Department Head Professor Lisa Houghton said that over the past few years, the students had been involved in a foodservice story that allowed them to start a bogus food truck business, and the acquisition of ‘a real truck was the next logical step.

The document covered aspects such as equipping a truck for food service, creating food safety plans, and developing and delivering a recipe.

“We just thought we were trying to teach the students some kind of real-life application of some of the knowledge, we thought a food truck would be great to get.”

The truck would also assist the ministry in its community outreach efforts.

It would be sent to community hubs and schools to promote healthy eating habits while handing out delicious foods through its windows.

It didn’t have to be just tofu and kale, with a balanced diet in the center of attention.

“I’m sure there will be some really tasty, high fat foods on the counter, but as long as they’re balanced out with something healthy, we’re pretty good at it.”

A big part of putting forward an attractive proposition for food truck customers was to decorate it in an appealing way.

“We were just humming and wondering what to do with that big white truck, and because I’m a department head I have the power to decide, so I left with graffiti.”

She approached Lyttelton artist Jonny Waters to see if he would be interested. He jumped at the chance and had carte blanche with the design.

“I thought it was really a no-brainer, make a whole bunch of healthy fruits and veggies and stuff like that and make funny characters out of them,” Waters said.

“One of the main advantages of this type of design is that it is very appealing to children.

The food truck is Mr. Waters’ latest work that can be seen across Dunedin.

They include murals on Burger Plant Restaurant, Lead Balloon Cafe, and the Legendairy Apartment in Duke St.

Painting the truck took three days.

The finished product has a fan in Professor Houghton.

“Love it, I couldn’t help but smile.”


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