A Berry Delicious Snack

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Grace Dearing

Within the past year, a new food trend has flooded Instagram feeds across the United States. From fitness trainers to actresses, photos of beautifully crafted acai (ah-sah-EE) bowls have graced countless Instagram accounts. Starting this year, Ohio University has joined the trend as well. 

The recently renovated West 82 Food Court features an acai cart where students can order their own acai bowls. Each bowl begins with a frozen, smoothie-like base, featuring acai berries from the Sambazon company. Grown in the Amazon rainforest, these dark purple berries are sweet and full of nutrients. 

According to the Sambazon website, the berries are packed with antioxidants. Also, acai berries are known to promote heart health as well as increase energy levels. Sambazon berries, specifically, are certified organic by the USDA, not genetically modified, vegan, gluten-free and fair-trade approved.

Customers have the option to choose up to four toppings to compliment their acai. From tangy blueberries and pineapples to sweet strawberries and bananas, there’s a flavor for everyone. 

For those not wanting a taste of fruit, the second half of the cart is dedicated solely to granola, nuts and seeds. One of those ingredients is generally added in addition to the fruit to give the sweet bowl a lightly salted crunch.

“I like acai bowls because they’re fresh, and the fresh fruit compliments the taste of the acai. Plus, they’re healthy,” Devan Murphy, a freshman studying chemistry pre-pharmacy, says. 

In addition to the health benefits of acai, the Sambazon production and selling of this berry creates a direct positive impact on the culture and society of the Amazon rainforest. Sambazon began in 1999 and since then has only continued to grow. 

The Sambazon website says the company employs over 20,000 local workers and preserves thousands of acres of rainforest. Acai bowl consumers can enjoy this sweet snack guilt-free, knowing each product purchased from Sambazon is going to a greater cause.

Each bowl at West 82 varies in price, ranging from $3 to$5 depending on the number of  toppings. Located on the first floor of Baker University Center, the acai cart not only gives students a healthier, fresher meal option but is also a quick alternative to waiting in line at dining halls. In Brazil and now in Athens, acai bowls are continuing to make a positive impact in the lives of many people.