I love meat. I enjoy chicken, beef, turkey, ham, and even fish. I don’t even mind the school meat. However, there are those who can’t or don’t eat meat. In fact, according to a poll I did through google forms, out of 239 people, .08 % are vegans, 2.9% are vegetarians, and 2.1 % have a dietary restriction that keeps them from eating meat. These numbers may not seem like a lot, but more and more young people today are becoming vegetarians or vegans. Vegetarians don’t eat meat, and vegans don’t eat anything that comes from an animal. People with severe dietary restrictions have some sort of illness or allergy that keeps them from eating meat. Vegetarians don’t have a lot of options to eat sometimes, and vegans have even less options than vegetarians. Vegans don’t eat anything that comes from an animal. They don’t eat the meat of course, but they also don’t eat eggs or drink milk.
After Michelle Obama’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, added new lunch items, and old items have been removed from menus, all over the United States. We are denied mustard, yet we have things like french fries and pizza. Most days we are served things like chicken nuggets or cheesy bread. In fact, most of the food we are served has meat or cheese in it. These aren’t things that vegetarians or vegans can eat. So why doesn’t the school have good lunch options for them?
Vegetarians don’t eat anything that has meat in it, not even chicken broth. The only vegetarian option that is consistent throughout the year is salad. Would you like to eat a salad everyday for lunch, all year? I sure wouldn’t. Salads aren’t the most nutritional thing, either. There are very little vitamins, copper, zinc, or magnesium in half a pound of iceberg lettuce. Even the soup isn’t a good choice to rely on. A lot of the time the soup has meat in it. Whether it be chili or chicken noodle, there’s a lot of meat in our soups on a daily basis. Sometimes there’s the cheese bread as an option, but even then it’s only a viable option for vegetarians and those with dietary restrictions specific to meat.
Vegans can’t have cheese, as it comes from the milk of a cow. This limits their options to even less than what vegetarians can eat in our school. Most of the time these people bring their lunch, but it would be nice to not have to bring a lunch every day. Sometimes it’d be nice to not have to worry about making your own lunch and to just choose something that the school provides. We need to introduce more options for vegans and vegetarians in school lunches. One option would be to have two soups whenever there is a meat soup option, one with meat and one without. Another option is to include the use of tofu in school lunches when there is no vegan/vegetarian alternative. In the end, it’d be best to try and add some variety to our school lunches that include everyone, not just the majority.