Some students would like to see more vegetarian lunch options at school
Communicating these hopes may be the key to bringing about a change
By Alenka Vybohova
Hungry people in the hallways, almost no options for lunch, an endless routine with salad bar and then, after awhile, hungry again.
Is it lack of nutrition provided or lack of information? To be or not to be a vegetarian is an ethical and health question. But to be a vegetarian in high school is a question of a different kind. Minnehaha’s vegetarians seem to go through a big struggle with their lunches. Does the school care about the fact that some students call themselves non-meat eaters? On the other hand, do Minnehaha vegetarians take advantage of what is offered for them?
A new nationwide survey by the School Nutrition Association says that almost two out of three U.S. schools now offer vegetarian options for lunch on a regular basis. Karen Olson, North and South campus food service manager, does not see a gap in the vegetarian options provided by Minnehaha Academy.
“We have vegetarian soup every day, we have a salad bar and people can have regular lunch without meat or they can always replace it with something else,” said Olson. “Sometimes a double serving of cheese or veggies can work as an option instead of meat.”
Even though Olson thinks people have enough variety to choose from, she is not against adding more options.
“I would be more than happy to provide more options if enough people would be interested,” said Olson.
But when was the last time the school did a survey on student food preferences?
“I never got any information about the number of vegetarians at Minnehaha,” Olson stated.
Another misunderstanding is that vegetarians have to pay more for their lunches. But, for example, the price of the salad bar is higher because most of the ingredients are organic. Even though it seems that vegetarians pay higher prices for lunch, the truth is actually the opposite.
“I never charge vegetarians more than the price of a regular lunch,” Olson said. “When I see that they are over $3.50, I charge them just for lunch. It would not be fair if they had to pay more, when they do not eat more. Regular lunch is the best deal you can get.”
Despite the fact that vegetarians have options to choose from, they are still unsatisfied with the variety. Most of them would prefer a regular lunch option without meat.
“They should make more vegetarian soups everyday so that there is at least one option available for every lunch even third lunch,” said senior vegetarian Olivia Dorow Hovland.
Even though there might not be enough options provided for vegetarians, the problem seems to be in communication between students and the school. Instead of complaining, the solution might be in speaking up.