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Plant-based eaters left without variety

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editorial cartoon by Danielle De Luna

editorial cartoon by Danielle De Luna

The lack of choices in The Spot has become a common gripe among several students on campus, however, this lack becomes even more scarce if you are a vegetarian, and even worse if you are vegan. 

Although their website provides the ability to select your dietary preferences as a filter, the results remain slim to none. You’re met with the same slabs of tofu, the same broccoli and cauliflower mix – sometimes green beans and carrots, too – and the same garden burger or soy hot dog choices at the grill that are routinely offered day after day. 

If you’re lucky, sometimes the slabs of tofu are switched out for soy chicken patties. Other than that, being creative with your food choices is the only option available for vegetarians and vegans, which proves difficult when the same options are served like clockwork. 

The attempted “Meatless Mondays” that have been scattered throughout previous semesters prove there has been some effort, but those meatless Mondays are hardly consistent. Even if the option was offered every Monday, that would still leave vegans and vegetarians with the remaining six days of the week to try and find something that does not consist of a plate full of carbs and the same steamed broccoli as the day prior. 

There is a heavy disconnect between the assumption that vegetarians and vegans only eat vegetables and the reality that they need more than just broccoli and cauliflower to sustain a healthy diet. Slabs of tofu with a different sauce each night sitting alongside a pan of the same steamed vegetables as last week is hardly meeting that mark, let alone is it appealing. 

Cutting meat out of your diet has been a lifestyle choice for more than just a few decades, it can be traced back to as early as the classical times of European history, if not even further. 

Why is it that with such a prevalent dietary preference, our dining hall is having trouble coming up with options that venture further than just tofu, soy patties and steamed vegetables? 

A simple Google search could resolve the issue of stagnancy in choices, and the amount of vegetarian cook books available today is copious. It seems as though the real issue here is the lack of effort on behalf of The Spot. From titles such as “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian,” to “Liv B’s Vegan on a Budget,” to the “Minimalist Bakers Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-Based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious Recipes,” there are obvious options available to research in finding the cheapest, most effective ways to provide variety to those committed to plant-based diets on campus. 

Looking at other colleges, such as Pomona College in Claremont, it is clear that providing variety to vegans and vegetarians is just as important as providing variety to those who are not. With options like cashew sage fettuccine, roasted Romanesco and soyrizo cheddar scramble, it leaves one wondering why this is difficult for The Spot to achieve when our neighbors over in Claremont have no issue doing so. 

The options available for vegans and vegetarians at The Spot are slim to none, and this needs to change. With readily-available solutions all across the internet alone, there is no reason why The Spot has not made the effort to provide these solutions. 

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