Boise State lacks vegetarian food options

Boise State lacks vegetarian food options

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Zak Porter / The Arbiter

School days sometime seem endless at Boise State. Hunger pains strike at all hours because most students’ schedules vary from day to day. Between work and classes there is no better pick-me-up than grabbing a burger, hold the lettuce and extra beef please.

What about the students who are vegetarian or vegan? How do they function without meat and different dressings or sauces laced with animal products? What places on campus truly offer a vegetarian or vegan diet for my fellow classmates?

There are always accommodations for the self-indulgent meat lover. But does the university lack meat-free food options?

Strolling across campus from one eatery to another there are hamburgers, subs, turkey croissants and sushi. In the Boise River Café (BRC) there are choices such as salads and vegetables, but there seems to be no labeling of what the vegetables may have been cooked in.  There is also no labeling of what is in each salad dressing.

When asked about the challenges vegetarians and vegans face on campus, junior James Gravatt  said, “There are a lot of times when eating on campus can be disheartening. I had all-day classes in the ILC and the only options were a peanut butter and jelly sandwich; but I have gotten accustomed to and am fortunate enough to have the ability to bring my own food during the long days.”

Maybe packing a lunch every day is the suitable answer to this problem; that’s right, save money and eat clean. However, there are late night study sessions, alarm clocks that don’t go off when they should and running on empty when work calls in at the last minute.

The life of a college student sometimes does not permit the availability of packing snacks and lunches. Wouldn’t it be nice to have at least one eatery available to students on campus that is completely dedicated to the vegetarian and vegan lifestyle? It needs to be noted there is a significant difference from vegetarians and vegans.

According to Vegan.org, “A vegan is someone who, for various reasons, chooses to avoid using or consuming animal products while vegetarians choose not to use flesh foods. Vegans also avoid dairy, eggs; as well as fur, leather, wool and even cosmetics or chemical products tested on animals.”

Campus just does not appear to offer a concrete source for these students.

Even simply labeling food products would be a small step in the right direction.

Shaila Schmidt, Associated Students of Boise State University (ASBSU) secretary of academic affairs said there probably is a reason why students who choose a vegetarian and vegan lifestyle have a harder time at Boise State.

“Demand. It’s safe to say that more students on campus are not vegetarian compared to those who are, and the same can be said about the country in general. That is why we see so many food service providers catering to that population; that is what the students are looking for,” Schmidt said.

Students who are vegetarian or vegan need to stand up and speak out if they want proper changes to be made on campus, at least to make eating throughout the day a little easier.

While searching for more information about Boise State’s accommodations there was a small notification on the Frequently Asked Questions page about meal plan benefits located on the CampusDish.com website stating there are vegetarian and vegan options available to students.

Even this small disclaimer could be a step in the right direction. However, Boise State should highly consider doing more by starting groups and recognizing that all students should be represented equally and that now is the time to open the idea of a more vegetarian and vegan-friendly campus. After all, there is no harm in putting down the beef burger and reaching for a veggie burger instead. Eat clean and feel empowered, Broncos.