OPINION COLUMN: Lunch Options for those with a Different Diet

//OPINION COLUMN: Lunch Options for those with a Different Diet

OPINION COLUMN: Lunch Options for those with a Different Diet

By Briana Taylor

In our ever-changing society, it’s hard to know everything about a person just by looking at them. Are they into heavy metal or Mozart? Are they a dog person or a cat person? Many questions similar to these are no longer answered at a single glance. One pressing topic seen this year at our State conference is a question that’s similar to these in nature, yet doesn’t seem to get enough recognition. Supplying students with food allergies or other dietary restraints, such as vegans or vegetarians, with suitable meals during the state conference is an issue that can easily be fixed. But what if the food these students are being provided is less than satisfactory?

Being a vegetarian myself, I am no stranger to the lunch options debate. Sometimes it’s either ham or turkey or you get nothing at all, and other times people assume that because vegetarians don’t eat meat that they want a loaded lettuce sandwich instead. However, this assumption is the farthest thing from the truth. Chloe Opelt (District 2), a non-vegetarian, says that she’s, “never had the fear that there wouldn’t be something for me to eat when I go to lunch. It’s just never been an issue.” Unfortunately, many students including myself have had that fear cross our minds.

Thankfully, the Youth and Government program has been gracious enough to provide meals for those who cannot or choose not to eat the standard issued meal. When entering the lunchroom, you’re immediately greeted with walls filled with delicious looking options from sandwiches to ice cream and even barbecue. The island in the middle of the room is a coffee station and a salad bar, equip with everything a person could need to make the lunch of their dreams, if not more.

Much to our dismay, the main lunch area isn’t meant for Youth and Government Delegates. Our station is right around the corner, and it is a hub where we can pick up one of many sacked lunches filled with a ham or turkey sandwich, chips, cookies, an apple, and a water bottle. However, if you look to the left of the table you’ll find a small box with the word “Veggies” scribbled on in Sharpie. Even more disheartening is the fact that gluten free and vegan students have to inquire about their “specialized” meals and cannot just simply grab one off the rack.

The vegetarian meals are a pretty good spread; they feature the same items as the regular meals, but instead of ham or turkey on their sandwiches they are stuffed with vegetables – onions, mushrooms, lettuce, and tomato. “I think it’s a good alternative for the kids who don’t eat meat, but it doesn’t seem fair that they don’t get a second option like everyone else,” says Keely Smith (District 2). Keely says she has many friends who are vegetarians, and that they were satisfied with the lunch provided to them. Hopefully, Youth and Government will be able to expand upon the options they provide to students in years to come, and will continue to make the State conference one that everyone can enjoy.

“I think it’s a good alternative for the kids who don’t eat meat, but it doesn’t seem fair that they don’t get a second option like everyone else,” says Keely Smith (District 2).

Keely says she has many friends who are vegetarians, and that they were satisfied with the lunch provided to them.

Hopefully, Youth and Government will be able to expand upon the options they provide to students in years to come, and will continue to make the State conference one that everyone can enjoy.

 

2018-05-31T07:22:51+00:00January 27th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments
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