Following vegan diet poses difficulty for students

Difficult to navigate dietary restrictions at school


Over the past year, veganism has boomed over social media and caught the interest of many, particularly in Minneapolis. In short,  veganism is a lifestyle that entails plant-based meals, avoiding any foods or products that come from animals.

The daily lunch menu at the school consists of a meaty entrée, a starchy side, like potatoes or rice, and another choice of side to complete the meal. Because there are very few vegans at school, most students are able to enjoy this selection. However, there are still those who have to find an alternative option for their lunches.

Taher, the company that caters our lunches, provides lunch options to those students who have dietary restrictions such as lactose or gluten intolerance; but there is still a struggle to find vegan options in the lunchroom. Sure, there is the vegetarian section, but its options often include eggs or dairy, which are not part of the vegan diet. This leads to students often having to resort to a different diet, for example vegetarianism or pescatarianism.

Many students have strained away from veganism because of this very issue– inaccessible meals in school and other social settings. Kaja Bingham ‘19, former vegan, suggests, “Informing the kitchen staff of your dietary needs is always a good idea, even if it just means boiling some egg-free noodles when there are no other alternative vegan options at lunch.”

Luckily, the salad bar always has fresh fruits and vegetables available on those limited lunch option days, but who wants to eat salad for every meal? Fortunately for the vegans, Taher is always ready to serve the most important part of the meal, a dairy-free dessert–Italian ice.

Although social media portrays veganism as easily accessible, the vegan lifestyle is more difficult to achieve for students.