Small Green Salads are just one of the options available to vegetarians on campus.
By Jackson Moran ’21
Michael’s Catering does not currently provide diverse foods for students who prefer not to eat animal products with the ability to eat as a vegetarian and still have a satisfying, healthy meal.
Each year for the Lenten season, I abstain from all meat products, contrary to most Catholics who isolate the fast to Fridays alone. This personal choice of mine often leads to conflict when it comes to buying food where the options are limited.
Last year, I often found myself in situations where I was unable to keep my fast, something not taken lightly.
Remaining serious to the commitment was very important, but it became difficult due to the lack of daily meatless choices at Michael’s.
Recently, Michael’s has added vegetarian varieties to the menu in the form of salad, bean and cheese burritos and rotating specialty options, however, improvement is possible.
The current small salads, costing $1.50, are very small, which often forces students to buy two of them or augment the meal with something else.
The large specialty salads generally contain meats such as chicken and are priced between $3-$5.50. Adding a meatless large salad, at lower cost, would make the vegetarian alternatives more accessible.
These salads tend not to be good options for vegetarian students, as they are small and pricey.
Some other selections include a small fruit salad, priced at $3.25 as well as a yogurt parfait with granola for $3.00. These choices are not proper alternatives to the small salads as they are pricey and come in very small portions.
Some improvements could come by decreasing pricing for the fruit medley, increasing sizes of the parfait, while also adding fruit as substitute for granola.
Bean and cheese burritos are currently the best alternative for students who avoid meat. The burritos, priced at $2.25, are filling and help give students like myself a daily option for meatless food.
More recently, Michael’s has been offering pasta dishes, some with meat and others without.
Pasta is generally a safe zone for vegetarians in restaurants and cafeterias, and with Michael’s offering more pasta options, both with and without meat has helped provide non-meat eaters with more viable choices for lunch.
Sandwiches and wraps are another item Michael’s offers daily. They tend to have either turkey, chicken, roast beef or ham.
Adding a meat substitute sandwich, such as a grilled cheese or a panini, would give students another filling sandwich option at lunchtime.
The soups and chili they offer have also given more choices to vegetarians, but the addition of a vegetarian chili and extra soups would greatly improve inclusivity to vegetarian students.
More days where the specials list includes a vegetarian choice would be beneficial to giving vegetarians, who are often disenfranchised by the lack of available meals, better lunchtime variety.
For example, Mexican food days could better provide for vegetarians by adding grilled or sauteed vegetables, beans and rice to a burrito line.
While vegetarians are hard to come by on campus, it is important to give alternative meals to those looking to eat meatless foods.