By Devon Preston Special to the Chronicle
Ask most college-aged students what their favorite food is and you’re sure to find some similarities. Pizzas, burgers, chicken and, of course, ice cream top nearly every student’s list. Although there are many young adults who choose to avoid these classic entrees, such as students who dare to be vegan or vegetarian during their stay at Hofstra.
“Vegan is when you don’t eat or wear any animal products or use products tested on them,” Said Isabella Paola, a sophomore at Hofstra and a former vegan. From cheese, to eggs, to gelatin, to meat, it can be an intimidating task for fellow vegans like Paola to diversify their meals. While Sbarro and Nathan’s continue to thrive with their meat and dairy courses, there are ways for those with limiting diets to survive the day.
“Meatless Mondays have been around for a while. And Starbucks has been supplying soy and almond milk, which is a more appealing alternative to consuming the puss of an animal,” said Professor Robert Plath, a vegan and Hofstra faculty member.
Meatless Mondays provides vegan and vegetarian options to the students and faculty of Hofstra, allowing them to pick and choose meals specifically crafted to the needs of a vegan. Each meal is labeled clearly, stating whether it is vegan or vegetarian, and also listing some of the ingredients. While Meatless Monday has been widely viewed as a success, it brings to question what else Hofstra could do to be more inclusive of this lifestyle.
“I think they could always do more, like adding more breakfast options or providing a meatless place for everyday of the week,” Paola said.
Organics and the Pan Asian bars are making advances to provide tofu and vegetable lo mein, but there is an entire universe for those who choose to leave animal products out of their diet. Committing to such a lifestyle may intimidate students because the task seems too monumental to attempt. But the Meatless Monday options aren’t only for vegans; they provide a healthy option for any college student.
Meatless Mondays provide a varied menu of vegan options, allowing diversity from the salads and stir-fries we know already to be fair game. When you eat in the same cafeteria for four years, diversity is essential to keep the food down. Not to mention a diverse range of healthy options will make it easier for any student to make better eating decisions without having to settle for less substance to their meals.
“In general, students have become more educated in regards to their food and are opting to make healthier choices,” said Crystal Samuels, the marketing manager at Lackmann Culinary Services. Being a vegan may not be the best choice for every student, but eating healthy and having as many options as possible should always be at the front of our minds.