By Emily K. Cohen
College students love food. However, not every college student loves to eat the same type of food. In fact, a trend in the food world that many people, not just young people, are beginning to follow is a plant-based, or vegan, diet.
A report by Baum + Whiteman called “Food & Beverage Forecast” states that veganism will be the top “mega trend” in 2018.
Some facts they found that contributed to this conclusion include Google searches about veganism increasing by 90 percent, 83 percent of Americans opting for plant-based options such as milk alternatives and non-dairy cheese and 35 percent of Americans chose plant-based meat alternatives over red meat in that previous year.
With all this popularity vegan eating is gaining, Cal Poly Pomona should expand their available vegan options.
As of right now, purchasing vegan meals with the same desirability, accessibility, and affordability as an omnivore, or even vegetarian options, (is nearly impossible? ” something is missing).
There are no establishments on campus that offer vegan cheese, the Poly Trolly offers a meat alternative (soyrizo), but without many other available vegan ingredient options at this eatery, it can be hard to create a cohesive dish.
Even at Qdoba, a simple black bean, salsa and guacamole burrito will be charged at the full price of a veggie burrito: nearly $9, despite it having minimal ingredients and containing no cheeses or sour cream.
Even the one eatery on campus that sells pizza, Round Table, contains a milk derivative in the dough, thus ordering a veggie pizza without cheese, which is a typical simple vegan pizza option, is not even available for vegans at CPP.
Omnivores often think that veganism is “too hard” or “too expensive.”
However, if there were a wide variety of options making vegan food equal in affordability, simplicity and accessibility, more individuals would feel compelled to try the food, at least a couple meals a week to start.
Both the university and the students could potentially save money by offering more meatless options.
A September 2015 study in the Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition concluded that those on a vegetarian diet spend an average of $750 less at the grocery store than those who eat within FDA diet recommendations.
By that pattern, the same can be hypothesized for colleges that would eliminate both dairy and meat products from more student meals, and everyone would save money.
There has been an increase in readymade, prepackaged, on-the-go vegan meals in the refrigerator section of the Bronco Express and many other convenience stores on campus.
While this is definitely a step in the right direction, it does not compare to enjoying a freshly made pizza, burrito, taco or other delicious food that the omnivore students can have for lunch.
Other colleges across the United States are participating in the insurgency of plant-based diets.
The organization PETA2 found that 62 percent of schools serve fully vegan meal options on their menus, and 9 percent of schools have an eatery, which serves exclusively vegan food.
CPP should join in the plant-based revolution in this new era of ethically sourced food that is more financially friendly and health conscious, and they should begin with a vegan pizza option because every college student deserves to enjoy a delicious pizza.
Valerie Mancia / The Poly Post
Cal Poly Pomona should expand their available vegan options
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