Eating Alternatives

emma machell

During lunch, while most kids have the tough decision choosing between the chicken nuggets and the pepperoni pizza some kids can skip right to the pb&j sandwich and salad bar. But not every student can afford that luxury. Maybe they’re allergic to certain ingredients or maybe they just don’t eat them by choice.


“I’ve been a vegetarian since ninth grade.” senior Victoria Gilman said.


Gilman said the change in her eating habits wasn’t a moral decision but she began to realize how carnal biting into meat felt.


“It felt like I was biting into flesh,” Gilman said.


Many students might think that cutting all meat from their diet would be particularly hard Gilman doesn’t think so, but she does offer some advice for those beginning vegetarians out there.


“Don’t become vegetarian if you don’t want to.” she said.


And while vegetarianism can be pretty tough some people take it one step further. Serena Farb, junior, has been a vegan her entire life.


“[My parents] said I could be whatever I want when I was seven even though I’d always been a vegan,” Farb said “So I just decided to stay vegan.”


Vegans are a somewhat more hardcore version of a vegetarian. While both reject meat, vegans take it a little further by not eating any kind of animal byproduct.


“It’s really not as hard as it seems. There are a lot of good alternatives, and almost everything has a vegan substitute,” she said.  


Instead of eating meat Farb said her family eats a lot of homegrown vegetables and stir-fry, but there are a lot of other alternatives including tofu that tastes like assorted meats.


But while such a diet is a preference for some, others don’t have so much. One such is sophomore Kathy Olcott, who is allergic to corn.


“It’s not too hard [to overcome] I can eat food with traces of corn,” said Olcott, “but I can’t eat regular corn and popcorn.” 


Though she states it isn’t too hard to cut corn from her diet Olcott admitted that it has changed parts of her life outside of school.


“Being allergic to popcorn has made going to the movies a lot less fun and its made me eat a lot more vegetables,” she said.


Other students choose what they eat carefully for reasons other than allergies and vegetarianism. Some are not allowed to eat certain foods for religious reasons.


“I’m not allowed to consume any pork products or alcohol,” junior Nora Elbayoumy said.

            Elbayoumy practices the Islam religion. Not only does she refrain from eating certain meats and alcoholic beverages, she fasts for one month out of the year. 

           “Sometimes it’s hard to find food that doesn’t have pork or alcohol products in it,” Elbayoumy said. “But it’s not that bad and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.”

  A lot of students go through the lunch line grabbing hamburgers sweating with grease, yellow-tinted corn, and frozen cartons of 2% milk, but others who eat differently help make this school more diverse.