CSUF needs to cater to special diets, a lack of dietary options isn’t fair to students

In Opinion

The life of a college student is a whirlwind of papers, classes, internships and work. Being constantly on the go doesn’t always allow students to eat at the most opportune times.

This often leaves campus eateries as the only option for grabbing something nutritious before rushing off to class.

Unfortunately for students with special diets, such as vegetarians, vegans and gluten-free, the choices are limited. Veggie-friendly items are a minority when it comes to the typical meat-filled menus.

It’s difficult to find a creative way of staying on a healthy vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diet when the options are so narrow.

There needs to be a larger range of healthy options to fulfill and satisfy the diverse student body.

Sometimes, a green juice from Juice It Up is just not enough to take away that veggie burger craving.

According to PETA’s youth branch, peta2, Cal State Fullerton does not meet the criteria for giving students enough choices for a vegan or vegetarian diet. Having a salad that requires the chicken to be taken off is not a vegetarian option.

Eateries on campus need to give at least one option for special diet students. Some limited examples are a build your own burrito at Baja Fresh Express or the spicy tofu and eggplant entree at Panda Express.

The only decent options for vegetarian and vegan choices is the Fresh Kitchen, located in the Titan Student Union food court. The menu includes vegan chili, salads with chickpea fritters, and tomato and cheese paninis. Many of the animal products used in the recipes can be removed to the customer’s dietary needs. The Grill at College Park also serves a veggie burger as well as The Habit which offers a veggie sandwich.

Starbucks provides a limited number of vegetarian food options, including a brown rice and hearty veggie salad, a tomato and mozzarella panini and a grilled cheese for reasonable prices. They also offer a soy milk option for their coffee, however, at a 60 cent cost increase.

Those who have gluten-free diets have even narrower options. Carl’s Jr. advertises bun-less burgers are gluten free.  LH Express recently began carrying Almond Pops snack brands, which are bite sized almond and dried fruit snacks that claim to be completely vegan and gluten-free.

However, these are not acceptable substitutes to replace the exempted protein, and the prices for these meals aren’t cheap either. Having to request meals with the meat taken out with no alternative protein leaves dishes incredibly unsatisfying. Offering a veggie patty, tofu or portobello mushroom option would give students a healthier and more filling meal on the go.

Major food companies that assist in campus dining, such as Marriott and Aramark, can take suggestions on how they can boost profits from offering other options to students, according to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Through the dining administration, companies such as Boca can bring their meatless options to the student body.

CSUF needs to step up and ensure they’re addressing the needs of the dynamic and ever-growing student body.

Allowing students with special dietary needs the option of grabbing something healthy and satisfying during the day is the very least students can expect from a proper university campus.

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One commentOn CSUF needs to cater to special diets, a lack of dietary options isn’t fair to students

  • I agree that our campus needs more food options. I have a gluten, chicken, and dairy allergy and no where on campus do you cater to any of these, unless I get a salad in Langsdorf. However, the campus employees aren’t trained to handle food for people who have allergies (contaminating food through handling contact and not switching out gloves). It really sucks!

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