More Vegetarian Options in School | Teen Ink

More Vegetarian Options in School

December 18, 2014
By Olivia-Atlet ELITE, Dardenne Prairie, Missouri
Olivia-Atlet ELITE, Dardenne Prairie, Missouri
325 articles 10 photos 1165 comments

Favorite Quote:
"To these the past hath its phantoms,
More real than solid earth;
And to these death does not mean decay,
But only another birth"
- Isabella Banks

Dear Superintendent,

My name is Olivia, and I am an 8th grade student.

I’m new to the district, and I really enjoy all of the kind teachers, faculty and students. The library is expansive, and the variation of classes and projects are full of hands on experience. I’m in Band, Writer’s club, and Art; three of my favorite things. The cafeteria staff’s ever present grins are contagious, which makes every lunch a nice experience.

The only issue I’ve had, would be the actual lunches.

I am a vegetarian and I eat at school everyday. At first, eating a veggie burger or a salad was alright, but soon I realized that I was beginning to get bored of eating the same thing over and over. So I asked for nachos without meat, or mashed potatoes without gravy. Which is actually really good, but unhealthy for what I type of nourishment I need. For example, I have to watch how much protein I eat as well as iron. It’s hard to monitor things like that without having multiple options, and I began to lose energy and tired quickly.

There are a few things like broccoli and peaches that I absolutely love, but the vitamins from them don’t make up for the things I lack.

I wouldn’t be writing you this letter if I was the only Vegetarian I knew. I would just pack my lunch and get over it. 

But many of my friends are vegetarians, or even vegans, that don’t watch or track how many necessary supplements they ingest. I want to ensure that everyone gets the benefits of a healthy diet without shoving a meal plan down their throats.

The reason why I think more vegetarian options should be added to our school menu aren’t just because of my personal lifestyle choice; eating vegetarian is one of the easiest ways to maintain a healthy weight. (As long as you get enough of what you need)

Vegetarians are about half as likely to be overweight. That means lower cholesterol, lesser risk of heart attack, and a stronger immune system. Being fit (and not obese) leads to higher self-esteem, the confidence to join a sports team, and even success. Scholarships can be attained simply by doing what you love; practicing your sport.


Now, if someone hadn’t started eating more of a balanced diet, they wouldn’t have gotten into shape. They wouldn’t have tried out for a team, and they wouldn’t have gotten a scholarship. Who knows, that person could end up becoming a neurosurgeon or cardiovascular surgeon that saves your life. Or even mine.

Eating right can be the source of saving a life. As an intelligent person who obviously went through a lot of school, I’m sure you know that college can take you far.

Adding even three vegetarian options could inspire students to think about what they put into their bodies. Maybe they’ll look at the burger, and decide that they want a delicious salad instead. A way to promote this change would be to have a school garden where kids can see where their food comes from, and take care of it. This builds a love for maintaining something and could get them to want to reap what they sow.

I feel very strong about this and hope you’ll try to get a few more options for people like me. Thank you so much for your time and willingness to hear me out.

Olivia H.
An 8th Grade Student

The author's comments:

I'm sending this off to the Superintendent in hopes of getting the lunch tweaked. :) Cross your fingers for me.

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