How I eat: students with special diets

Sophomore+Annika+Brelsford+shows+off+her+vegan+Luna+bar

Lucia Granja

Sophomore Annika Brelsford shows off her vegan Luna bar

For the majority of students, lining up for lunch and grabbing a plate is a brainless activity. However, for some students with special diets, it isn’t that simple. 

Sophomore Annika Brelsford has been a vegan for a long time.

She said,“It’s kind of a complicated story, I was a vegan for the first time when I was 10 and was vegan for 4-5 years after that. Then I wasn’t for 2 years, then I started again a couple months ago.”

Brelsford started eating vegan due to health reasons and continues because of the environmental impacts of animal products.

“When I was younger, it was because I had extremely high cholesterol for a child. So it was originally a health-based decision. […] The research and more scientific aspect of it is a big motivation, it’s not like the biggest reason I would say probably the biggest reason that I’m sticking with it.”

Junior Aman Rahman eats halal for religious purposes.

“My family is Muslim, so we don’t eat pork,” Rahman said.

I think that lunch options have really grown over the years and become a lot more inclusive. I’ve noticed that if the main option is pork they always have chicken or something too, and I can always eat the vegan or vegetarian option”

— junior Aman Rahman

Sophomore Divya Bhargava has been a vegetarian for most of her life.

“I don’t really like meat, which is the main reason I’m vegetarian, but also meat isn’t very good for the environment so that’s another reason,” Bhargava said.

Rahman thinks SPA is moving in the right direction to provide options for school lunches.

“I think that lunch options have really grown over the years and become a lot more inclusive. I’ve noticed that if the main option is pork they always have chicken or something too, and I can always eat the vegan or vegetarian option,” she said.

Bhargava and Brelsford agree, but they feel the school could be doing more.

“[The options available are] okay, but I feel like they could be a little bit better because they have those bowls, but sometimes they’re not very good,” Bhargava said.

Brelsford said, “I personally don’t eat a lot of the hot meals here, because there’s sometimes a vegetarian option but then it has like mayo or something on it. Most of the time I just get a salad.”