The Student News Site of The Woodlands College Park High School

The Paladin

The Student News Site of The Woodlands College Park High School

The Paladin

The Student News Site of The Woodlands College Park High School

The Paladin

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Are The Vegetarian Lunches Worth a Try?


Looking at the school’s lunch menu this year, you might notice a few new items have appeared. Our school has added vegetarian options to the menu. However, are the new options really that good? Very few vegetarian brands actually taste good using faux meat. Will College Park join them in their failure or rise to offer a good meal for vegetarians to enjoy.

One of the new items on the menu is a vegetarian burger paired with a seasoned potato wedge. This may sound amazing, but does it taste amazing? I personally tried this latest item and I have to say, I was not that impressed. The school runs into the same problem as do many other vegetarian brands where they fail to capture the taste of the thing they’re trying to recreate. Instead, they end up making burgers that taste like the items they are made from. For instance, College Park’s veggie burger tastes like bland beans, which is most likely the main ingredient.

“It was flavorless, but you can say that for most school food,” Junior, Jasmine Leavens said. “I can appreciate that the school is making an effort to make food vegetarian students can eat as well.”

Another item added to CP’s list of choices, vegetarian chicken nuggets paired with mashed potatoes and garlic bread. Personally, I am a fan of this one. Some places trying to mock chicken get the texture wrong which can cause some texture-specific-people, like me, to become really turned off from the meal. However, the school chose this one well. The taste is about as close to chicken as any other vegetarian brand can get. Of course, when it comes to school lunch, gourmet food is not what we expect, but this option is acceptable.

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The last item I tried was the three cheese cavatappi with garlic bread, which is really just a serving of macaroni and cheese with a different type of noodle. Though I appreciate the sentiment of giving vegetarian options this year, to just give a bowl of mac and cheese as a meal is not something I find to be impressive. There was nothing wrong with the taste, but being the only thing served to highschoolers, the lack of variety does not sit right with many of us.

Most of the other vegetarian options that I didn’t try were simple things like cheese pizza, bento boxes, or PB&J’s – nothing that most other students have not tried before. It was good for our school to add more options for vegetarians this year so that students have more choices at lunch. However, I wish there was more diversity. Every other week there are three days where the only vegetarian lunches are PB&J’s or bento boxes, which are usually yogurt, a mozzarella stick, carrots, and a bag of chips. Not the worst thing in the world, but when compared to the non-vegetarian meal plan, it is minimal.

It’s a good thing for the school to be giving these choices this year so that kids with dietary restrictions can eat a proper lunch during the school day and thrive. Offering vegetarian lunch options makes it easier on students to eat an actual school lunch this year instead of sustaining energy from vending machine chips.

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