Over the summer, I became a vegetarian. One of my biggest fears while transitioning into a vegetarian lifestyle was that I would not be able to get enough protein and iron, which are two of the more difficult essentials for non-meat eaters to get.
Let’s talk about the biggest problem: PROTEIN. For all vegetarians, vegans, raw vegans, etc. on campus, GLAR is a protein desert. Simply stated, there is no vegetable protein.
That’s a lie. There’s always soy.
But soy has problems.
Soy contains estrogenic compounds. This has problems for men and women. Any time you add hormones to your body that aren’t being produced by your body, your brain realizes that you have a hormonal imbalance. It wants to fix that. So it starts pumping out all sorts of other hormones (like testosterone) to try and “fix” the imbalance. But that doesn’t always work. The brain isn’t used to inconsistency.
Also, in addition to increased testosterone, gentlemen, ingesting estrogenic compounds can (and will) give you enlarged breasts.
Speaking of breasts, listen up, women. Many forms of cancer (especially breast cancers) feed on estrogen. The more estrogen you put into your body, the more you increase your risks of getting cancer, and the worse that cancer will be, given that it has so much to feed on.
Moral of the story: soy is a great source of protein, but the negative side effects prevent vegetarians from using it as a consistent source.
GLAR used to put out chickpeas in the salad line. Now, they only have hummus. Who wants to put hummus on a salad? We already have a stand with lots of hummus. Why do we need another one in the salad bar? Bring back chickpeas.
GLAR used to put out a tub of beans in the chef salad bar. That suddenly disappeared.
Now, don’t get me wrong. GLAR has absolutely delicious vegetarian options almost every day, and I love them for that. However, rarely do any of the vegetarian meals have any protein or iron whatsoever. Throw some chickpeas on there, man! Or better yet, add some variety. Hemp seeds and chia seeds can be thrown into almost anything (yogurts, drinks, etc.) and are packed with protein and iron. Also, instead of just having garden burgers and black bean burgers when in need of a meat-like substance, try something like seitan!
Oh, and while you’re at it GLAR, bring back those GLAR mints.