In the upcoming October/November/December 2011 edition of Hinduism Today, we have an article by Pooja Patel of Midland, Texas, about how a sorely deficient diet burdens many young vegetarian Hindus attending college in the US and how some schools are responding to calls for change. Pooja thoroughly explores the problem, including frank testimonies from current students, such as the following from Rupak Dhoot, a student at Austin College: “A majority of my meals consisted of assorted boiled vegetables, bread, pasta and, in all seriousness, quite a few peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. My meals were highly variable. One consistent thing I could count on eating was cereal. Overall, the school seemed to recognize that there were many vegetarian students they needed to cater to, so there was always an option. However, as a picky eater, the options were not always appetizing. One problem was finding a good source of protein. A staple that serves as a rich source of protein in Indian households, dal, was obviously not available. Finding lentils, beans, nuts, etc., to satisfy the nutritional need for protein was a daily challenge.”
It’s not all bad news, however. Dozens of schools throughout the country are beginning to recognize the need to provide more wholesome, nutritious options for vegetarians, who represent a growing percentage of dorm populations. Which are the top-ten vegetarian-friendly schools and what are they serving? What can students do to improve the diet on their own campuses? Stay tuned for the upcoming edition of Hinduism Today, in print, in PDF and on the web.