For students looking for a way to eat healthy on a low budget on campus, a vegan or vegetarian diet may be the answer.
Anyone who has ever looked at higher quality meat products in a deli will know that trying to eat healthy meats can often run at a steep price.On a dollar-by-dollar basis, steak producers simply can’t compete with ‘cheap beef’ fast-food outlets, and most of those burgers still come at an expensive price.
Two cheap and healthy alternatives are meat-free vegetarian diets, and animal-product-free vegan diets, both of which are low-fat, high-vitamin diets.
Thanks to the low cost of veggie sandwiches, pastas, and other products — as well as Carleton’s ‘pay-what-you-can’ vegan kitchen, the Garden Spot — when it comes to price, vegetarians and vegans actually get a bit of a break on campus.
While items like hamburgers, roast beef sandwiches and meat-covered pizzas can cost $5 or more, veggie burgers, cheese sandwiches and a slice of cheese pizza are often noticeably cheaper.
“If you’re going to get a veggie sub, it’s actually cheaper than all of the meat ones,” said vegetarian Meredith Barrett, 23. “It’s actually the cheapest [kind] that you can get.”
Barrett, a criminology and psychology major at Carleton, can roll off a string of cheap vegetarian meals available on campus.
There are the veggie burgers at Oliver’s, or the samosas or chickpea curry at Mike’s Place, she noted. And, of course, the vegetarian Euro baguettes served at the Loeb Café.
Her favourite spot to get her greens on campus, however, is the Garden Spot.
Run by student volunteers through the Ontario Public Interest Research Group, the Garden Spot — or G-Spot, as it is popularly called — serves vegan lunches on campus, charging whatever the customer thinks they can afford.
“The best recommendation I have is the G-Spot by far,” Barrett said. “It’s really good for students on a budget because it’s pay-what-you-can, and the food’s so healthy and it’s all good proportions.”