How can I tell if a veggie burger is vegan

Anakin

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There aren't very many vegans options at my school besides PB and J, popcorn, potato chips, carrots or some other veggie, fruit, a salad on Tuesday, and veggie burgers. My school used to cover the veggie burgers in cheese but I have convinced them not to so I can eat them. The problem is I know not all veggie burgers are vegan, some have cheese or egg in them. Since I am getting the burger from a school cafeteria there is no way for me to see the ingredients. How can I tell if the veggie burger is vegan or not and if there is no way for me to tell should I stop getting them.
 

Forest Nymph

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You live in Costa Mesa. Im an adult resident of California who did a large part of my university work here. I know for a fact you have a legal right to ask what's in your veggie burgers and to request a daily vegan option. You also have a legal right to opt out of dissection in biology or anatomy.

I know you're only 15 and it might seem scary but approach an adult and say another adult vegan in California told you your legal rights. Make sure you say legal rights so they will worry that your parents have a lawyer even if they don't....just kidding, but saying you know your rights makes administration more likely to listen to you.
 

Lou

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They probably aren't vegan.
you could check. You could ask one of your teachers to let you go to the cafeteria during class. Maybe after you finish taking a test or something. Walk into the cafeteria when its not busy and just ask. They may even have the box it came in.


Best advice you will hear today: bring your lunch to school.
a. it is cheaper
b. it tastes better.
c. saves time - no waiting in lines.
d. more variety.

I don't remember why I used to think salads did not make a good brown bag lunch. But now I realize they do. You can make a few days of salad with multiple delicious, inexpensive, and healthy veggies. then just fill up a Tupperware container in the morning and bring a little container of dressing. A roll, some fruit and you are set.

Or a veggie wraps is good to go.

I found these inexpensive bento boxes at the dollar store. I think they were two for a dollar. You can make up a great lunch in one of those. Check YouTube out. there are many vegan YouTubers who can show you how to pack a lunch in a bento box.

A few years ago I found a Stanley wide mouth thermos at a garage sale. (brand new they are sort of pricey). But they are great for lunches. Especially not that it is winter. Soup, stew, even pasta.

and of course the pb&j.

making a lot of salad at once
-

Packable lunches
-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrPV0Gw7Z_k

Weekly meal prep with bento boxes
-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEpHPE3CYpU&t=345s

vegan wraps and sandwiches
-https://www.pinterest.com/ecliff519/vegan-sandwiches-wraps/

lentil stew over potatoes
- --

wide mouth thermos at Target is like $20.
 

Forest Nymph

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CA Dept of Education: https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/nu/he/vegmealoptionscnp.asp


AB479:

Orange county school Nutrition contains a dietary order form: https://www.ocps.net/departments/food_and_nutrition_services

I spent most of my college years talking to people in university cafeterias for vegan advocacy. By law all CSU veggie burgers are vegan and you have more rights than you may realize especially in Orange county.
 
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TofuRobot

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Hi there! I would call the school district and ask who is in charge of the food items and find out what brand of veggie burgers they serve in the cafeteria (if the people in the cafeteria don't know). It's an easy question w/out having to get to detailed on the topic. They are probably using a standard brand - and I'm pretty sure they have to tell you if you ask. Say you need the ingredient list to check for possibly allergens. The bottom line is, you don't know unless you ask. And asking "are they vegan?" isn't really good enough since most people have no clue what that is. Just ask what brand they are and/or the ingredient list. Good luck!
 
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TofuRobot

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Best advice you will hear today: bring your lunch to school.
a. it is cheaper
b. it tastes better.
c. saves time - no waiting in lines.
d. more variety.
THIS. My son is 17 and hasn't bought lunch at school since... I honestly can't remember, but he was still in elementary school. 5th grade maybe (we are also in Orange County).
 

Forest Nymph

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Does the public school system follow these rules for the CSU system?

CSU is a state school system and AB 479 has specifically passed over and over in legislature by an overwhelming majority. It's so close to being California law I cannot see this not having power in an urban center like Orange county, so close to LAUSD and all their vegan options. I know OC is more conservative but I don't think it matters in this case. I think very minor things like intelligent high school students being brave enough to ask what they're owed as CA students would produce results.

The dissection thing though is definitely already state law. I have a hard time imagining public school students have less rights than the CSU/UC system when they actually pay for school lunches. Any catered school event and food pantry I've been to has to have vegan options. It's considered a form of discrimination if they don't at least make a crappy gesture.
 

Lou

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I can't find anywhere where it says that, and I go to a public high school not a university so why would my school be part of the CSU (California state university) system

I'm not sure that AB 479 actually requires vegan lunches. It just incentivizes it and funds the option. I also don't think it has been passed yet.
Also, Assembly Concurrent Resolution 16 (ACR 16), encourages and funds vegetarian and vegan school lunches. but does not require them.

This is all good stuff. Big picture stuff. But for you, I think it is beside the point. A better option for you is to just bring your lunch. Maybe on the days, you forget to get that veggie burger.

It might be that your administration does not know there are any vegans at your school. Statistically speaking there probably aren't that many. the admin might just not care enough to offer vegan options. especially if they don't think anyone would buy them. You might want to look around and ask around. If there are other interested students you might have to be able to add some vegan options. Maybe the student body government might help. I also don't think you would even get that much resistance cause this is a funded initiative (meaning the school gets money to provide vegan options.) But if they are going to make and sell them they will want to be assured that people will buy and eat them.

 
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Forest Nymph

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I can't find anywhere where it says that, and I go to a public high school not a university so why would my school be part of the CSU (California state university) system

This is something I know from being in the CSU system, it's not part of AB 479.

I also disagree with the people here who keep pressuring you to bring your lunch. One, because you're 15 and might not want to shop or cook. Two, because I remember preferring hot lunches over cold sandwiches when I was in high school. And three, because the veggie burger in Orange county of all places probably is vegan, and if it's not it's an excellent place and time to do student activism for vegan options.

My specialization as an undergrad in Enviro Sci was Environmental Education. I worked with kids at LAUSD who get lots of vegan options and with local kids here who knew how meat affected the environment in fifth grade. I'm much more optimistic than these people here because of those experiences but also because I am an activist and know activism works in California.
 

TofuRobot

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I also disagree with the people here who keep pressuring you to bring your lunch.
I don't think anyone was pressuring her. Speaking for myself, it was merely strong recommendation. My recommendation still stands, as that is really the only way to know what's in your food, which was the primary point of the question. I'm not at all against the advocacy part of making sure vegan voices are heard in the school system, but I'm unclear as to what is required in the public school system in OC, CA, USA. I've personally never seen anything like that coming from the school system that I'm familiar with. We gave up with the lunches at school a long time ago for the crappy (and little to zero vegan) options ....along with the cost, the time spent waiting in line, the low quality, and the unhealthiness of the "food" - basically all the reason why it's a good idea to think about bringing your lunch - to work or school - whenever it is at all feasible. <Emphasis on that last bit.
 
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Forest Nymph

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I don't think anyone was pressuring her. Speaking for myself, it was merely strong recommendation. My recommendation still stands, as that is really the only way to know what's in your food, which was the primary point of the question. I'm not at all against the advocacy part of making sure vegan voices are heard in the school system, but I'm unclear as to what is required in the public school system in OC, CA, USA. I've personally never seen anything like that coming from the school system that I'm familiar with. We gave up with the lunches at school a long time ago for the crappy (and little to zero vegan) options ....along with the cost, the time spent waiting in line, the low quality, and the unhealthiness of the "food" - basically all the reason why it's a good idea to think about bringing your lunch - to work or school - whenever it is at all feasible. <Emphasis on that last bit.


The overwhelming voice here besides mine was pessimistic, frankly behind the times and strangely convinced that the OP can even get vegan shopping items at home or knows how to do it for himself at 15 besides PB&J.

I am not against bag lunches but the OP asked about school food. I happen to actually know that because of LAUSD and CSU and AB 479 it would be quite easy to ask for vegan food in an Orange county high school. OC is wealthy, proximate to LA, and seriously if Denny's veggie burger is vegan Costa Mesa's probably is in 2019. It's not 2003. Most manufactured veggie burgers are vegan now by default.

Im encouraging them to take grass roots control if they want, things Millennials and Gen Z tend to be comfortable with instead of going outside individually like Gen X or being totally system dependent neolibs like Boomers.

Ultimately, they can make up their mind, I am offering my lone perspective loudly since I am the only one who is under 50.
 
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Anakin

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I don't think anyone was pressuring her. Speaking for myself, it was merely strong recommendation. My recommendation still stands, as that is really the only way to know what's in your food, which was the primary point of the question. I'm not at all against the advocacy part of making sure vegan voices are heard in the school system, but I'm unclear as to what is required in the public school system in OC, CA, USA. I've personally never seen anything like that coming from the school system that I'm familiar with. We gave up with the lunches at school a long time ago for the crappy (and little to zero vegan) options ....along with the cost, the time spent waiting in line, the low quality, and the unhealthiness of the "food" - basically all the reason why it's a good idea to think about bringing your lunch - to work or school - whenever it is at all feasible. <Emphasis on that last bit.
I 'm a boy btw
 
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KLS52

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I would opt for simply asking what the ingredients are, first. I think most people are reasonable and would be happy to comply with a simple request like that. If you don’t get anywhere by starting with the initial question, then you can start bringing up your rights. I see no need to go in from the get go with guns blazing.
I like the suggestion about asking for the ingredients list to check for allergens. But I still can’t imagine they wouldn’t be very cooperative if you just asked what’s in the veggie burgers. It’s such a simple, fair question.
 
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FredVegrox

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I wish I knew I didn't have to dissect any animal when I was in high school, and objected to pithing a live frog, and I wound up later having to disect a dead pig. I now would avoid burgers that resemble meat so closely, if I can choose, but I get that vegan burgers might be the only reasonable vegan choice in the school cafeteria, hopefully it works out.
 
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