High school adds plant-based options


Maggy Messner

The high school now offers plant-based burgers.

Maggy Messner, Editor-in-Chief

Revere High School added a new plant-based burger to its menu to help cater to vegan and vegetarian students and staff. 

As more people adopt a plant-based lifestyle, schools are beginning to incorporate suitable items into their menus. With major corporations ramping up production of imitation meats, the price continues to drop, reaching points where schools can afford their products. 

Aaron Gnap is the food service supervisor for the district and led the initiative to add a plant-based item to the cafeteria. Gnap explained why the addition came now as opposed to earlier. 

“There have always been plant-based options out there, but in the past, they haven’t been very good. This one I actually tried at a food show in September, and because of companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible [Foods], there is a market for them,” Gnap said. 

In addition to taste and quality improvement, another significant benefit is the price point.

“Now that there’s a market, the price was driven down to where we could afford it and actually put it out, and it’s a very good product,” Gnap said. 

Currently, the high school offers the plant-based burger around three days a week at the same times as the regular meat-based burger. 

The process of adding the new vegan burger was similar to adding any other new item. Gnap starts by going to food shows and trying different options. 

“We can add and subtract things very easily. I go to food shows. I taste it. I like it and then bring it and add it, as long as it meets the requirement from the state of Ohio for nutritional guidelines,” Gnap said. 

According to the high school kitchen staff, the plant-based burgers have been selling well. Despite this, Gnap, who is in charge of all four building kitchens, has no plans to expand the burgers to the other district buildings, as he believes the demand is mainly at the high school. 

“We bought four cases to start with, and it’s been less than a month and we’ve already had to buy more, so the demand is high. It’s not an everyday item, but we do sell about twelve a day,” Gnap said. 

Stephanie Mason, head of the math department and adviser of the vegan club, sees the demand firsthand. Mason, who has been a vegan for several years, thinks of this as a step in the right direction of offering healthier options to students. 

“I think it’s awesome. The healthier, the better for kids. There’s a lot of obesity in this country and [it’s] giving kids options to start eating healthy early; it’s fantastic,” Mason said. 

The vegan club represents the high school’s vegan and vegetarian population. Last year, RHS added several new minuteman time options, one being the vegan club. Mason explained why she began the club. 

“It was inspired by students. They wanted to do it. They knew that I was vegan and were curious if there were other students who would like to do it during our minuteman time,” Mason said. 

Mason had the opportunity to try the new plant-based burger. She shared her experience with it.    

“It’s good. I try to eat a lot more whole foods as opposed to imitation foods, but as far as an imitation meat, I thought it was awesome,” Mason said. 

Junior Laura Wagner agreed. As a vegan and member of the vegan club, Wagner was excited to hear the school would now be offering plant-based options.

“I think it’s really important that the school is offering vegan options because it gives people more options. People can try new things,” Wagner said.

Although the district has always provided options for those with allergies, this addition also serves people with dietary preferences. 

“We can always cater to anybody with dietary restrictions, usually it’s with a doctor’s note. This is one of those things where we’re seeing more and more of the population want to be vegan or vegetarian, so this just kind of caters to them without having to have that doctor’s note,” Gnap said. 

To try the new vegan burgers, stop by the cafeteria on Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays.