Fast Food Options for Veg-heads

14 Sep

My husband sent me an article last week about how McDonald’s is planning to open two all-vegetarian restaurants in India next year. At first I was excited to hear this news because that means more fast food options for me and other US vegetarians in the future. However, I stopped and thought, would I really eat at McDonald’s? Knowing everything that they stand for with animal cruelty and worker exploitation, I’m conflicted with eating there. I’m sure that other restaurants have the same low morals as McDonald’s, we just don’t know about them because they are not heavily publicized by the media like this fast food giant.

But with all of that aside, it made me think about this topic: what are some fast food options for vegetarians in the US?

Personally, when I’m trying to find a quick bite to eat, I usually opt for Subway, Chipotle, Willy’s, Moe’s or Panera. As you can see, they are mainly sit-down restaurants or grab-and-go type places – no drive-thru windows for this girl. Although, I was curious what the vegetarian community had discovered on this topic because I knew someone had been more exploratory than me. Not to mention, I cook at home a lot. Like all the time. So, I found this website that teaches people how to eat vegetarian at fast food restaurants. This site is genius and I love it! This article gives you help by suggesting questions to ask when ordering food, advice on where to eat and how to look more in-depth at the ingredient list. And, my personal favorite is a link to a Veg Guide that lists vegan and vegetarian friendly restaurants. I haven’t used this when traveling, but I’m sure this is a good tool to have when you’re on the road.

Although this is a step in the right direction for fast food options for veg-heads, I would like to throw caution about the sodium content associated with these places. I believe many people think of non-meat food as healthy, but usually the sodium content is outrageous. The Livestrong website has a good article about the low-sodium options at fast food joints. It’s limited, but at least it’s something!

I realize I’m lucky to have these various options as a vegetarian. People have told me before that they were vegetarians back in the day until they started traveling because of the lack of choices on the road for veggie lovers. We’ve definitely made progress as a nation and we’re still making positive changes in the veg-friendly food world. Now, we all just need to follow the trend in cities like Portland and Austin and get some vegan food trucks!

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