The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday June 25th

Chapel Hill and Durham number one in Vegetarian

Chapel Hill and Durham have put their beef aside to be named the most vegetarian metropolitan area in the United States.

According to research from GrubHub — an online delivery service that facilitates take-out orders with restaurants — Chapel Hill and Durham residents were much more likely to order vegetarian than the national average. 

Kaitlyn Carl, spokesperson for GrubHub, said the company looked at orders across 100 markets over the past year to find the percentage of vegetarian orders in a city. 

"We then compared that percentage to the national average and ranked the cities based on how much greater each city's percentage of vegetarian, vegan orders were to the national average," she said.

Dilip Barman, president of the Triangle Vegetarian Society, said while the area was conducive to vegetarianism, the information could be misleading. 

“I think the area is vegetarian friendly, but the article was exaggerated with some commercial bias," he said. "We are vegetarian friendly with lots of vegan options in many restaurants such as Sage, but I can think of many other cities, like San Francisco and Chicago, that have more vegetarian options.”

Prasant Baratam, a senior at UNC, said the campus provides limited options for vegetarians.

“Typically on campus — since I don’t have a meal plan — after midnight if I’m hungry, I am only limited to Wendy’s and they aren’t vegetarian, so I have to walk to Franklin Street for a meal," he said. 

But the surrounding area is more vegetarian friendly, said UNC sophomore Emily Drake. 

“I’d say for me personally, I’ve never had a problem with finding something to eat in the restaurants in Chapel Hill," she said. "In the greater area, Cook-Out has been the only place I’ve really had issues."

UNC student and BSKI’s shift manager, Nicole Werner, said that the four vegetarian options offered at the restaurant are very popular among customers.

“I have noticed that over the past year, the amount of vegetarian requests that we have had has definitely increased,” Werner said.

Vegetarian and vegan options are becoming more popular, even with meat-lovers in the Triangle; they are now more concerned with the ways their foods are produced. 

“People are becoming more and more aware of where their food is coming from,” Werner said. “They will ask me whether or not we have natural products or healthier options."

Andrew Justad, general manager of Sage Vegetarian Cafe, said vegetarianism and vegan eating is essential for a healthy lifestyle in America with the knowledge of processed foods.

“Many restaurants in this area cater to vegan and vegetarian diets, and there are a number of exclusively vegetarian restaurants such as ourselves that offer no meat,” Justad said. “All types of food are represented as well, from Persian to soul food; it's really not hard being a vegan or vegetarian in this area.”

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