It hasn’t been a picnic for Israeli vegans serving in the army when it comes to finding something to eat at IDF mess halls. But as of this month (February), it should be a little easier to fill a tray at the army’s countrywide mess halls.
The IDF has added vegan options like lentil burgers, grain salads, soy-based products and more vegetables to its menus.
There are some 500 vegans in the army, according to a report in The Times of Israel. The soldiers who refrain from animal-based foods diet had received extra allowances to purchase food outside the dining halls. But in October 2014, the vegan soldiers protested their exclusion from the mess halls and the IDF promised a change to its menus.
The army is also changing its menu for the general palate – adding more fresh vegetables, cutting back on oil, and reducing salads made with mayonnaise.
“We’re already using far less oil in the kitchen,” Colonel Avi Harel, commander of the Food Center, the army’s food logistics arm, told The Times of Israel. “It’s a steep learning curve for the cooks. They’ve had to learn how to cook differently.”
Soldiers who identify as vegans will also be able to receive non-leather boots.