Fresh Food Company gets new gluten-free section
On request, UH Dining Services opened its first gluten-free station Wednesday at the Fresh Food Company Dining Hall in Moody Towers.
Gluten is a protein composite found in wheat, malt, rye and barley that people with celiac disease — an inherited digestive disorder — are inhibited from digesting without damage to their small intestines.
“University of Houston Dining Services understands that more and more students are being affected by this autoimmune disease,” said Caroline Sullivan, dietitian for the dining service.
“We want diners with special dietary needs to be able to dine with their friends and colleagues in the same locations. We felt a way to improve this would be to increase the amount of gluten free offerings in our dining halls.”
With the station being surrounded by gluten-containing stations, there is risk of cross contamination. To prevent this, the gluten-free station has a designated storage area and purple preparing, cooking and serving ware, Sullivan said.
The station features foods like a chicken wraps with lettuce, chutney mango sauce, peanuts, angel hair pasta, green onions and spicy garlic sauce.
“I love peanuts in my food, and I like the angel hair because it’s fresh,” said painting senior Carlos Salinas. “I don’t feel super heavy after eating it.”
Advertising junior Nathaniel Stich says he enjoys not having to make his own food.
“It looked fundamentally healthier. It looked visually appealing,” Stich said. “I think it’s nice to see that the University is listening to a very select group of people with stringent dietary restrictions. As the second most diverse University in the country, we have to make sure we are taking care of all facets of our population.”
The Fresh Foods Company is now one of four places on campus where students can get gluten-free foods. Einstein Bagels, Tandoori Nite and Bare Bowls Kitchen also serve gluten free foods.
The gluten-free station, located between the vegetarian station and the brick oven, is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday for lunch and from 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday for dinner. The dining hall also offers additional gluten-free options including breads, eggs, yogurt, milk, cereal and other foods available on request.