Food allergies, particularly gluten, are more common now than ever because of the increased quality of medical testing and the decreased quality of food. Many people who follow a gluten-free diet have Celiac’s Disease, gluten intolerance, or are following a fad diet. The University of Southern Indiana currently does not meet the dietary needs of students who must follow a gluten-free diet. The University of Southern Indiana should accommodate to those who need to be on a gluten-free diet because the meal plan is expensive, the accommodations would be cheap and easy, and the number of people following a gluten-free diet is greatly increasing.
The current price of a meal plan is approximately 2,000 dollars per semester, for the average college student that is a significant amount of money. The current meal plan allows for one to get their meals from the main dining hall and a few other restaurants on campus. Overall the meal plan is flexible for the typical student but not for one with a gluten allergy. As of now, the salad bar in the main dining hall is the only gluten-free meal that the university offers. According to USI’s webpage the price of the meal plan is expected to increase a hundred dollars for the 2014-15 school year (“2014-2015 Housing/Food Services”). It is ridiculous for the university to charge the large amount to one who can only eat the salad bar.
After being at home for eighteen years, it was my turn to leave home and head to college where I expected to gain the dreaded freshmen fifteen. I was diagnosed with Celiac’s Disease in middle school and gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, triggers flare-ups and causes digestive reactions. The first week of college was a major adjustment however; hearing that the university would provide myself balanced gluten-free meals gave me reassurance. To my dismay, USI took away fifteen unnecessary pounds and my previous love for salad. My first semester of freshmen year I was forced to eat from the salad bar or eat something back at my dorm, doing so I lost weight which did not need to be lost.
The additions that could be made to the university’s kitchen to make options available for the gluten free dieters would not be time consuming nor expensive. Supplying the kitchen with rice flour or other gluten-free flours would allow for pizza, bread, and any other dough based items to be made. Fiesta Fuego, a Mexican restaurant on campus, has the capability of making most of the menu available for gluten-free dieters if they would add corn tortillas. Fiesta Fuego’s chips and tortillas are made out bleached wheat flour making them harmful for one, like myself, to eat. In addition, the pasta line in the main dining hall could easily add gluten-free pasta; such addition would let a full gluten free meal be served without an abundant amount of extra effort. The rice flour, corn tortillas, and gluten-free pasta are just a few possibilities, which would accommodate to those following a...