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    Progress on Gluten-free Campus Food Options Uneven, but Steady


    Jefferson Adams
    Image Caption: Image--Wikimedia Commons

    Celiac.com 06/13/2014 - As the number of students eating gluten-free continues to rise, colleges and universities are scrambling to keep up with an increasing demand for gluten-free options.


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    Image--Wikimedia CommonsThe latest news comes from the University of Wisconsin, where the Net Nutrition program enables students with food allergies to more easily navigate the cafeteria.

    The program allows people to screen for allergens and food intolerance, and offers an easy way to subtract menu items a person cannot have, she said. UW’s dining halls have incorporated gluten-free items such as pizza, pasta, deserts and various baked goods, while Union South has also incorporated gluten-free options at its restaurants.

    The result has been a dramatic increase in the number of gluten-free UW student food options.

    Still, for best results, students need to get involved, says Barbara Kautz, faculty adviser for the Gluten-Free Badgers student organization. Katz calls student self-advocacy the most important factor in making gluten-free options available on campus.

    That means that interested UW students should call ahead if they plan to attend UW-hosted events that serve food. Once alerted, food services will be sure to provide a gluten-free option, Katz says.

    Kautz says she is pushing to have gluten-tolerance status included in the admission paperwork UW collects for each student.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. He has covered Health News for Examiner.com, and provided health and medical content for Sharecare.com. His work has appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate, among others.

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  • Related Articles

    Scott Adams
    Gregory M. Glenn is in the USDA-ARS Bioproduct Chemistry and Engineering Research Unit. Celiac.com 09/29/2004 - Those lightweight, polystyrene containers that some restaurants give you for carrying home leftovers or take-out meals are known in the foodservice industry as clamshells. Their hinged-lid construction indeed resembles the architecture nature uses for clams, oysters, and other familiar bivalves.
    Every year, billions of these clamshells and other foodservice containers made from petroleum-based foams end up in already overstuffed landfills. Slow to decompose, they become yet another environmental burden.
    But the containers, along with other disposable foodservice items such as plates, bowls, and cups, can also be manufactured with biodegradable ingredients.
    ARS plant physiologist Gregory M. Glenn is working with EarthShell Corp., the California-based innovators of potato-starch-based foam products such as burger boxes, to create environmentally friendly disposables made with starch from wheat, the worlds most widely planted grain. His wheat-starch-based prototypes are sturdy, attractive, convenient to use, and just as leakproof as their polystyrene counterparts. Glenn is with the Bioproduct Chemistry and Engineering Research Unit at ARSs Western Regional Research Center in Albany, California.
    Why use wheat starch in packaging? Because it offers manufacturers of foodservice products another choice among starches when theyre buying raw materials. That purchasing flexibility can help keep their prices competitive with the polystyrene products. Another important cost savings: The machinery already used to make EarthShells potato-starch-based containers is suitable for the wheat-starch products as well. That sidesteps the need for costly retooling at manufacturing plants.
    The machines are presses or molds that work something like giant waffle irons, explains Glenn. First, a wheat-starch batter is poured onto the heated mold, which is then closed and locked. Moisture in the batter generates steam that, in turn, causes the batter to foam, expand, and fill the mold. The steam is vented and, when the baking is finished, the mold is opened, the product is removed, and the cycle starts again. This whole process takes less than a minute.
    A water-resistant coating, added later, helps the container keep its strength and shape when its filled with a hot, juicy cheeseburger or creamy pasta alfredo leftovers, for example. But once the container hits the backyard compost pile or municipal landfill, it biodegrades in only a few weeks.
    Perhaps having our ready-to-eat meal packed for us in a guilt-free throwaway container, such as a wheat-starch-based clamshell, will make eating those foods even more enjoyable.—By Marcia Wood, Agricultural Research Service Information Staff.
    This research is part of Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products, an ARS National Program (#306) described on the World Wide Web at www.nps.ars.usda.gov.
    Gregory M. Glenn is in the USDA-ARS Bioproduct Chemistry and Engineering Research Unit, Western Regional Research Center, 800 Buchanan St., Albany, CA 94710; phone (510) 559-5677, fax (510) 559-5818.
    Wheat—A New Option for Carry-Out Containers was published in the September 2004 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.
    Additional comments by USDA Plant Physiologist Gregory Glenn on 9/20/2004:
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    Kristen Campbell
    Celiac.com 01/03/2009 - Recently on a gluten-free forum, I found a post asking for advice on what to do after a woman had accidentally consumed a large amount of gluten.  After unknowingly eating from her daughter’s takeout box, the woman had realized her mistake and was simply devastated to have broken her diet and subjected herself to the old, too-familiar symptoms that were on their way.
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    These experts are right to reinforce the importance of maintaining a gluten free lifestyle, and the fact that there is no “cure” for gluten intolerance and celiac disease (other than complete avoidance of gluten from wheat, barley and rye).  But mistakes do happen, and from time to time people do get "glutened,” and when they do, which action is best?
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    Shari Lieberman, PhD, CNS, FACN and author of The Gluten Connection very humbly admits that “gluten slips happen.”  She also devotes a couple of pages in her book to research conducted using digestive enzymes to help manage those occasions when gluten does make its way into your diet, citing a research example in which “The study demonstrates that enzyme therapy can substantially minimize symptoms in people with celiac disease who are exposed to gluten.” 
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    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 01/03/2011 - Thanks to motivated food staff, students at the University of Connecticut will now be able to enjoy gluten-free menus in all of their dining halls, convenience stores and in the food courts.
    To better serve those students who suffer from celiac disease or are gluten-intolerant, the students have teamed with dining director Dennis Pierce and culinary development manager Robert Landlophi, to transform UConn’s menus.
    An estimated 75-100 students on a meal plan have celiac disease.
    The social and medical challenges and stigmas that can follow sufferers of celiac disease make it difficult to eat outside the home, particularly in a college dining hall.
    Medical advances in recent years have allowed for doctors better diagnose patients leading to a spike in the popularity of gluten-free diets. Pierce notes that the demand for a greater variety of gluten-free foods in grocery stores and restaurants is growing.
    As the author of the website, “The Gluten-Free Chef” and cookbook, Gluten-Free Everyday Cookbook, Landlophi knows the gluten-free lifestyle incredibly well after his wife was diagnosed with celiac disease. By sharing his family’s personal story, he has helped shed a brighter light on the solution that has brought relief to thousands: gluten-free for life.
    The culinary brain-child of Pierce and Landlophi comes as part of a joint effort to bring a gluten-free diet into the mainstream. Their menu, which took a few months to rework, already contained about 20% naturally gluten-free items, and needed only modest adjustments. As the country’s third largest residential student food program, serving nearly 180,000 meals each week, the menu stands out as national model for other schools.
    Pierce is also joining forces with Boston’s Children’s Hospital, who have implored his expertise in gluten-free lifestyles, to create a series of informational training videos and reading materials for those who suffer from celiac disease and other food service professionals. It is the hope of those involved that this information will also be utilized by parents of gluten-intolerant children to help insure a lifelong commitment to remaining gluten-free.
    Landlophi will be joining Pierce who will be attending the National Association of College and University Food Service Conference in Dallas, Texas. The two plan on making a presentation that addresses the growing need for gluten-free awareness on campuses across the country. Attendants can expect to hear about UConn’s self-imposed strict cooking protocols that are adhered to in order to avoid contamination with wheat products. UConn has taken it a step further to ensure that each student with a meal plan gets personal attention from the dining service staff which includes a detailed assessment of food allergies and dietary requirements.
    The selection and quality of gluten-free products available to the public is steadily improving, and the organizers have invested a great deal of time to guarantee that the best possible products are served to UConn’s students.
    Congratulations to UConn for forging a clear path for gluten-free students!


    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 09/23/2011 - In what looks to be a response to a surge in the demand for gluten-free dining experiences, hotel chains such as Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Omni Hotels & Resorts and Ritz-Carlton Hotels are adjusting their menus and their kitchens to properly accommodate gluten-free guests.
    Recent projections by industry tracker, Packaged Facts, suggest that gluten-free products will top $5 billion worldwide by 2015. Many savvy hoteliers see that trend to be influencing consumer expectation, and are attempting to position themselves for the future.
    Smart hoteliers and restaurateurs will also embrace the fact that reaping the benefits of the burgeoning demand for gluten-free eating means more than just serving gluten-free food. It means providing a complete, comprehensive service from product to preparation and delivery; from supply chain to the dining table.
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    Offering a gluten-free meal means "more than just saying we have a gluten-free menu," she says. adding that, "f you’re making a gluten-free pizza you have to make it in a different place, using different pans."
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    Frederic Chartier, chef de cuisine at Fyve in the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City, Arlington, VA, who is creating a guide for his staff that notes every item in the kitchen that contains gluten.
    Other hotels or hotel chains to feature prominent gluten-free menus include:

    Numerous hotels in the Ritz-Carlton chain introduced gluten-free menus in 2010. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, which partnered with a nutritionist and spent a year putting together a training program covering numerous dietary preferences, including diabetes, heart healthy, vegan, raw, macrobiotic and gluten-free. Omni Hotels has announced plans to introduce a gluten-free breakfast buffet station across its chains. The station will include gluten-free cereals, granola, breads and muffins. Each station will have its own table and toaster to avoid cross-contamination with products containing wheat.
    Stephen Rosenstock, senior vice president of food and beverage of Omni Hotels, recognizes the trend and its importance. “For a number of years, there’s been a growing recognition of people with gluten intolerance,” he says. Rosenstock points out the gluten-free options don’t cost hotels more money. It’s all about sourcing differently and planning for it.Meanwhile, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts continues its industry-leading and comprehensive plan to field gluten-free food requests on a guest-by-guest basis across its vast array of dining establishments.
    Instead of any one special menu, the company’s restaurants rely on their chefs to modify existing menu items into allergen-free items, including gluten-free. “Each guest who identifies themselves as having a food allergy is met by a chef or leader to discuss their individual needs,” say Gary Jones, Disney’s culinary dietary specialist.
    The need to do so has been evolving since the early 1990s, says Jones. In 2010, the company served 440,000 guests with special dietary needs between Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. That includes all allergies and intolerances, gluten among them.
    “Our guests with food allergies deserve to have the same experiences provided to all our guests,” says Jones.
    So, if these hotel and restaurant profiles offer any indication, it looks like the going will be a little easier for gluten-free folks on the move into the foreseeable future.


  • Recent Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/25/2018 - The latest studies show that celiac disease now affects 1.2% of the population. That’s millions, even tens of millions of people with celiac disease worldwide. The vast majority of these people remain undiagnosed. Many of these people have no clear symptoms. Moreover, even when they do have symptoms, very often those symptoms are atypical, vague, and hard to pin on celiac disease.
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    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/23/2018 - If you’re looking for a great gluten-free Mexican-style favorite that is sure to be a big hit at dinner or at your next potluck, try these green chili enchiladas with roasted cauliflower. The recipe calls for chicken, but they are just as delicious when made vegetarian using just the roasted cauliflower. Either way, these enchiladas will disappear fast. Roasted cauliflower gives these green chili chicken enchiladas a deep, smokey flavor that diners are sure to love.
    Ingredients:
    2 cans gluten-free green chili enchilada sauce (I use Hatch brand) 1 small head cauliflower, roasted and chopped 6 ounces chicken meat, browned ½ cup cotija cheese, crumbled ½ cup queso fresco, diced 1 medium onion, diced ⅓ cup green onions, minced ¼ cup radishes, sliced 1 tablespoon cooking oil 1 cup chopped cabbage, for serving ½ cup sliced cherry or grape tomatoes, for serving ¼ cup cilantro, chopped 1 dozen fresh corn tortillas  ⅔ cup oil, for softening tortillas 1 large avocado, cut into small chunks Note: For a tasty vegetarian version, just omit the chicken, double the roasted cauliflower, and prepare according to directions.
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    Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a cast iron or ovenproof pan until hot.
    Add chicken and brown lightly on both sides. 
    Remove chicken to paper towels to cool.
     
    Cut cauliflower into small pieces and place in the oiled pan.
    Roast in oven at 350F until browned on both sides.
    Remove from the oven when tender. 
    Allow roasted cauliflower to cool.
    Chop cauliflower, or break into small pieces and set aside.
    Chop cooled chicken and set aside.
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    Cook at 350F until sauce bubbles.
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    Serve with rice, beans, and cabbage, and garnish with avocado, cilantro, and sliced grape tomatoes.

     

    Roxanne Bracknell
    Celiac.com 06/22/2018 - The rise of food allergies means that many people are avoiding gluten in recent times. In fact, the number of Americans who have stopped eating gluten has tripled in eight years between 2009 and 2017.
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    The Irish capital of Dublin, meanwhile, has the most gluten-free establishments, with a huge 330 to choose from, while Amsterdam and Barcelona also feature prominently thanks to their variety of top-notch gluten-free fodder.
    Finally, a special mention must go to Auckland, the sole representative of Australasia in this list, with the largest city in New Zealand rounding out the top 10 thanks to its 180 coeliacsafe eateries.
    The full top ten gluten-free cities are shown in the graphic below:
     

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/21/2018 - Would you buy a house advertised as ‘gluten-free’? Yes, there really is such a house for sale. 
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    Still, the signs seem to be working. D'elena had fielded six offers within a few days of listing the west Phoenix home.
    "Buying can sometimes be the most stressful thing you do in your entire life so why not have some fun with it," he said. 
    What do you think? Clever? Funny?
    Read more at Arizonafamily.com.

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