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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams
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    University of Delaware Debuts New Gluten-friendly Dining Hall

    Celiac.com 01/29/2016 - The drive to introduce specialties like kosher, gluten-free, vegan, and allergy-friendly foods at college campuses has really taken off in the last few years, with more and more colleges establishing alternative dining halls and food selections on their campuses.

    Photo: CC--Wikimedia _CommonsThe latest beneficiaries of the this movement are the students of the University of Delaware, which just opened the new, state-of-the-art Caesar Rodney Residence Hall Complex and dining hall, in partnership with food-service vendor Aramark. The dining hall will offer a new dining options for students with dietary restrictions, including kosher, gluten-free and vegan.

    Asked about the focus of the project, Ryan Boyer, marketing director for Aramark, says that main idea is "a restaurant-driven, culinary brand," where customers "see the food being prepared in front of them." The dining hall features an open floor plan that can seat nearly 1200 people at a time, but there are no slow, long cafeteria lines. That's because the hall relies on food preparation stations, much like a food court at a local mall. This way, large numbers of students can choose from a wide variety of offerings.

    To make it work at scale, each station makes just one main course per meal so the culinary staff can focus on preparing it well. But, with more than a dozen stations, there is no shortage of choices. Among the stations are one that is strictly gluten-free and another that is strictly vegan. There is also a kosher station that uses strict preparation techniques, and the facility even keeps a mashgiach on staff, to monitor food preparation to ensure it meets kosher standards.

    Here's hoping more university students nationwide will soon join their peers at the University of Delaware in enjoying the benefits of specialty dining options that meet their individual needs.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, and science. He previously served as Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and provided health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

  • Related Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 01/25/2012 - Perhaps due to a combination of public information efforts and higher diagnosis rates, but awareness of celiac disease, gluten-free and other food sensitivities is slowly spreading to schools across the nation. This reality, coupled with general student interest in a greater variety of healthier food options is driving a change in both vocabulary and offerings at campuses around the country.
    Go to many schools today, and you may hear terms like 'gluten-free,' 'celiac-friendly,' or 'allergen-free' thrown around liberally with more common standbys like 'kosher,' 'organic,' 'vegetarian,' and 'vegan.'
    Students are "becoming more sophisticated customers," says Joe Wojtowicz, general manager of Sodexo, Inc.'s Crossroads dining room at Concordia University Chicago in River Forest. These days, it's common for staff to field questions about food options before students even arrive on campus, especially questions about celiac disease, gluten-intolerance, food allergies and vegetarian preferences.
    For these students, access to accurate nutritional information is all the more important given their need to avoid foods that trigger allergies, Wojtowicz says. "All our menus are on the Web, and they click through an item to learn the nutritional content," he adds. "And we make sure we label our offerings if they contain nuts." These benefits extend to students with celiac disease and gluten intolerance, as well.
    Overall, more students are requesting foods that are more nutritious and healthful than in the past, says Travis Orman, senior director of dining services with Chartwells Educational Dining Services at Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, which serves up to 3,200 meals a day. Students are also demanding more options. That means a change in even the most basic offerings.
    For example, many colleges are finding that students enjoy ethnic specialities. Orman says authentic Mexican is a favorite on his campus. "We honed in on the authentic cuisine and developed 8 to 10 options where the flavors just burst in your mouth. We launched Serranos Mexican Grill in September, and it's been very well received." Offerings include a burrito bowl taco, taco salad and barbacoa, a beef slow braised in garlic, lime, chiles and spices, then shredded, Orman says.
    Many college students prefer meat-free options, says Wojtowicz, so Crossroads always offers at least two to four vegetarian menu options, including cheese pizzas, grilled cheese sandwiches and cheese quesadillas. Other items, such as grilled Provencal vegetable sandwich or black bean and cheese quesadilla also appear.
    At CUC, Wojtowicz has responded to a growing interest in Mediterranean dishes with items like paella, spanakopita, Spanish tapas and other regional favorites.
    Some schools are taking food offerings to the next level by serving vegetables grown in local community gardens. North Central College in Naperville is among schools that has turned to harvesting a community garden to supply a portion of the produce for its dining operation.
    The North Central College Community Garden is now in its second year, and benefits from the efforts of nearby residents, who tend their own plots of land. Because of that support, those gardens "produce some of the fresh vegetables and fruits used in the college's salad bar and deli bar," says director of residence life Kevin McCarthy. The school then labels those items at the dining hall so that students know they are choosing sustainable options grown at the Community Garden.
    Source:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/special/educationtoday/chi-edtoday-dining-110311,0,7648384.story

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 03/23/2012 - Most parents of gluten-free children can attest to the challenges of making certain that the food the kids are eating is, in fact, gluten-free.
    Many of those parents can also be comforted by the fact that more public schools are recognizing the need for gluten-free lunches for certain children, and are making an effort to provide nutritious gluten-free alternatives for those children.
    Well, in a development that may interest all parents of gluten-free children, the BBC is reporting that schools in Northamptonshire, UK, have been to ordered to discontinue two particular "gluten-free" meals after the meals were found to contain unacceptable levels of gluten. Gluten from wheat, rye or barley triggers an immune reaction in certain people, requiring them to avoid eating food containing even trace amounts of those grains.
    Nutritionists overseeing the gluten-free meals discovered gluten in a supplier's shepherd's pie and beef Bolognese. These meals are served to gluten-free children at schools across the county.
    The BBC report says the county council has about 20 pupils registered with gluten-intolerance or celiac disease, but that no children had shown an adverse reaction.
    Unacceptably high levels of gluten were detected in a gravy powder used to make the two meals, according to the local authority contacted by the BBC.
    The report cites Councilor Andrew Grant as saying that nutritionists regularly monitor the ingredients used by companies that supply food to the schools, and that one such check found that food labeled as gluten-free in fact continued gluten.
    In many gluten-sensitive individuals, even a small amount of gluten can trigger an adverse reaction. So, even if the even if the contamination is slight, Grants notes, it is nevertheless completely unacceptable for a child with allergies to be exposed to this risk.
    According to the article, county officials wants to make certain that the problem is confined to these two particular products, so it has asked for a full investigation into the cause of the problem. 
    Are problems such as this to be expected as we transition gluten-free food into new areas, such as public schools? Are even these problems a sign that celiac disease and gluten-sensitivity awareness is increasing? Are such issues a sign that more and better gluten-free food options lie just around the corner? Let us know your thoughts.


    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 05/24/2012 - The old, cafeteria-style dining campus hall is fast becoming a thing of the past.
    Today’s students are bringing their more sophisticated palates and health-related concerns to campuses and schools are stepping up to accommodate them.
    Driven by these new consumer demands, and more creative management, more and more campus dining halls are beginning to resemble restaurants, featuring selections that reflect world cuisine and emerging food trends.
    Students are "becoming more sophisticated customers," says Joe Wojtowicz, general manager of Sodexo, Inc.'s Crossroads dining room at Concordia University Chicago in River Forest.
    These days, it's common for students to press staff about food options, especially questions about celiac disease, gluten-intolerance, food allergies and vegetarian preferences.
    More and more are moving to accommodate dietary restrictions like vegetarian, Kosher or halal, or putting gluten-free or lactose-free choices on their menus.
    From higher quality ingredients, such as free-range eggs, humanely raised meats, and fresh, locally produced produce, dining halls are increasingly offering more exotic options like Cuban, Chinese, or Thai dishes.
    “It’s not just spaghetti for Italian and tacos for Mexican,” said Rachel Warner, marketing director for the National Association of College and University Food Services.
    Many colleges are hiring restaurant chefs, dieticians and nutritionists to oversee the dining hall operations and some are even customizing meals to meet individual student needs or preferences.
    “I think that the shift in dining is really driven by the consumers. They come in with higher expectations and are increasingly savvy about the world around them and the different kinds of food,” says Warner.
    More and more, this higher level of student awareness and expectation is driving camp offerings.
    At DePaul University, students were asked to vote on whether a particular brand of hummus was suitable at their school.
    At Northwestern University, students recently enjoyed a “cruise night” offering food of the tropics. At Loyola University Chicago, students drink hormone-free milk. Students at Northewestern University can choose from numerous kosher options.
    One university in Texas offers a vegan dining hall and a Colorado school has a station dedicated to Persian cuisine.
    According to Warner, “Students are coming in and they do want to have a little bit more say and more options.”
    These dining hall improvements are yielding benefits not just to students, but to their communities.
    In 2011, Wheaton College was ranked by the Princeton Review as having the best campus food in America. The dining services are run by Bon Appetit management company.
    Raul Delgado, general manager of Wheaton College’s dining services, says “When you look at this, the farthest thing from your mind is a cafeteria…This is a restaurant. And like any restaurant, it’s open to the general public.
    Esther Howerzyl, 68, who biked to Wheaton from St. Charles with a group of friends, says the food is "very organic health food and I like all the seeds, the variety of seeds.”
    Do you have experience with these evolving campus dining trends, especially as they relate to gluten-free options? If so, please comment below.
    Also read a related article: Schools Offering Better Food Options for Students with Celiac Disease, Other Food Concerns.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 01/24/2014 - To create a gluten-free, allergen-free station in a dining hall that serves about 10,000 to 14,000 students each week, and offers a different daily menus for each meal, Lehigh University in Bethlehem went the distance. The result was Simple Servings.
    Lehigh's earlier dining hall offered gluten-free cereals, soups, pastas and breads via their Your Choice station. That original station has been incorporated into Simple Servings, and Lehigh students with gluten intolerance can now experience the same range of choices as their non-sensitive counterparts.
    Joseph Kornafel, Lehigh's executive chef, says that the school has really paid attention to details, from getting the right equipment when the station was being built, to maintaining a database of allergen-free recipes,
    Lehigh has also reached out to coaches and student-athletes to make sure they understand how the system works and to always get a clean plate before taking food from the station to avoid cross-contamination.
    Purple is the color adopted to designate allergen-free items in the food industry, and Lehigh uses purple to designate all gluten-free food preparation items, including utensils, carts and cutting boards.
    All gluten-free preparation equipment is dedicated, and never leaves that station to prevent cross-contamination. All chefs working that station are specially trained, and and all ingredients are clearly labeled for each dish.
    Source:
    Lehigh Valley Live

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    Hi Wade, You areright, there are lots of little gotchas out there in the gluten-filled world.  That's why it is easier/safer to stick with whole foods at the beginning of the gluten-free diet.  The list of ingredients on an apple or an orange or a steak is usually real short.  So you can get out of the grocery store quicker by eating whole foods like those.  Plain frozen veggies or canned are usually safe too.  And fresh produce as long as you give it a quick rinse.
    Why....why would your doctor not follow the standard of care for testing celiac disease?  I think you need to think about  finding another doctor.  If you are in the US, you can “walk” into a lab and order the test and pay cash: https://labtestsonline.org/tests/celiac-disease-antibody-tests No, your result does not significantly lower your odds of getting a celiac disease diagnosis.  She ordered the LEAST commonly used test, especially since she only ordered that one alone.  I think she thinks you do not have celiac disease, but that you may have a gluten sensitivity.  But that is wrong!  There is no test for gluten sensitivity.  http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/screening/ https://www.mayocliniclabs.com/it-mmfiles/Celiac_Disease_Diagnostic_Testing_Algorithm.pdf https://celiac.org/about-celiac-disease/screening-and-diagnosis/screening/ https://www.verywellhealth.com/celiac-disease-blood-tests-562694 https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diagnostic-tests/celiac-disease-health-care-professionals I am not a doctor though.  Perhaps, you can ask her why she did not order the complete panel or at least the screening tests most often ordered for celiac disease. Know that some celiacs are asymptomatic (no symptoms) Some just have one symptom.  Some have classic symptoms.  I presented with only anemia and no GI symptoms with only a positive on the DGP IgA.    I hope this helps.  
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