App State has gluten-free options

Students affected by celiac disease, a disorder that prevents the body from properly digesting gluten, have adequate options for eating on campus.

Joshua Farmer

Students affected by celiac disease, a disorder that prevents the body from properly digesting gluten, have adequate options for eating on campus.Appalachian State University’s Food Services “adequately meets” the needs of all customers, including those with celiac disease, said Pam Cline, the food service manager for Sanford Commons in Central Dining Hall.

Celiac disease, a condition where the body cannot properly digest gluten, affects about one percent of the U.S. population, while 10 percent of the population has gluten sensitivity, according to CNN Health.
Eating gluten free can be a challenge, Cline said.

“A huge concern in quantity food production and self service areas is cross contamination, not only during production, but also from other customers,” she said.

Cline said her “dietary emphasis to gluten intolerant students is to focus on common foods that are safe for those with celiac disease.”

These foods include naturally gluten-free items, such as fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts, legumes, fish, poultry, eggs and most dairy, including cheese, yogurt and cottage cheese, as well as gluten-free grains, such as rice and corn.

Cline said an additional resource for students maintaining a gluten-free diet is the gluten-free dining checklist on the Appalachian Food Services website. The checklist includes gluten-free items at all dining units as well as gluten free items available in markets on campus, both at Trivette Hall and beside the Bookstore.

“I also encourage students with any food allergy to consult with myself, our chef or a dining supervisor for specific ingredient questions,” Cline said. “They will be happy to assist any student or customer.”

Sophomore business management and entrepreneurship major Caroline Miller has a gluten intolerance that could lead to the development of celiac disease.

Miller said eating gluten -free was easier when she lived on campus because she was more familiar with the ingredients inthe food offered on campus.

“Things are harder to figure out when you’re not there all day,” Miller said.
Miller said she does have options, but there are little things that would be helpful for gluten-free students on campus, such as labels for soups that contain flour for thickening or more gluten free substitutions.

“All the local restaurants are getting with the gluten-free thing because it’s becoming so popular,” Miller said.

One of those restaurants is Boone Bagelry, which sells gluten-free bagels in plain, grain and raisin for a dollar more than the menu price, Boone Bagelry owner Natalie Nicascro said.

“We just saw a demand for it,” Nicascro said. “Gluten-free is a little more new and a lot more people have realized that they have an allergy with gluten, and so we realized that was a demand that needed to be met.”

Story: STEPHANIE SANSOUCY, Senior News Reporter

Photo Illustration: BOWEN JONES, Intern Photographer