University Accomodates Students with Special Diets
Frances MacKinnon, Tower Staff
February 17, 2012
Filed under News
Students who walk into the Edward J. Pryzbyla Student Cafeteria are immediately surrounded by several food counters with a cornucopia of food options. However, if students have certain eating conditions, such as allergies or a moral preference, food choices are limited.
Although the salad bar has expanded in recent years with additions such as chicken and homemade dressings, some students hope for a greener future.
Sophomore English major Claire Shashaty does not eat meat but eats fish as part of her diet and says, “it gets a little bit boring but I make do with tofu and my own creations. I wish they had a seafood option every night instead of just once in a blue moon.”
The Student Cafeteria provides additional options for vegetarian students, such as the Healthy Choice section, which serves all-natural vegetarian dishes. Students are also able to select a variety of vegetarian pizzas and grill options such as grilled cheese and fries.
Some students are still dissatisfied and consider the vegetarian options severely lacking. “You couldn’t be a vegetarian in the Pryz unless you took supplements as well,” says sophomore music major Joe Taylor.
Dominican Sister Maria Frassati regularly eats at the Student Cafeteria when observing days of fasting. “We fast on Wednesdays, which means we only have meat at the main meal, and do not eat meat on Fridays. They’re really good about having fish on Fridays, which is nice,” says Frassati, “and the vegetarian options are good but sometimes it’s the dish that looks the best but doesn’t have any protein.”
Pryzbyla workers have reported that the salad bar has increased its selection in recent years. “The salad bar has really improved and the homemade dressings, which are made here, are very popular,” says salad bar manager Dorris Jones, “and there are a lot more things to choose from as well.”
Students with allergies are also able to enjoy safe food in the Student Cafeteria. “We have a separate pan for people who are lactose intolerant,” says chef Charles J. Howard, “We keep their food separate from the butter, grease, and cheese.”
Nut allergies are also of concern. Cafeteria workers carefully label foods containing nuts. The peanut butter available by the toasters also contains real peanuts and students with peanut allergies must use caution when preparing food in this section.
Chefs also make accommodations for gluten-intolerant students by providing a gluten-free fridge. It includes Silk Milk, gluten-free cereal, and a variety of dishes prepared and packaged in the student cafeteria kitchens. Although a small selection, students are typically satisfied with their options. “They usually have pretty good food choices and I’m particularly fond of the salmon,” says sophomore finance major Amanda White. Meals in the gluten-free fridge are also prepared in separate pans to ensure the health of students.