Just a little over a decade ago, 1 in 2,500 people internationally had some level of gluten intolerance, but, currently, the statistic is 1 in 133 people worldwide. With the strikingly high rise in gluten intolerance, students with such a dietary restriction may find it difficult to find well-balanced meals on their college’s campus.
Kent State University, who said they noticed a rising number of students with gluten intolerances, opened the nation’s first gluten-free dining hall. CBS News reported that the dining hall – a newly updated Prentice Café – was approved by the Gluten-Free Food Services Certification Program.
“Kent State aims to make college life easier for students who need or prefer gluten-free foods,” the University said in a statement. “At Prentice Café, all menu items are gluten-free. Although many campuses offer gluten-free products and some even offer gluten-free stations in their dining halls, Kent State is the first campus to offer an entire dining hall that is certified gluten-free.”
The director of university dining services at Kent State, Rich Roldan, said that students’ needs are the school’s “top priority” and their dietary restrictions should not hinder their progress at college.
As well as offering a totally gluten-free menu, Prentice Café will also offer vegan and vegetarian options.
Let's hope this starts a motion for more of these to open around the country.
Lead Image Credits: Kent State Trumbull; via Flickr Commons