Cafeteria goes gluten-free

Melissa Thorne

A common question among Wilkes students during the lunch rush hours of 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. is always the same: What’s upstairs to eat? Referring to the menu for the cafeteria on the third floor of the Student Union Building, the basic station options are usually more of the same.

The sections Soup, Grill, Classics, Red Hot Chef, International, Vegetarian, Deli, Dessert and Pizza are what students are used to as an alternative to the Rifkin Café on the first floor. But thanks to Sodexo, who supplies the cafeteria with its meals, there is a new option of dining that many are unfamiliar with and that could benefit those with Celiac disease or adventurous students interested in trying something new.

A new gluten-free option has been added to the menus in the cafeteria. This not only exhibits Wilkes University’s attention to its student’s special and specific needs, but also the university’s diversity in more than just its student demographic. The new gluten-free options have been added to the cereal, sandwich and pasta stations in the cafeteria for those interested.

For those who are unaware, gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, malts and triticale used as a form of flavoring or thickening agent. Those with Celiac disease are unable to handle high levels of gluten and run the risk of serious stomach pains if consumed.

Even though this new addition is a major benefit for those with Celiac disease, there is nothing wrong with requesting that your next wrap or sandwich be gluten-free just for the sake of trying something different.

A common misconception is that gluten-free meals taste terrible and don’t look all that appetizing, but before you run away from the idea remember the common saying: “Don’t knock it till you try it.” You just might be surprised and find yourself enjoying something healthy and new. Whether or not Rifkin or Gambini’s will follow suit is unknown, but for now those interested can get their next gluten-free meal at the cafeteria.