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Dining difficulties for students with allergies in Sutter

Allison Galbreath

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Illustration by Miles Huffman

I walk into Sutter Residential Dining Center, hoping that I’ll be able to find something to eat. As a vegetarian with many food restrictions, eating is always difficult but the challenge is doubled in Sutter due to its limited options.

After placing my bag on one of the tables, I head to the first station: burgers. The vegetarian option is a black bean burger.

This may sound like a suitable substitute, but I know from experience that the patty the dining center uses has corn in it, which I can’t digest.

I move on to the next one: roast beef and mashed potatoes. The vegetarian option: mushrooms, which I’ve always considered slimy and gross.

I meander over to the last of the three main stations.

I look at the menu: pasta with shrimp. I could eat the pasta without the shrimp, but I’m severely allergic to fish and am terrified of contamination.

Now that all those stations are eliminated, I head over to the salad bar station and see that iceberg and spring mix are being offered as the only options for greens. And since I’m allergic to lettuce, I guess having a salad is also out.

I glance at the fruit: bananas (allergic), canned pears (never liked them) and applesauce (edible, but not appetizing).

“Now what?” I ask myself, hungry and frustrated. I guess it’s another $10 well spent on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

That’s totally worth the swipe, isn’t it?

Allison Galbreath can be reached at [email protected] or @agalbreath19 on Twitter.

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Dining difficulties for students with allergies in Sutter