Des Moines has a bevy of vegetarian and gluten-free options, from Fong’s vegan pizza to Tally’s popular gluten-free desert options. For students at Drake University living with the meal plan, it’s not always as easy to stick to their dietary restrictions.
Despite the many options that both Hubbell and Quad Creek Café feature some students still have trouble finding suitable meals.
For most students the wide array of pizza, pasta, salad and food fresh off the grill is enough, but for first-year Brady Deprey, finding food in the dining halls is often a struggle. Brady is a vegetarian who can’t eat dairy. Her usual meal comprises of either a salad or a rice and bean burrito.
“Most people can just walk in and grab whatever they want, but I always have to read labels and ingredients. Even the vegetarian options sometimes have dairy in them, so I always have to double-check,” Deprey said.
Deprey is not the only one who struggles with the options given. There are many other vegetarians on campus, including sophomore Dana Swanson, who chooses not to eat meat and prefers to stay away from dairy as well.
Swanson sometimes has trouble finding a good meal.
“There is always something to eat, at times it is aggravating because I don’t always want a salad or what they are offering isn’t appealing,” Swanson said.
For those struggling to find suitable meals, Sodexo is always lending a helping hand. Karen Buchholz is the campus dietician and is always willing to help students.
Vegetarians can choose from several different options including vegetarian burgers, tofu and beans in the salad section of hummus for the deli area of Hubbell dining hall. Quad Creek Café features vegetarian burritos as well as grilled vegetable sandwiches.
Buchholz also explained that if you are gluten-free, there are plenty of options for you at the Simple Serving Station. Talking to the staff is the best way to insure you’re getting a proper meal.
If students are still having trouble Buchholz has a simple solution — “Make an appointment with me.” Buchholz works with students to help them identify appropriate meals for their restrictions.
As for Deprey, she has taken things into her own hands. Deprey is on the President’s Council of Student Senate and is working with Sodexo, as well as campus officials, to make the menus more vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free friendly.