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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

College Dining Halls Discover Non-Dairy

[I]t is dinnertime at International House, a majestic domed and tile-roofed 77-year-old experiment in global fellowship, and home to 600 mostly foreign UC Berkeley students. Its dining hall is Southside's best-kept secret, because for the price of your average burger, Coke, and fries, nonresidents can eat to utter repletion here, quaffing channa masala and vegan goulash and coq au vin and Jell-O in the columned refectory, or on a creamy patio flanked, Riviera-style, by citrus trees.

Sounds better than the meals I had at college. And there's even better news in this article from Anneli Rufus of the East Bay Express.

These days, each I-House meal features at least one non-dairy entrée, because more than 40 percent of Cal's freshman class is of Asian origin and many are lactose-intolerant. "Plus," [kitchen-services production manager Warren] Clark says solemnly, "we've become much more mindful of nut allergies."

I've been seeing an increasing number of similar articles about schools at all levels realizing that student bodies have markedly higher percentages from heritages that historically had high levels of lactose intolerance eating at their dining halls. Some are also recognizing increasing numbers of vegan students. Creating meals as good as those for the other students, rather than forcing them to try to accumulate a meal from odds and ends, is a huge advance.

Thanks to all the administrators who understand we live in a future mightily changed from the halcyon 50s.

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