By Emily Pizza
After eating Vegan last week, I decided no dietary restriction could be worse, so eating soy-free was the next restriction to check off my list.
Soy allergies, while most common in children and usually resolve themselves by age 16, but still affect some adults and can cause life-threatening allergic reactions. While it was really important to make sure I didn’t eat anything containing soy, I didn’t think all that many food items contained it. But boy was I wrong – as usual.
So many foods contained soy that I wouldn’t have ever imagined. While I obviously avoided soy sauce and tofu, I realized that all of the desserts and pizza’s served regularly contained soy.
Luckily for me, the gluten-free cookies I discovered during my first diet adventure were also soy free, so I enjoyed eating two of those after dinner every night. I didn’t mention them last week, but they are also vegan!
For the most part, Kalamazoo College Dining services did a great job of labeling everything for me so I knew what I couldn’t eat. However, brunch last Saturday was dangerous because of the lack of labeling, and I’m pretty sure I ate some things that weren’t soy free during the week, because they were not labeled with the little green sicker (the chicken pesto wrap last Friday at the grille).
That said, I never had a problem finding foods I could eat. Although there were some of my favorite meals that were off my menu, for the most part I was extremely satisfied with the amount of options in the cafeteria.
I felt the same way about the Richarson Room Cafe, but I wished that there could have been more than one bread option (the pretzel bun) for me to eat.
The Book Club, however, I did have some problems with. None of the food in the cooler was labeled with stickers so I wasn’t sure if what I was eating had soy in it, so I just tried to avoid it. While it wasn’t a huge problem, it would have been great if the labeling was clearer on the sandwiches and salads that are in to-go containers.
Overall, I definitely give props to dining services for labeling everything that could have caused students with these allergies to go into possible anaphylactic shock, but we should also remember that any food could come into contact with others that contain soy or gluten that can cause these reactions for some people.