As an individual who is stricken with lactose intolerance, I am forced to watch my friends enjoy delicious ice cream and flavorful yogurts while I stand to the side unable to partake in the tasteful fun. Unlike them, my stomach can’t tolerate lactose, which, for those of you who do not know, is a protein found in dairy products, or more specifically, cow milk. Therefore, I must eat dairy free alternatives in order to avoid getting sick. I eat goat cheese, Daiya cheese, coconut milk, sorbet and coconut yogurt. However, I can only eat these products when I’m at home or off campus because no dairy free alternatives are offered at the dining center.
The dining center lacks providing dairy free options for students with allergies such as myself. The only item they offer is soy milk which is distasteful and high in fat. I often go over to “My Zone” by the Deli where they display all the allergen-free food and look in the fridge to see if someone finally stocked it with coconut milk and yogurt, but each time I am let down when I see soy milk as their only alternative.
When I finish dinner and am looking for a sweet treat, I want to head over to Just Desserts for some cold, silky sorbet, but then I remember they don’t offer sorbet and that they only offer dairy-filled ice cream. I get frustrated whenever I am reminded of this as I want to enjoy ice cream like anyone else. It’s especially hard when all my friends rave about the ice cream selection; they say it’s some of the best ice cream they have had, but I wouldn’t know.
I wouldn’t know how sweet the cotton candy flavor is or how enjoyable the mint chocolate chip is or even how chocolatey the mudslide is. I can’t eat any of the flavors Just Desserts has. Instead, if I really want ice cream, I have to find someone with a car who is willing to drive me all the way to Ben and Jerry’s so I can get two scoops of berry-berry sorbet. Ben and Jerry’s is out of the way and I have to pay for the sorbet out of pocket as it is not covered in my pre-paid dining plan.
Not having dairy free options at the dining center is frustrating for someone like myself who is allergic to lactose. The dining center should consider offering lactose free foods like goat cheese, coconut milk and even sorbet. Doing so will provide inclusiveness and prevent me from traveling out of my way just to purchase my favorite foods.