Scott Dawson, YUSU Welfare and Community Officer, has made an announcement via Facebook, that a meal deal, specifically targeted at those who follow a gluten free diet, will be launched by the YUSU Shop that will include “Kettle Chips, Metcalfe’s Popcorn [and] a range of sandwiches and salads from Urban Eat”.
It has been declared as “a step in the right direction” by newly elected Dawson, who appears to already be instigating positive changes towards student welfare on campus, well in advance of the start of the new academic year.
The announcement has been particularly well received by students at York who suffer from coeliac disease. One student commented: “I think it’s fantastic. When you’re a coeliac you can’t just simply walk into a shop and grab a bite to eat in between lectures. You have to plan in advance for every single meal which is not always easy.”
Coeliac disease is an autoimmune deficiency disease that affects around 1 in 100 people in the UK. However, the number of diagnoses made is steadily rising as healthcare professionals become more aware of the condition and the typical symptoms, although these can differ dramatically from case to case.
For most of the population, gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, which gives foods such as bread and pasta their texture, can be tolerated. However, for a sufferer of coeliac disease, the body mistakes gluten, or more specifically the peptides that it is broken down into, for a foreign body, and reacts against them, causing damage to the lining of the gut. There is no cure. The only way for a sufferer to relieve their symptoms is to follow a strict gluten free diet for life.
As a student it is not one of the easiest conditions to live with. Another student commented: “Gluten free foods can be so expensive. A gluten free loaf of bread can be sometimes three times the price of a normal loaf.”
The news that the gluten free meal deal will not differ in price from the current meal deal offering is one that has certainly been welcomed by those who wish to see price leveling between gluten free and standard foods. “It’s discriminating”, another sufferer commented. “Why should having a hereditary condition mean that we have to pay more than everyone else? At least the University is taking note.”
The gluten free meal deal, priced at £3.29, is available now from the YUSU Shop.
More information on Urban Eat’s ‘Eat Better’ range can also be found on their website here.