Terryce Boxley is a senior community health major at the University of Oklahoma that has written a blog spotlighting new allergen-free restaurant, Glow Kitchen.
Food allergies are an unavoidable part of many people’s everyday lives. They affect more about 32 million people in the US. Food allergies are also on the rise: The CDC reported that the prevalence of food allergies in children increased by 50% between 1997 and 2011.
A reaction to food occurs when your immune system overreacts to a substance in food or the food itself. This reaction can present itself in many ways including:
* Shortness of breath
* Trouble swallowing
* Swelling of the tongue
The last of these symptoms is a reaction called anaphylaxis, which can impair breathing and send the body into shock. It is potentially life-threatening.
The need for accommodation to individuals with allergies carries with it great responsibility. Here on OU’s campus, Glow Kitchen takes it on.
As a specialty restaurant, it is described on OU’s Housing and Food website as “allergen-friendly” and “taste bud friendlier”. Glow offers food free of the top 8 allergens: gluten, dairy, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, fish and eggs. They also prepare food for those without allergies
I talked to Chef Nathan Eckert who said that though Glow Kitchen is a new restaurant, it is off to a great start. The restaurant opened in October of 2018. He hopes to continue to expand and offer grab-and-go allergy-friendly options like yogurt and veggie chips.
Chef Eckert also informed me that every ingredient at Glow Kitchen has been scrutinized to prevent contamination. All purchases of ingredients must go through OU Housing and Food’s Ingredient Specialist Dorothy Flowers. Glow Kitchen even has its own private ovens.
Glow Kitchen offers build your own salads, pizzas and sandwiches with a wide selection of toppings. They also offer daily soups and have just introduced fresh-pressed juices.
So, if you’re looking for tasty, allergen-friendly food right here on campus, give Glow Kitchen a try!