Picture this: you are at a restaurant trying to order a rice bowl for lunch and you want to know the ingredients. More specifically, you are trying to make certain the content of your rice bowl does not contain gluten. When asked, your well-meaning server happily tells you the dish contains butter, so “yes, it does contain gluten.”
This is a situation I personally experienced while attending school in my college town of Stillwater, Oklahoma.
As a college student with celiac disease – an autoimmune disease that prevents me from ingesting gluten – I have repeatedly witnessed the lack of awareness that college students have about the food they eat, how it’s produced, and where it comes from. This includes the story I shared above. The biggest issue that I have witnessed is the belief among restaurant staff and college students – often the same people – is that gluten and lactose are the same thing.
Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley, and rye. So, it is safe to say butter, which is a dairy product made from churned cream, does not fall into the category of foods containing gluten. Butter does contain a small amount of lactose, which can cause food sensitivity in some people. Lactose is found in dairy products including milk, butter, cheese,