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Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Gluten-Free in College: Part 1
At this time of year, I always get really nostalgic for college. I met my best friends for life and got an amazing education at Marist College so I have very fond memories of those four years of my life. Unfortunately, the not so fond memories came to eating in college. I wasn't careful, I ate and drank a lot of things I shouldn't have, and I did a lot of gluten-filled things I am not proud of during those four years of college. In retrospect, I should have been much more careful. I should have spoken directly with the cafeteria staff during freshman orientation and checked with the staff regularly about the food I was eating but I did none of these things. I was sick for much of the first two years of school while eating in the dining hall and this was all as a diagnosed Celiac. I can't go back and change anything, but I can share tips with my readers about how to make college life much easier for those going away with Celiac Disease or gluten intolerances. It seems that college campuses are friendlier than ever to those on a gluten-free diet, so I want to help ease your back-to-school worries.

Seriously, could my college campus get any more beautiful!?

This is the first of a multi-part series about going back to school and going away to college and how to navigate a gluten-free diet.

Is Your College Gluten-Free Friendly?

The GlutenFreeTravelSite added a feature that enables gluten-free college students to review colleges and universities for their degree of "gluten-free friendliness." Reviewers simply follow the steps for Submitting a Review as they would for a restaurant, store, hotel, or resort, but they choose "college" when prompted for the type of establishment they're reviewing.

By adding colleges as a choice of venues to be reviewed, GlutenFreeTravelsite gives college students a way to share their feedback -- both positive and negative -- with current and prospective students who follow gluten-free diets.

Read more from the GlutenFreeTravelSite press release below:

GlutenFreeTravelSite today announces the addition of a feature on its site that enables the gluten-free community to review colleges and universities for their degree of “gluten-free friendliness.”

GlutenFreeTravelSite is a website that helps people following gluten-free diets find “safe” places to eat, whether they are looking for a restaurant in their town or searching for suitable places to eat or stay when traveling. The site contains a database of thousands of reviews of restaurants, hotels/resorts, cruises, and grocery stores throughout the world -- submitted by people following gluten-free diets.

By adding colleges and universities as a choice of “venues” being reviewed, college students now have a way to share their feedback – both positive and negative – with current and prospective students who follow gluten-free diets. To search for college reviews, users of the site simply do a geographic search, entering the town or zip code where the particular college is located. GlutenFreeTravelSite will also regularly share information about the college reviews it receives via Twitter, Facebook, and their free monthly email.

Max Librach, a 2009 Georgetown University graduate with Celiac Disease, explained the challenge for gluten-free teens evaluating colleges. “It’s crucial to get feedback on the gluten-free policies of colleges and the options that are available on campuses, because college students need to know if they’ll be able to get safe meals every day while attending school.”
Mr. Librach, who is also co-founder of Eagle Therapeutics, makers of CeliAct, the first nutritional supplement designed specifically for people with Celiac Disease, continued, “Students with Celiac are completely dependent on the commitment and safe practices of the school they choose. Now that there will be a place for aspiring college students to go to find out about a certain university’s ‘gluten-free friendliness,’ it will help make those tough decisions so much easier.”

“There has been a fair amount of press recently about universities that either do or don’t cater to the gluten-free community,” added Karen Broussard, founder and president of GlutenFreeTravelSite. “We felt people should have a place to go to search the schools they’re considering – or share feedback about the schools they attend. Users of our site already have the ability to search or submit dining and travel reviews of ‘gluten-free friendly’ restaurants, stores, hotels/resorts, and cruises. Why not also give them the ability to review colleges and universities?”

Most people who follow gluten-free diets do so because of Celiac Disease, an autoimmune disease in which the body is unable to digest gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Celiac Disease affects 1 in 133 people in the United States, and rates are even higher in some other countries. People with “gluten intolerance,” autism, and other health concerns have found that a gluten-free diet can also help reduce their symptoms.

About GlutenFreeTravelSite
GlutenFreeTravelSite was launched in April 2008 to help users quickly and easily access peer-written reviews of restaurants, hotels/resorts, cruise ships, and grocery stores around the world that cater to the gluten-free community. Between the database of reviews and the dozens of national and regional restaurant chains with gluten free menus listed on their Gluten Free Restaurant Menus page, visitors to the site can find thousands of safe dining options. For more information or to learn about advertising opportunities, visit GlutenFreeTravelSite or e-mail kbroussard(at)glutenfreetravelsite(dot)com.

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Anonymous Karen Broussard said...

Thanks for sharing this important article, Erin! We hope to continue expanding our list of colleges that have been reviewed. Here is the list of places reviewed thus far:
Thanks for helping us to spread the word!

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