Allergies, Gluten, and Everything In Between

We all have some foods we just can’t stand.  These tend to be by choice.  However, for many, be it allergies, intolerances, or general dietary restrictions, some people cannot consume them at all.

Recently, we have been experiencing an increased spike with individuals that are either gluten intolerant and have Celiac Disease.  What was once viewed as a challenge is now welcomed by our chefs as our goal is to provide a great experience for every college student we serve in Greek Life.

Many don’t understand what a gluten free diet consists of or why people need to follow it.  So, what exactly is Celiac Disease?  The Mayo Clinic defines Celiac Disease when gluten causes inflammation in the small intestines.  It can lead to intense pain, vomiting, extreme fatigue and/or weakening of the immune system.

This year alone we have nearly 150 individuals that came forward with either intolerance to gluten or diagnosis of celiac disease.  This is not something we can, nor want to, turn away from.  In response to the growing need, we have educated our chefs via the Campus Cooks College (our three day Greek training program that orientates already professional working chefs to the culture of Greek Like and expectations of Campus Cooks).  They learn how to work with students that have not only gluten restrictions but many others.  They work on managing orders, preparing items to avoid cross-contamination, and how to address the needs of the individual.

Many companies, from Udi’s, Whole Foods, and GFS have been working on producing gluten free items.  We work with these vendors, beyond what we make in house, to acquire items that have been generally accepted by many.  Items such as gluten free pizza crusts, cereals, and pastas are becoming better all the time.  These items allow us to assist with the many individuals and their diets so that they can share in the same great experience that Greek Life is intended for.

If you are living in a chapter right now, there is a good chance someone has an intolerance to gluten or someone who has a severe allergy.  There are many instances where they do not want to come forward because they do not want to “cause an issue” or “seem different than everyone else.”  This is the worst thing that can happen because they are jeopardizing their health which can have detrimental repercussions on their collegiate life.

If you are not utilizing our service, how do you work with people that have gluten intolerances or severe allergies?  How are menus planned?  How does the chef work with those individuals to ensure the safest product possible?  We want to hear!  Please share with us as our goal is not only to provide the best experience at houses we are a part of but the whole Greek System across the country!

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