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Biotechnology, Russian minor
Chicago IL

RIT and Food Allergies

Sarah Alef on Monday, 12 January 2009. Posted in Campus Safety, Dining, Residence Life, Student Life

I know you seniors out there are trying to make a decision as to which university you will be attending next fall.  For some of you, that decision is very much contingent on whether or not our dining services will be able to accommodate your food allergies.  Keep reading for some valuable information.

I did not experience food allergies until I came to college.  Making the switch from eating home cooked meals every night to mass produced cafeteria food is an adjustment for everyone, but something was amiss.  I was sick all the time, and so tired.  I was finally diagnosed with a severe MSG and beet sugar allergy, which explained 99.9% of my symptoms.  I have been working with RIT's Dining Services to accommodate my food allergies, and I have to say, they have done an excellent job thus far.  We have a dietician available here on campus (His name is Tim Keady, you can find him in the Student Health Center) and there are numerous avenues to make living and eating on campus friendlier for our food allergy students.  The Corner Store and Crossroads both sell organic soups, chips, vegetables, and even TV dinners! You can petition Disability Access Services for access to a dorm kitchen to cook your own dinner, and if you want to eat on campus, Food Services makes their ingredient lists easily accessible.  

I haven't been officially diagnosed for long, but so far, I haven't had any adverse reactions since, and I'm feeling a lot better.  If you have food allergies and are considering RIT, don't hesitate to call the Student Health Center with questions about dining provisions.  Feel free to email me if you would like any other advice on dealing with food allergies at RIT!

Comments (8)

  • Emily Okey

    Emily Okey

    14 January 2009 at 11:58 |
    Gracie's is pretty good with vegetarian options as well. I've, too, found that if I can't find something, just ask! I need to look into this dorm kitchen thing, I've heard there is one but I've never found it :)
  • John


    15 January 2009 at 14:55 |
    I Love the salad bar at SAU!
  • Emily Okey

    Emily Okey

    15 January 2009 at 15:37 |
    Me too!! I haven't gone there in a while though. I wish Gracie's had a salad bar like that, that'd be awesome.
  • Alyson Moore

    Alyson Moore

    18 March 2009 at 16:43 |
    You are so lucky. I had the same thing happen during my freshman year, except it was cane and beet sugar for me. I wish my cafeteria had been at all accomedating. I ended up having to move back home.
  • Gluten Allergy

    Gluten Allergy

    13 August 2009 at 04:16 |
    I'm a little confused that you were diagnosed with MSG allergy - as far as I understand an allergy causes the body to produce anti-body (Ie G) - I don't thinks this is the case with MSG. Rather I would call your reaction an intolerance or a hypersensitivity. Or did your body in fact produce anti-body?
  • Sarah Alef

    Sarah Alef

    13 August 2009 at 07:08 |
    Oh snap! I've been found out! You are mostly correct, typically MSG "allergies" are actually hypersensitivity of the cilia in the small intestine. However, when I write my blogs, I'm usually writing for a more general audience, so I try to avoid phrases like Ig G and hypersensitivity. I do produce a small amount of Ig G to MSG, but the hypersensitivity is really the main issue. So yes, you are correct!
  • cat jarritt

    cat jarritt

    20 November 2009 at 16:28 |
    Nice article and I can empathise with your situation. What gets me is the amount of cakes brought into the workplace on peoples' birthdays and that fact that I cant have any ! Grrrr. Now flapjack...the ones without wheat flour...that's a different matter! :D Here, too in the UK the uni canteen does not cater too well for allergy sufferers. Similar to your situation we ar lucky to have a deli over the road that caters for a diverse range of foods.

    Cat xx
  • bri


    12 July 2010 at 18:31 |
    I want to ask you something but i dnt see ur email address... its probably right there lol

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