Laskay: CAS should more clearly communicate gluten-free options

As a recently diagnosed celiac, I am terribly appalled that Campus Auxiliary Services does not properly tend to the Geneseo gluten-free community as effectively as they may think they do.

I was diagnosed this past June with celiac disease - an autoimmune disease where the small intestine cannot properly digest food and nutrients that contain the protein gluten. The only "cure" for the disease is to be gluten-free for the rest of your life.

 If this disease is not cared for properly, it can lead to the development of other diseases such as osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis and further autoimmune problems. After my diagnosis, I took gluten out of my diet completely, but after coming to school I'm finding that healthy diet maintenance through the dining hall is turning into a challenge.

 At first, I found gluten-free chicken tenders and gluten-free pasta shells in Letchworth Dining Hall. In the days that followed, those items disappeared from the shelves and I found myself stumped, turning instead to the spinner and sandwich counters. I was pleased to find that there were gluten-free chicken and nachos (made from corn flour) and gluten-free bread in Letch.

On days when I am tight on time, not wanting to have to eat a sandwich every meal, or the line wraps around the room a billion times, however, I've come to find that I don't have any options.

Yes, I know, "Why don't you eat salad?" Because sometimes it would be nice to not lead a guinea pig lifestyle and eat only vegetables for every meal.

"Did you try the sushi? There's gluten-free sushi." As a matter of fact I did. I tried a sushi that specifically said "GLUTEN FREE" in big bold letters and I got really sick from it. Apparently imitation crabmeat is not gluten-free. If that was incorrectly marked, then what else in the dining hall might be?

 Luckily, after a while I came across a few people who lent me some information passed to them via word of mouth: Books and Bytes has gluten-free bread too, Mary Jemison Dining Hall serves up gluten-free pasta and has gluten-free bread for sandwiches and that people could contact the executive chef and talk about making gluten-free meals.

"Great, so what's the problem?"  The problem is that this information is not available on any display in the dining hall, nor is it available online. The only thing I found was a gluten-free mailing list that has proven useless being that I have yet to receive any emails. Also, there is a lack of gluten-free on-the-go microwaveable foods on the shelves, and I found out about the executive chef through a friend who is involved in school tours, and is thus a fountain of random information - including information that happens to be unavailable online.

 I'm lucky enough to be a sophomore and know enough people to learn about this stuff, but what about freshmen and transfers with celiac and gluten intolerance who might not know what or who to ask?  What's the deal, CAS?