Someday at WU, I walked downstairs to order my go-to meal from Panera: the Fuji apple salad with rooster. Nonetheless, after I opened it up, I spotted that the pecans, a staple of the dish, had been lacking.  After a quick second of confusion, I remembered that this was attributable to Duke’s transition to a nut-free campus. A number of days later, I seen that Duke had additionally gotten rid of almond milk and changed it with soy milk. It sounds trivial, however I wasn’t simply disillusioned with my salad or the truth that I now must go off campus to seek out almond milk. I used to be disillusioned that Duke, like many others, has begun to observe the sample of prioritizing individuals with nut allergy symptoms over those that have allergic reactions to different meals.

The 5 most typical allergy symptoms are milk, peanuts, shellfish, wheat, and soy. I, myself, am allergic to wheat/gluten and have to keep up a reasonably strict gluten-free food plan on campus. It requires a bit of additional work on my finish, nevertheless it’s not unattainable. When my pizza and pasta at Il Forno take twice as lengthy to arrange, or I ignore Ginger and Soy as a result of I can barely eat something there, or I notice that french fries, ice cream and smoothies are the one issues I can get from McDonald’s, I don’t complain. I simply perceive that navigating campus with meals allergy symptoms takes work. Once I watch the service workers carry biscuits and naan over different meals and see the cross-contamination happen firsthand, I notice that that is simply a part of the territory. The one method to make sure that my meals is actually gluten-free is to arrange it myself. This makes me surprise why Duke places in a lot effort to interchange almond milk with soy milk or take away pecans from salads after I’m fairly positive that nobody allergic to nuts would order these items.

In my thoughts, we are actually younger adults able to discerning what we should always and shouldn’t be placing into our our bodies. Even the company coming to campus should take some accountability. Except for the cross-contamination, which is out of our management, each time you’re in a brand new place and have meals allergy symptoms, you could ask questions. If somebody is allergic to shrimp, you shouldn’t order the seafood paella from JB’s. If somebody is allergic to dairy, possibly you shouldn’t order gelato from Café. And if somebody is allergic to peanuts or tree nuts, you merely shouldn’t be ordering salads with nuts on them or consuming almond milk within the morning with breakfast.

I come from a household of individuals with meals allergy symptoms and dietary restrictions, so I’m not arguing that peanut/tree nut allergy symptoms shouldn’t be taken severely. Anaphylaxis is actual and administering an EpiPen is one thing that I’m undecided I might ever be capable of do. I simply surprise why there’s such a way of urgency for this allergen specifically. One may get into the specifics about signs and reactions to peanuts versus different allergens, however that isn’t actually obligatory, particularly when the extra gastrointestinal points don’t should be disclosed intimately. All I’ll say is that if Duke actually needs to be allergen-friendly, we should always at the very least acknowledge extra allergens than simply peanuts and tree nuts.

For instance, at Market on East Campus, dishes are sometimes given contradictory labels. On Monday, a dish is perhaps labeled gluten-free, and on Thursday, the dish may now comprise gluten. Different instances, the menu says one factor, however when you get in line to order that dish, the signal now says one thing totally different. This forces college students with allergy symptoms to take pointless dangers that may simply be averted. Ginger & Soy at WU solely has one gluten-free protein: tofu. Whereas it tastes good, I’m not vegan and want to expertise the genuine Ginger & Soy expertise of selecting a dish I would like as a substitute of choosing the one factor on the menu that I can eat. This could simply be mounted by changing the soy sauce used throughout cooking with Tamari, a gluten-free various. For cellular orders, campus eateries ought to preserve gluten-free choices obtainable. Ordering a quesadilla from Pitchforks or a sandwich from wherever on campus is tough when the corn tortillas or gluten-free bread usually are not obtainable on the app and should be requested in individual.

As a scholar with a meals allergy, I can say that a number of the accountability falls on us to verify we all know what we will and can’t eat. We have to ask questions and make clear when issues are unclear. Duke is a good place to be as a result of, in comparison with different faculties, not solely is the meals on campus allergen-friendly, however there are additionally devoted workers members in WU who can reply extra particular questions. Accidents occur, and, often, meals will likely be mislabeled, however general, it’s manageable. This isn’t meant to be an argument in opposition to individuals allergic to peanuts or a contest between individuals with different allergy symptoms. However this is a crucial problem that must be raised. It’s a query of why the Duke neighborhood has chosen to develop into a nut-free campus once they may have simply targeted on shrimp or wheat or dairy-free. It actually makes me surprise: what’s so particular about peanuts?

Sonia Inexperienced is a Trinity second-year. Her column sometimes runs on alternate Wednesdays.

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