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Gluten & Allergy-Free Dining

College dining hall kitchen

Dartmouth’s journey toward establishing inclusive gluten and allergy-free dining is relatively recent. The first discovered discussions of food allergies were documented in an article from The Dartmouth in 2003, revealing that in an emergency, Dartmouth Dining Services had “no provisions for students with food allergies or other dietary restrictions in its reserves of food.”28 

One reason for the lack of 20th-century discussion regarding food allergies could be the rapid increase in such allergies in the 21st century. The Washington Post reported that the number of food allergies among children doubled from 2000 to 2018, suggesting there may have been few Dartmouth students with food allergies until the 2000s.29 It is also possible that students with allergies or intolerances were afraid to voice their concerns publicly.

The earliest document found related to Dartmouth accommodating gluten and allergy-free diets dates back to 2007, when DDS employees placed “general allergy-oriented ingredient lists, near the food in [Dartmouth’s] dining halls.”30 While this may have been helpful for students with allergies, it may not have provided them with sufficient food options. However, a student in 2010 found that the Class of ‘53 Commons was “very accommodating” of their allergies.31

Dartmouth News headline above a photo of Beth Rosenberger

Dartmouth took a significant leap forward in gluten and allergy-free dining with the opening of the A9 Station at the ‘53 Commons on September 11, 2023. A9 is “a new dining serving area that is free of the top nine allergens: dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, sesame, wheat and soy.” Some students with allergies do not find this station appetizing while others' intolerances are not included in the nine allergens, making this station unappealing or inaccessible.32 However, many enjoy this station's fare, and this certified-free gluten-free station stands as a significant achievement, marking Dartmouth's commitment to inclusivity in its dining services.







28 Nathaniel Ward, “Come Nature or Terror, DDS Stands Prepared,” The Dartmouth, March 26, 2003, https://www.thedartmouth.com/article/2003/03/come-nature-or-terror-dds-stands-prepared.

29 Andrew Van Dam, “The Real Reason(s) Food Allergies Are on the Rise,” The Washington Post, September 8, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2023/09/08/real-reasons-food-allergies-are-rise/.

30 Jean Luo, “You Can Do It, DDS Can Help: Eat Well on Campus,” The Dartmouth, February 23, 2007, https://www.thedartmouth.com/article/2007/02/you-can-do-it-dds-can-help-eat-well-on-campus.

31 Ann Baum, “Topside, Food Court to Relocate,” The Dartmouth, May 4, 2010, https://www.thedartmouth.com/article/2010/05/topside-food-court-to-relocate.

32 Burg, Is A9 the Place To Dine?

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