If you've seen my article in this month's Gluten-Free Heaven magazine, you'll know I've given some important tips on how to stay gluten-free if you're heading off to university. (Not read it yet? Head to page 28 pronto!)
The article covers all ages of education - from nursery to university
What surprised me just days afterwards was a blog post from someone else with their own tips for university students. Was it a copy of my article? Nope (thank goodness). Worse (yep, worse than plagiarism) was that it had clearly been written by someone who didn't know what on earth they were talking about.
Admittedly, it's now over twenty years since I was at university. But I don't think that much has changed when it comes to behaviours surrounding people who are fending for themselves for the first time and haven't got much money.
I'll go through those dodgy tips.
1. Put your name on your food.
Great! Why not paint a target on your food as well? Putting your name on your food at university is fraught with danger. If someone likes you, they'll think you're nice enough not to mind if they nick your food. If they don't like you, they won't care. There's very little to be achieved by this unless you've got a rare breed that is a not-hungry university student who respects your dietary needs.
2. Use a separate toaster for your bread.
How will you know if no-one else is using that toaster? It doesn't matter if you put a chastity belt around it, hide it behind some baked bean tins or deconstruct it every night - it'll only take one person putting normal bread into it for your toaster to be contaminated. The only time using a separate toaster works is if you either live by yourself or only with people who are also gluten-free.
3. Keep your food in your own cupboard in the kitchen.
Unless there's a lock on it, it's unlikely to remain untouched unless you're really lucky. If you're buying in stuff that no-one else likes then you might be safe, but I'd be surprised if no-one has a nibble during your 3 year stay.
So what were my foolproof recommendations in Gluten-Free Heaven magazine? Head to page 30 to see for yourself. Just make sure you do this in the next week (i.e. before October's issue comes out!).
Have you got any suggestions of your own? Please share them below!