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Guacamole at a Cost

Guacamole at a Cost

A couple years ago, The Tower wrote its first article about Graceland’s specific Sodexo program. When cereal was taken away in the Commons, due to a sketchy “cereal shortage,” students at GU were not exactly happy. Last semester and the beginning of this year have been met with additions to the food that students are forced to eat for nine months.

Sodexo has graciously added feta cheese, hard boiled eggs, and a spice rack into the Commons. It’s been fantastic to have more than just salt and pepper to season food. In the past, students brought their own onion powder and crushed basil into the Commons so they would have more flavor in their food. Now, they are met with more than two dozen tremendous spices and seasonings.

But now, yet another problem has risen up from the ashes: guacamole doesn’t keep too long especially when it’s being served in a buffet line without any lid on it all day. It makes sense. The real confusion lays in this question: why is it not being kept with a lid on it? If there were lids, perhaps the guac wouldn’t get as brown as is does.

My younger sister works at a Chipotle in northern Illinois, and she’s worked there for just over a year (she’s only 17, so I’m impressed). They make their guacamole fresh every single day to make sure they’re never feeding dirty guac to their customers. Guacamole doesn’t have a long shelf life, and obviously, Sodexo goes through guacamole as quickly as a company like Chipotle would. (They basically specialize in guacamole.)

I’m a little different than the typical GU student: I love Sodexo. I don’t have to cook, I get a variety of options, and there’s always a good surplus of melon if you ask the fantastic staff to hook you up. The weekends have fewer options, and that makes sense: fewer people = fewer food choices.

But for me, this guacamole deal is a deal breaker. The guacamole could easily be prepared in smaller amounts, or maybe (like other Commons specialties) only once a week. When I was a freshman, way back in 2014, the Commons had the best weekly special line up!

Monday – fresh yogurt with a bunch of different toppings
Tuesday – fresh, homemade Amish bread (but was it really Amish?)
Wednesday – POTATO DAY with large regular and sweet potatoes, with real bacon, shredded cheese, chives, brown sugar, and marshmallows
Thursday – waffle bar, back when waffles weren’t only on the weekends
Friday – nacho bar with ground beef, shredded and melted cheese, salsa, chips, and the occasional guac

If Sodexo were to bring back these days to the Commons, there wouldn’t be a reason to have brown guacamole out every day of the week! Instead, there would be beautiful and delicious guac served with lime and cilantro alongside those beautiful nachos.

Also, who doesn’t miss potato day? I still think about it constantly, and this is Sodexo’s third year without offering it. #RipPotatoDay

But in all seriousness, the guacamole needs to be fresh, I need a potato once a week, and Sodexo needs to realize that most of the items in the “health bar” are already in the salad bar. Combine those two like they should be, bring me back those beautiful potatoes, and serve green guacamole. Most of us pay just over five thousand dollars for our campus meal plans, which is way more money than it actually costs to feed one person on groceries at home for eight months. We all know that part of the cost is for the convenience, but is it really convenient when it’s the only option and forced upon you for two or three or four years?

Anyway, long story short: everyone deserves fresh guacamole. Even poor college kids in the middle of nowhere Iowa.

About Jenna Pitstick

Jenna Pitstick is a junior Theatre & Film and English double-major with an avid love for dogs, pancakes, and social justice. She is also co-president of Graceland’s Social Equality Alliance.

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