The Elon Bubble, Privilege, And Uneaten Hot Dogs

The Elon Bubble, Privilege, And Uneaten Hot Dogs

What a waste.
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You can’t deny your privilege when you are the one dumping your full plate of untouched food into the garbage.

We were taught when we were little to “finish your plate”, “only take what you’ll eat”, and “be grateful because there’s another kid out there wishing they could have this meal.” Yet, here we are, attending a school with the mentality of the conserver and the actions of the ungrateful squanderer.

You’ve heard of the Elon-Bubble. You probably live contently within it. For those of you on the outside of our school’s soapy slick confines, the Elon Bubble is that mentality of being the Global Citizen Elon claims to produce with its students, without any of the actions to back up that claim. We boast of how conscientious we are as a school but simply look at our campus’ dining system.

The problem does not lie within the actions of the wonderful and hardworking dining staff who work day and night and late-night just to make sure we eat well. The problem is the administration's placed rules to give off an air of extravagance that the wonderful dining staff are employed to follow and in effect to that disillusioned extravagance are my fellow peers and my actions of waste.

The dining systems at Elon are focused on the appearance of how “high quality it is to go here” over the realities of the negative effects that illusion causes. We’ve all witnessed the “Tour Day Take Over” of the dining halls. Floods of prospective students roam the campus, and in turn its eateries, and in an attempt to woo said students and said students’ families, the staff churns out food that is fancier, that is tastier, and that is in more abundance. Yet, when those students and families leave, what is left?

The absurd amount of food that is shoveled into the trash.

Every day. After every meal. All year long.

As is the way of all Elon-Bubble inhabitants, our administration claims the waste is necessary to comply with health codes. See, the staff are required to dispose of any food that was exposed to the air at the end of each night as to not harm diners from food sitting out too long. Alright, I’ll bite, that’s understandable to a certain degree, but they are also required to follow a “fill to the brim” rule.

Any food option displayed for that day is constantly stocked, to ensure that air of luxury I mentioned earlier. The salad fixing containers are always overflowing. The entrees are cranked out non-stop for the entire dining block. This rule forces dining staff to trash more food at the end of the night then what is undeniably necessary to feed the school. The combination of these two rules leads to a shamefully hefty waste of food discarded into Elon trashcans daily.

The compliance with those aforementioned health codes also makes it so that the food left uneaten every night cannot be donated to any local food banks. If they did donate that food and something were to happen, like someone getting sick, then Elon would be liable. Again, that is understandable, but only to a certain degree.

Elon’s all about innovation, so why are we not invested in finding a safe way to maintain these foods’ necessary temperatures during transportation to charities? Also, doesn’t the constant positive of people getting the nutrition they need outweigh the possible negative of a donation mishap?

Some things need to change, Elon.

First and foremost, get rid of the filling to the brim rule. Honestly, seeing that Lakeside is just STOCKED with corn tidbits isn’t going to get you more commitments from kids. Along with that, replace the current food display containers, specifically at the salad bar, with more shallow ones. That way the illusion of their sacred endless corn is kept to appease the almighty administration without any of the current wasteful realities.

The same goes for supplying smaller serving dishes like the plates and bowls. Seeing as our eyes can be hungrier than our stomachs sometimes, smaller plates and bowls would lessen the impact of student over-serving.

Also, having the dining staff keep a daily log of what was popular and what was not would help with over-buying and over-preparing inevitably becoming wasting later.

Finally, and hear me out, having a late night Local's Hour where locals could come to campus and pay a discounted amount to eat (seeing as there’s only the left overs to choose from, they shouldn’t pay full price) would not only solve the waste problem but nourish some humans, get Elon some cash, and also expose us students to those outside the Elon-bubble- hopefully bursting that bubble once and for all.

Just remember, while these solutions may not ever be implemented, you can personally help out to lessen the waste of our school’s dining system. Simply be grateful, and act knowing the privilege you wield every time you go to scrape off your plate.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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15 Things You've Heard As An Ice Cream Scooper

And the responses you wish you could have said...
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As many of you know, being a customer service employee can be exhausting. Sure, you may like working with people, but there's no doubt that you reach your limit here and there. Ice cream scoopers are a very specialized group of customer service employees who deal with people in their most vulnerable state: when they are craving sweets. If you've ever worked in an ice cream shop, here is a list of things you've definitely heard from customers, with responses of what you probably wish you could have said.

1. "I want cookie dough."

OK, seriously? "Cookie dough" is all you're giving me? Now I have to ask you a million questions about what size, what kind of cone, what type of toppings, etc. I know you may think I read minds, but I swear I don't.

2. "Just give me the regular cone. You know, the normal one."

Well, we offer three different kinds of cones. What's normal to me may not be normal to you. Chances are I'll scoop your ice cream into a sugar cone and then you'll look at me like I have ten heads because you expected a wafer cone *sigh*

3. "Can I try the vanilla?"

Are you kidding me?! I'm not sure if this is because you've never had vanilla before or if it's because you have a very critical opinion of vanilla ice cream, but either way... I suggest you take it down a notch. Your only excuse is if you're four years old.

4. "I promise, this is my last taste."

Is it, though?

5. "Oh wait, actually, THIS is my last one."

Yeah, that's what I thought.

6. "After all of these tastes, I won't have enough room to actually order a cone of ice cream!!!"

Extra points if you and your friends all laugh at the joke you just made.

7. "Is that one good?"

Honestly, does my opinion of ice cream really matter to you? Obviously, I'm going to say I like it, because I work here and it's ice cream, so yeah, it's good. What am I supposed to say? Should I tell you that I actually find that flavor repulsive and that it sort of tastes like soap? Probably not.

8. "Which flavor's your favorite?"

Let's be honest, there's a very high chance that our taste in ice cream is completely opposite altogether. So, when I say that the peanut butter chocolate is my favorite flavor, you'll probably smile and nod politely, and then order mint chocolate chip. Awkward.

9. "Just surprise me!"

No, no, no. Please do not put your ice cream order in my hands, that's way too much pressure. Also, I'm a terrible decision maker.

10. "Do you have chocolate ice cream?"

Nope! *Sarcasm*

11. "Which flavors are gluten-free, sugar-free, fat-free, and dairy-free???"

Why did you even enter this ice cream shop? Don't get me wrong, I'm sympathetic to allergies and sensitivities, but I have a feeling you're just being obnoxious.

12. "I bet your right arm gets pretty muscular, huh?"

Ha. Ha. Haven't heard that one before! Are you going to make the Popeye joke next?

13. "Could you just add some hot fudge on top of that for me?"

Listen carefully. If you ordered a kiddie size ice cream in a cup, and the ice cream fills the cup completely, where would there be room for the hot fudge? The answer is nowhere. I then have to transfer your ice cream into a larger cup that leaves room for the fudge, which easily could have been avoided if you had simply warned me of your fudge desires beforehand.

14. "It costs HOW MUCH?! I remember when a cone of ice cream was 50 cents!"

I don't make the prices. I, too, would love if an ice cream cone still cost 50 cents, but the unfortunate truth is that it does not, nor will it ever again.

15. "Oh, my gosh! I don't know how you work here and stay so thin! I would eat everything in the store!"

Oh don't worry, I DO eat everything in the store.

If you've ever said any of these things to an ice cream scooper, they probably made a joke about you to their coworker when you weren't looking. But it's okay, they immediately praised afterward as long as you tipped well. Ice cream scoopers are nice in nature, I swear. And they don't hold grudges!

Happy scooping!

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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I Wasn't Always Lactose Intolerant, But Now That I Am, I Can Confirm — It Sucks

I see all of my friends eating ice cream and drinking bubble until their heart's content, but I can't say the same thing about myself.

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The thing is that I wasn't always lactose intolerant. In fact, before college, I was able to eat as much ice cream and mac and cheese as I wanted, and I was able to drink a glass of milk and have milk with cereal. But ever since coming to college, for some reason, my body decided that it was time to start rejecting dairy, and it picked the wrong time to do so.

Last semester, I went to get breakfast, and I decided to get a bowl of Fruit Loops, and I poured some milk into it. While I was eating, there was no problem, and I went about everything as I normally would, but it was when I went back to my dorm that my stomach started feeling...not so right. My stomach was hurting and I felt bloated. I was hoping that it was only because the cereal may have been old or the utensils that I was using may not have been cleaned well enough, so I stayed optimistic (for too long, in all honesty).

The following weeks, I had cereal a few more times, and I also ate some ice cream and mac and cheese, and every time, the same thing happened, and I had to convince myself that deep down, I knew what this meant. I sort of panicked because it was all so sudden. I was perfectly able to tolerate dairy right before college started, but now, I can't even handle a cup of ice cream.

I have to constantly monitor how much dairy I consume because if I consume more than my maximum amount, it's not going to end up well. Sometimes, I see my friends' iced milk tea whenever we're on the train, and I envy them because I try to avoid anything with dairy when I'm taking any sort of transportation. I think the worst part is that every time I pass by the Chatime truck, I have to fight the temptation of getting a cup of boba, especially during this time of year on the warmer days. I always walk by the crowd huddled around the cart, wishing I was them. It sounds kind of sad because it is.

Now, I may be lactose intolerant, but that doesn't mean that I don't consume dairy at all. There are days when I get out of chemistry lab, needing to treat myself to something for standing and stressing out for three hours straight, so I order myself a large Jasmine green milk tea, completely ignoring the consequences of my actions. There are even nights after dinner where I'll get two or three cups of ice cream, and I'm not going to lie, I regret it afterward half of the time.

My body may not thank me, but quite frankly, I can't go forever without eating dairy because...do I even have to say it?

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