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ISSUE 120 VOL 1 PUBLISHED 9/22/2006

Caf portions explained

By Amanda Swanson
Contributing Writer

Friday, September 22, 2006

Having a good Caf experience should not be as difficult as your Thursday night physics homework. Feeling guilty about leaving most of the food on your tray should not be what haunts you at night while you sleep. I propose several solutions to these problems: this is the great challenge of working the Caf.

Qualifiers: Caf workers understand the rules about no more than two pieces of corn bread per person and they follow them religiously. But when it comes to knowing how much pasta we want on our plates, how many fries are more than enough, or how many scoops of cheesy eggs it will take to send you into protein overload, only you, the student, can control what you get.

“I would like a small amount of eggs, please.” This sentence would seem sufficient. However, this is rarely enough to get that “small” amount. “I would like a tiny, little bit of fries, please.” I suggest adding as many qualifiers as possible, though even then you may or may not get what you ask for. The trick is to persevere.

Cheating the system: sometimes saying we only want a little of this or that is not enough. Those ladles for pasta are large, and one scoop can be more than enough in itself. So instead of taking the plate you are offered in the pasta line, hand them a bowl. This may fluster the Caf worker at first, but they are nice, hard-working people who, I swear, will not give you dirty looks. This trick can also be done with cups, mugs, or even the smaller salad plates. I promise you that following this method will reduce the amount of excess left over after meals.

On Sept. 14 the Caf displayed the remnants from breakfast, in a most revolting manner, to remind us of the importance of not leaving so much uneaten food. This guilt trip does have some merit. Often people take more than they can eat and the fault is entirely theirs. Anyone’s eyes can be bigger than their stomach on occasion.

However, I was a bit upset over this, since I know that when I leave food on my plate it is almost always because a kindly Caf worker wasn’t prepared to give me the amount I requested.

For example, last year while making my way through the bowls line I had the most disturbing Caf experience in all of my soon-to-be-four years. I was getting the bowls special and asked for some sweet and sour sauce. The worker, whom I will leave to your imagination, poured one scoop, to which I said, “Thank you, that’s enough.” The worker looked right at me, said, “No. More,” and poured another scoop of sauce on my food, which I couldn’t eat.

The problem of wasted food and overeating in the Caf is a joint problem. I urge all students to begin using the techniques I have described, and Caf representatives, please, listen when we ask for less, and understand that we ask this to benefit everyone, so that you do not have to pile up our wasted breakfast in front of us again and point accusing fingers. Thank you.

Staff writer Amanda Swanson is a senior from Detroit Lakes, Minn. She has a CIS major.

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