Last month, Seven Days published an article lauding the "green" credentials of UVM-contracted campus food mega-corp Sodexo.
Lots of things come to the minds of us UVM students when we think about Sodexo. Sometimes "green" pops into my head. For example, green is the color my face turns after eating a greasy Sodexho burger sandwiched in a stale bun. Green is the envy I felt towards off-campus students when I lived on-campus and was forced to eat garbage three times a day. Green is what the lettuce in my off-campus fridge looks like, as opposed to to the brown lettuce that sits out all day at the Sodexo salad bar in on-campus dining halls.
The author of the article, Kevin Kelley, did hit all the points of Sodex-dissent among college students. Yes, Sodexo employees don't get paid livable wages. Yes, Sodexo is a far cry from "local," operating in countries from North America to Europe. True, Sodexo used to sell its services to prisons. But the article did miss one thing: The food sucks.
Of course, food quality is somewhat subjective, so I won't get into the dull and repetitive menu options, the low-quality meats, the undercooked pasta, or the fly-filled dining halls. If you want to hear about that, go to Simpson Dining Hall on Redstone campus and ask anyone what he or she has had for dinner for the past two weeks. Or check out what Urban Dictionary — the raw and explicit pulse of American youth — has to say about Sodexo. It's good for a laugh.
But one thing that is totally objective, totally undeniable, totally known to anyone who lives on campus, and totally gross, is Sodex-Poo.
When you eat Sodexo food, you will take a trip to the bathroom within thirty minutes. Guaranteed. Some think they put laxatives in the food. Others say that our bodies are so disgusted by what's inside it, it pushes it out super-quick. Regardless, Sodex-food becomes Sodex-poo in a matter of minutes. Without fail.
Honestly, some overpaid government bureaucrat should do a study on how much toilet water is used by Sodexo campuses vs. non-Sodexo campuses. I bet all the UVM Sodex-poo flushes alone are grounds for disqualification from the "green" label.
Now that I live off-campus, my bowels are finally back in order. True, I no longer have the privilege of being served prison-quality food by a greenwashed corporate giant, but that's the price I have to pay to go to the bathroom on a regular schedule. And at least I can take solace in knowing that I am helping the environment by not eating on-campus. Now that's truly green.