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Food court

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Pass the Grade D meat, please

Illustration by H. Von

Illustration by H. Von

Last year, BC's award-winning Dining Services department launched a "myth busters" campaign. After asking students to reveal their unkindest beliefs about campus culinary practices, the staff printed the charges and their responses on posters for dining hall walls.

The most referenced concerns were that:

• Food preparers secretly spray salad-bar lettuce with a tasteless and odorless starch to provide supplemental nourishment to dieting students, and particularly to women who may be suffering from eating disorders.

• Staff add laxatives (tasteless and odorless) to food in order to (a) encourage students to eat more frequently and spend more money in the dining halls, or (b) reduce the risk of food poisoning by the prophylactic measure of speeding all food through student bodies.

• Dining Services prepares "Grade D" meat, which the U.S. government deems unfit for human consumption, but which BC buys to cut costs.

In its responses, Dining Services noted that it does not put additives or drugs in any food it serves and that it purchases only USDA prime or choice cuts of meat. The posting helpfully added that "Grade D" meat does not in fact exist, because meat is not graded alphabetically.

Asked whether the campaign had changed student perceptions, Dining Services director Helen Wechsler said, "Urban legends have a life of their own. You squash one and another appears."

Paul Voosen

 

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