Give me free peanut butter, or give me death

Apr 20th, 2017 | By | Category: 2016-2017, Opinions

By Aubryn Walters
Layout Editor

I have never been a fan of Goudy dinner. Some of it stems from my dislike of most meat, some from pickiness, but mostly from the fact that it is simply not good.

Last year, I ate half of my dinners in my room. There was no point in spending time and meal points when I was not going to eat anything. My odd-smelling panini maker produced many a grilled cheese to get me through the year.

This year, I got over myself and ate dinner at Goudy. In the fall, I had a hard time finding something to eat and had dry cheerios every night (which is less than nutritious). Thankfully, this semester I found PB&J. I’m not ashamed to say that five out of seven nights, I used to have peanut butter and jelly for dinner.

But one day, out of the blue, the peanut butter was gone, replaced with a sign saying that the first peanut butter serving is free, with additional servings for 50 cents each. Needless to say, I was outraged. How can this university deny me the one thing I will actually eat?

It turns out that someone had an allergic reaction because the jam and peanut butter got mixed together, so Goudy had to change how they put out their food.

Honestly, I felt pretty shitty about being so mad. It’s important for students to be able to eat at the only place open for dinner on campus and not have an allergic reaction.

However, that does not mean that it should cost students more of their already insufficient meal plans. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I was under the impression that all-you-can-eat meals mean that you pay one price and eat all you want to with no additional charges. Meal plan C costs $5,700 a year. That should cover the cost of peanut butter.

The first few weeks that I asked for peanut butter from the front desk, they gave me two packets. One packet of peanut butter sparsely covers the surface of one regular sized piece of bread, so two was the perfect amount. Recently, however, they only give one.

The only easy solution to this is to get your friends to ask for one and give it to you. Unfortunately, that doesn’t really work if your friends also want one.

Sometimes, at 5 p.m., the staff forget to take the bucket away and I take as many packets as I can and stuff them in my pockets for later. If you do this, make sure to keep them where they are easily accessible when you go to future dinners, like your backpack. This is especially handy on nights like this recent Sunday night, when Goudy was out of peanut butter and I had to rely on my stock to make it through the meal.

Another problem with the new method of distributing peanut butter is that it creates a lot of plastic waste. Each container has a plastic bottom and top that are promptly thrown away. The amount of energy it takes to create each container, only to simply go into a landfill, is extremely bad for the environment. As a University, we pride ourselves on being sustainable. The peanut butter change is actively moving away from this goal. There must be some alternative to this extremely wasteful method.

In the wake of this crisis I ask for only one thing: bring back the free peanut butter in a sustainable way. It doesn’t have to be an open container with the chance of causing another allergic reaction. However, that doesn’t mean that making students pay for a tiny package at an all-you-can-eat meal is the answer.

 

aawalters@willamette.edu

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