Thursday, April 2, 2009

Death by Salad

At my place of employment, cafeteria services have been outsourced for a long time. So much so that people have been receiving on hell of a deal for their meals at the various cafeterias on our campus. One staple of my infrequent visits to the cafeteria has been the salad bar.

I work from home the majority of the week, so when I have the option to build out a fantastic salad, I jump at the opportunity. My two "go to" ingredients are the blue cheese crumbles and the fresh-off-the-grill bacon bits. Last week the bacon bits were still warm and glistening! Not technically veggies, they do serve their purpose in the whole scheme of my salad.

What you see in this picture is a large salad bowl. Not completely heaped up with veggies to the max, but a nice full bowl. This normally would have cost around $5.

Last week the prices changed and the salad bar would be charged at $0.40/ounce. I don't know much about ounces; besides all my bike components are weighed in grams. But I did receive one cautionary note from a peer earlier in the week. He gave me fair warning that the salad bar was THE most impacted cafeteria item from the price increases. Sure, it might be a bit more, but probably something reasonable.

What you see in this picture, besides a nice salad, is a meal that just cost me $9.93! Yes, almost ten dollars for a salad. I was blown away. In fact I was so enraged (but not so overly enraged that I didn't pay for it and walk away...) that I raised my voice at the checkout counter to let others know how much of a ripoff this meal had just become.

The cafeteria vendor has just taken a probably high margin item where they make a ton of money on anyways, and just jacked it up astronomically. What's even more sad is that this is the most healthy thing left in the cafeteria. They took away the fresh fruit, yogurt and cottage they are charging an arm and a leg for the most healthy items remaining on the menu.

If people continue to eat there and realize that they have to change their eating habits due to the cost of food, you'll see the general population become unhealthy because the $4.25 cheeseburger and fries are the only reasonably priced option left on the menu.

This could be the last salad I eat at my employer for a very, very long time. Sad.


Drea said...

Well, if you're covering it in Ranch, Blue Cheese, and Bacon, the cheeseburger and fries are healthier anyway :)
I hear your point. The cost of healthy, fresh food is much higher than fast fats. It is an economic sacrifice to eat well, BUT it will make your health care bills cheaper later on and raises your quality of life. I mean red wine is good for you right? That is very expensive compared to beer! Ha ha!

Manley Man said...

My dressing, bacon and blue cheese are a treat for me racking up 2,500 kJ of work done during my bike training rides. Yeah, there's probably a healthier alternative, but I have to keep things in drinking more red wine :)

Holly Roberts said...

Tip: Bring your own salad dressing. The dressing actually costs significantly more by weight (my old employer (from 4 years ago) did this and I ended up saving a boatload of cash by bringing my own dressing).

Try it... you might like it. :o)

JKary said...

I believe I saw a new notice there today. All you can eat salad-bar for the cost of your first born.

Think of the money you can save! ;)


Anonymous said...

Dude - $9.93 at $0.40 per ounce makes this almost 25 ounces or 1.55 lbs. That's a darn heavy salad. Did you only put cucumbers and tomatoes on it? Just leave out anything w/ a high water content and you'll be ok. In fact - dry freeze it before you pay and you'll be surprised on how cheap it'll end up!
-The anonymous dude

Manley Man said...

They're also charging $0.25 for the to-go container. I like the freeze dry idea.