McGill Food and Dining Services often hosts themed food events, such as Tropical Dinner, Taste of Greece, Seoul Food, Vietnamazing, and Taste of India. Now, it has decided to take its theme in a different direction. For the first time in McGill history, cafeterias will hold a Real Food Week, to give students a taste of edible food. This initiative follows the event Sustainable Eating: Last Week’s Leftovers, after student complaints that the food was too similar to regular cafeteria days.
“Preparing for Real Food Week is going to be a real challenge,” Director of Food and Dining Services Shirley Temple said in an interview with The McGill Tribune. “We are going to have to make an effort to use all real ingredients like actual fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. We are going to have to stop getting all of our produce from decade-old cans, and make sure any products we use have not yet passed their expiration dates […] it’s going to be tough. These aren’t things we’re used to thinking about.”
Since this is the first time that McGill Food and Dining Services has decided to embark on a challenge of this magnitude, it created a feedback form for students in residence to express their desires for the week.
“I was pleased to see that almost all students in residence filled out this form,” Temple said. “Over 96 per cent wanted to see a pinch more spices so that the food tastes slightly less cardboardy, while just over 94 per cent wanted to feel safe knowing that they will not get sick after eating, and finally, almost 100 per cent of students don’t remember what fresh fruit and vegetables taste like.”
Temple is open to hosting more themed events in the future, but with certain conditions attached.
“Of course we will try to integrate some of the feedback,” Temple said. “One of our goals for this week is to bring back those nostalgic memories of edible food for students, so we will definitely look into bringing a variety of real vegetables and fruit to campus. However, our kitchens are adamantly against the use of spices and seasoning. We have never have used them, and we never will. It’s just not in our beliefs or value system. We destroyed our last spice rack in 1831, and we never looked back.”
Even though Food and Dining Services is maintaining its flavourless mandate, students are excited about the prospect of food slightly less likely to make them ill.
“At the McGill cafeterias, you are getting more than just a meal, you are also getting food poisoning, or nausea, its almost always one or the other, or even both for the adventurous eater,” U0 Arts and Molson Hall resident Arnold Palmer said.
Real Food Week is set to take place in the Fall 2018 semester, at the Royal Victoria College Cafeteria. If the initiative turns out to be a success, Food and Dining Services will continue it as an annual event, and may even start integrating real food into the cafeterias’ daily menus.
This article is a work of satire and is part of the Tribune’s 2018 Joke Issue.