Over three million students across Quebec are on strike against the recent increase in the price of cup noodles. The deliciously affordable treats will increase in price from 82 cents a bowl to 84 cents a bowl next year. However, given Ottawa’s recent decision to scrap the penny, prices will probably rise as high as 85 cents per bowl.
The price increase was announced last October, shortly following a report released by researchers at La Universitaire de la Nourriture sur la Club 737 (LUNC(h)). The report suggested that consuming cup noodles in bulk leads to many students gaining weight.
“Cup noodles are not very nutritious, but because of their low price, many students eat them every day,” the report read. “Often this results in students becoming ridiculously, absurdly fat.”
In an effort to combat the incredible unhealthiness of cup noodles, many companies that produce cup noodles have opted for a healthier formula which extends the nutritional value of the treat to include vitamins A, and C, iron, and generally fewer carcinogens. Making these modifications would place the industry under tighter budgetary restrictions. Many cup noodle manufacturers are already billions of dollars in debt.
“It’s really necessary for us to stop running billion dollar deficits each year,” John Campbell’s, a spokesperson for Les Nouilles Sur La Coupe, a Quebecois large cup noodle producing company said. “This new formula isn’t cheaper to manufacture either, so we have to account for those costs.”
Many students across the province are outraged at the increase in price though.
“This is insane,” said Sam Dan, a McGill U8 theoretical yoga student said. “Food is a human right, and it should be free like all other human rights. The government should really regulate the cost of food in this province so that my parents can budget accordingly.”
Rallies in Montreal have turned violent recently, with over 60 students arrested and charged for nutrition-related crimes.
“We were just trying to have a peas-ful protest when the police showed up,” said Jean Sandwiches, a CEGEP student at College Brebouef. “Then the police showed up and asked us if we wanted any fresh ground pepper spray.”
Students insist they aren’t backing down on the issue, and their primary goal is to keep all food accessible.
“We would really like cup noodles to be free, and right at the front of the grocery store near the gum,” U3 Linguine-istics students Robert Frasier-LaPerrier said. “The U.S. gives free food away as foreign aid, so why can’t Canada give us free food?”
The only students in the province not striking are enrolled in McSlurpies’ College of Nutrition.
“I think maybe we’re the only ones who realize how disgusting cup noodles really are,” Mike Berger, spokesperson for the Federation of Observants of Nutrition (FOOD) said. “They have less nutritional value than the chair you’re sitting on.”
Students in other studies don’t always agree with Berger, and are happy to protest in opposition.
“I eat whatever I can find really,” said Michael Appleseed, a PhD candidate in Financial Planning, said. “If it’s cup noodles, or three-week old Provigo lettuce, fine, I don’t care. It’s not really important what I eat, as long as it’s free.”
There is no clear end in sight for the strikes, with neither students nor cup noodle manufacturers backing down.
Like Adam Smith said, “We’re ready to do whatever it takes for the free lunch we’re entitled to,” Appleseed said. “At least until hockey season starts up again.”