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Supersize Me, Sodexo, Awful Food, and Me 
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Post Supersize Me, Sodexo, Awful Food, and Me
How many of you have seen Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me?

I'm sure plenty of you have. I'm also sure that the main thing you remember from the film is Spurlock's mission to eat McDonald's food exclusively for an entire month. Not to snub Spurlock and his (noble?) mission, but there is another detail in the film that is perhaps even more horrifying. For many of you, it went over your heads. After all, it wasn't as blatantly horrifying, nor as memorable, as Suprlock's excessive ingestion of fast food.

The part of the film I describe takes place in a school. Children are served french fries, sugary soda, and awful food that is chock full of calories. I'm sure many of you, even if it didn't stick with you, were disturbed by this fact as you watched it play out on the screen. It's as if this company is promoting obesity in children! The company, Sodexho, is revealed at the end of the section.

Surely no school would ever want to use Sodexho's services after Spurlock tarnished their reputation, right? Wrong.

All over the country, Colleges, high schools, and middle schools continue to use Sodexo's (name has changed since the movie) services.

Now, you may ask, "MimixRose, what does this have to do with you?" Up until August of 2010, nothing. But, entering college, I discovered that my own school's food services are provided by the food distributor. I heard the rumors immediately coming into the school about Sodexo, but I ignored them, assuming that people were just complaining because cafeteria food is never the best.

I was dead wrong. The pizza tastes like cardboard, the pasta tastes like death, and everything is loaded with fat and calories. The desserts alone (things like chocolate cake and cupcakes and the like) often have upwards of 500 calories.

When I got to college, I intended to lose weight. My goal was to lose 50 lbs by June. By December, I had lost 30 lbs. Not only because I was walking more, but because I ate about 7 meals a week due to the sheer inedibility of the food I was being forced to pay for. It's rare that something appearing to be so blown out of proportion on screen actually lives up to the expectation that the film leaves it with. Sodexo goes above and beyond the call of duty. I would even dare to say that the Sodexo food is the worst I’ve had in my life. Even the salads. They serve twice-cooked broccoli, and I was getting my protein from the tofu they had at the salad bar until they stopped serving tofu. I now have a large case of muscle milk in my dorm. This is how I get my protein.

But that’s not Sodexo’s only issue. It wouldn’t be such a crime if the food was just gross. First of all, people get sick. Many of my fellow theatre majors can’t eat the food, because every time they do, they get physically ill. I am not kidding. But there’s something even worse that Sodexo does. Something immoral and completely unethical. What is it that I speak of, you ask? What could a food company possibly do that’s this awful?

They lie about the vegan status of their food.

Yes, PETA has given them an award for their supposedly “vegetarian-friendly” work. But it’s obviously not because of how they behave on our campus.

Now, I wouldn’t know this, except one of my fellow majors is a very strict vegan. She absolutely will not eat any animal products. One day, she was getting a supposedly “vegan” pasta salad. The name of the meal was “Vegan Pasta Salad”.

With the meals, we have little labels that list the main ingredients, calories, and a little bit of nutritional information.

On the label, it clearly and blatantly stated “Cooked in Beef Stock.”

How is Beef stock vegan? Can someone explain this to me?

Additionally, many of their “Vegetarian” dishes have bits of sausage.
I’ve been in that kitchen. They cook EVERYTHING in the beef stock. Everything.

I know of a couple people on campus who are petitioning for the school to get rid of Sodexo and find a better service to provide us with meals. Attempts have thus far been unsuccessful, but I’m hoping that in the future the school will realize that what Sodexo is doing is just plain wrong. First-years are cancelling their meal plans left and right, I would do so, except that I have no other way to obtain food otherwise. It’s nearly impossible to get off campus without a car, so I eat the food I can tolerate. I’ve been physically ill before because of the food, but I have no other options.

You may be wondering why I’m explaining all of this to you? You think, “what do I care?” The truth is, this is just a bit of a rant. But it’s also a place for open discussion of different things, including companies depicted in film that may seem extreme, but actually entirely accurate depictions. Or just discussing sucky cafeteria food. (Hence why this is in Open Forum and not GMD.)

So we are at the end of me going off about this. Feel free to drop in your own rants. Complain about Sodexo if you’ve had experience with them, or anything else you want.


Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:52 am
Post Re: Supersize Me, Sodexo, Awful Food, and Me
I like it! That rant, I mean.

I had similar problems with the cafeteria in my unicollegeversity as well. Nothing political, mind you, but the terrifying quality of what was offered. This forced an early adoption of the bachelor style of consumption, a rejecting of that style, and an embracing of the hobo cuisine that defined Houston's menu. That, too, was rejected in favor of cooking in which I did for all but my first year... cheaper, healthier and lacking the mystery that should be lacking from all cuisine.


Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:20 am
Post Re: Supersize Me, Sodexo, Awful Food, and Me
majoraphasia wrote:
I like it! That rant, I mean.

I had similar problems with the cafeteria in my unicollegeversity as well. Nothing political, mind you, but the terrifying quality of what was offered. This forced an early adoption of the bachelor style of consumption, a rejecting of that style, and an embracing of the hobo cuisine that defined Houston's menu. That, too, was rejected in favor of cooking in which I did for all but my first year... cheaper, healthier and lacking the mystery that should be lacking from all cuisine.

I legit have two bottles of V8 Veggie, 2 bottles of V8 Fusion, and a giant box with about 12 little muscle milk juice-box thingies. I eat one solid meal a day, at most.

I thankfully went out tonight with a friend, so I'll be good for tomorrow with my leftovers. XD


Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:29 am
Post Re: Supersize Me, Sodexo, Awful Food, and Me
Sodexo sounds a little naughty, no?

I certainly wouldn't trust a company with that name to cater my food. "Hey I didn't order any mayo!" and all that...

In any case, it's good that you're angry. Shows you care. Students at US Colleges like a cause, yes? Get some folks together and spread the word. Use technology to make people aware. If enough students are unhappy then the administration is bound to take notice.


Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:43 pm
Post Re: Supersize Me, Sodexo, Awful Food, and Me
ed_metal_head wrote:
Sodexo sounds a little naughty, no?

I certainly wouldn't trust a company with that name to cater my food. "Hey I didn't order any mayo!" and all that...

In any case, it's good that you're angry. Shows you care. Students at US Colleges like a cause, yes? Get some folks together and spread the word. Use technology to make people aware. If enough students are unhappy then the administration is bound to take notice.



We have a food committee. I just don't participate because I'm not really friendly with the president. I don't dislike her or anything, we're just not very friendly. Meh. haha. They're not too effective anyway.


Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:19 pm
Post Re: Supersize Me, Sodexo, Awful Food, and Me
Great rant!

My kids are not allowed to eat the garbage served at school

I get up each morning and prepare them interesting "meals" that contain 5 different items from fun to basic.

I learned that kids prefer different bites that they can devour at different times - so always 5 different things

Rob


Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:43 pm
Post Re: Supersize Me, Sodexo, Awful Food, and Me
I've never once actually eaten at the cafeteria at my community college, so I don't know if they're food is actually any good or not, but after hearing about this i'm certainly not inclined to eat there anytime soon.


Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:04 am
Post Re: Supersize Me, Sodexo, Awful Food, and Me
The food at my college's cafe is pretty bad as well, but at least i have the feeling that it could be edible towards a starving desert stranded man.


Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:18 am
Post Re: Supersize Me, Sodexo, Awful Food, and Me
Before the new year started I watched an excellent recent documentary called Food, Inc., which was all about the food industry in the nation. All sorts of horrible truths are revealed. It might be a little over-dramatic to say that a documentary changed my life, but right when the film ended I made a New Year's Resolution to eat healthier. No fast food, no sodas, no pre-packaged meals. If there is ever an organic option, I make a point to go that route. I have a feeling that I'm starting down a path that will eventually lead to me becoming a vegetarian, which is a-ok for me but annoying for my close family. I haven't seen Supersize Me, but to be perfectly honest, I'm not sure I'd be able to stomach it. I've gotten to the point where commercials for fast food specials nauseate me. It's really no small wonder why the United States is an obese nation.


Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:31 am
Post Re: Supersize Me, Sodexo, Awful Food, and Me
Well fast-food just happens to be a regular thing for me, and Supersize Me didn't discourage me from it one bit, however I usually only have it once a week, and believe it nor not you can just as easily get sick from a vegetarian diet as anything else.


Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:44 am
Post Re: Supersize Me, Sodexo, Awful Food, and Me
Mimix, this sounds like a task for one of the up-and-coming journalism students at your campus. You have a campus newspaper, right?


Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:36 pm
Post Re: Supersize Me, Sodexo, Awful Food, and Me
MimixRose wrote:
Now, I wouldn’t know this, except one of my fellow majors is a very strict vegan. She absolutely will not eat any animal products. One day, she was getting a supposedly “vegan” pasta salad. The name of the meal was “Vegan Pasta Salad”.

With the meals, we have little labels that list the main ingredients, calories, and a little bit of nutritional information.

On the label, it clearly and blatantly stated “Cooked in Beef Stock.”

How is Beef stock vegan? Can someone explain this to me?


Probably because they do beef, like most fast food places do beef. That is, there is no beef, just fillings, additives and artificial flavor to give it that "just off the grill" taste.

Also, the most annoying thing about Sodexo at the college I went to was it's monopoly control over everything. Groups that wanted outside businesses to cater events on campus and such had to get permission from Sodexo to do so. Can one say "good luck"? Everything they charged for was ridiculously expensive as well.

Second, it also mean no vendors in the quad that one could get an inexpensive hot dog or snack from for lunch.
-Jeremy


Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:51 am
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Post Re: Supersize Me, Sodexo, Awful Food, and Me
I think Pittsburgh has spoiled me. We're a fairly small city on the international level (300,000 with a metro area of around 2 million) but we have a ridiculously diverse food scene. We have authentic southern Indian, Burmese, Syrian, a Chinese bakery, etc. it is possible to get good food cheap. We have street food around the two major universities (CMU and Pitt) that is terrific; you can get a delicious lunch for $5. There's a halal market and grill that cooks fresh, never frozen meat from a local provider and is OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG good.

Now, I'm considering three universities for my doctorate. All three are very good schools, academically. Unfortunately, two of the three simply don't have near the culinary offerings as Pittsburgh. Mainly fast food, deep fried American food, etc. UGH. On one hand that's bad, but on the other hand it will force me to cook more and eat out less, thus saving money. Any ingredidents I can't find locally I can always ship in.

I aim to subsist on an average of $10 per day spent on food. Breakfast can be boiled wheat or some other similar crop, maybe with a cut up banana, blueberries, or blackberries thrown in (fiber ftw). That's very cheap--probably $1. Lunch, maybe a fruit smoothie, maybe an omelet, maybe a veggie dish like mujadara (rice, lentils and onions, delicious). Then supper, baked or grilled fish or chicken. Probably with a side of brown rice or some other comparable side dish that is nutritionally dense and very filling. All of that can be done for around $8. It's basically the Nash Diet: Economy edition.

Then, probably once a week, I'll eat lunch out, spending a little more but enjoying a decent dish at one of the (few) decent restaurants in the area.

Unless I end up going to AZ State, which is in a suburb of Phoenix thus giving me access to a pretty awesome food scene.

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Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:46 pm
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Post Re: Supersize Me, Sodexo, Awful Food, and Me
firefly wrote:
I think Pittsburgh has spoiled me. We're a fairly small city on the international level (300,000 with a metro area of around 2 million) but we have a ridiculously diverse food scene. We have authentic southern Indian, Burmese, Syrian, a Chinese bakery, etc. it is possible to get good food cheap. We have street food around the two major universities (CMU and Pitt) that is terrific; you can get a delicious lunch for $5. There's a halal market and grill that cooks fresh, never frozen meat from a local provider and is OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG good.

Now, I'm considering three universities for my doctorate. All three are very good schools, academically. Unfortunately, two of the three simply don't have near the culinary offerings as Pittsburgh. Mainly fast food, deep fried American food, etc. UGH. On one hand that's bad, but on the other hand it will force me to cook more and eat out less, thus saving money. Any ingredidents I can't find locally I can always ship in.

I aim to subsist on an average of $10 per day spent on food. Breakfast can be boiled wheat or some other similar crop, maybe with a cut up banana, blueberries, or blackberries thrown in (fiber ftw). That's very cheap--probably $1. Lunch, maybe a fruit smoothie, maybe an omelet, maybe a veggie dish like mujadara (rice, lentils and onions, delicious). Then supper, baked or grilled fish or chicken. Probably with a side of brown rice or some other comparable side dish that is nutritionally dense and very filling. All of that can be done for around $8. It's basically the Nash Diet: Economy edition.

Then, probably once a week, I'll eat lunch out, spending a little more but enjoying a decent dish at one of the (few) decent restaurants in the area.

Unless I end up going to AZ State, which is in a suburb of Phoenix thus giving me access to a pretty awesome food scene.


If you're in Phoenix you have to hang out with Steve Nash. You guys already have the same diet.


Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:49 pm
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Post Re: Supersize Me, Sodexo, Awful Food, and Me
ed_metal_head wrote:
firefly wrote:
I think Pittsburgh has spoiled me. We're a fairly small city on the international level (300,000 with a metro area of around 2 million) but we have a ridiculously diverse food scene. We have authentic southern Indian, Burmese, Syrian, a Chinese bakery, etc. it is possible to get good food cheap. We have street food around the two major universities (CMU and Pitt) that is terrific; you can get a delicious lunch for $5. There's a halal market and grill that cooks fresh, never frozen meat from a local provider and is OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG good.

Now, I'm considering three universities for my doctorate. All three are very good schools, academically. Unfortunately, two of the three simply don't have near the culinary offerings as Pittsburgh. Mainly fast food, deep fried American food, etc. UGH. On one hand that's bad, but on the other hand it will force me to cook more and eat out less, thus saving money. Any ingredidents I can't find locally I can always ship in.

I aim to subsist on an average of $10 per day spent on food. Breakfast can be boiled wheat or some other similar crop, maybe with a cut up banana, blueberries, or blackberries thrown in (fiber ftw). That's very cheap--probably $1. Lunch, maybe a fruit smoothie, maybe an omelet, maybe a veggie dish like mujadara (rice, lentils and onions, delicious). Then supper, baked or grilled fish or chicken. Probably with a side of brown rice or some other comparable side dish that is nutritionally dense and very filling. All of that can be done for around $8. It's basically the Nash Diet: Economy edition.

Then, probably once a week, I'll eat lunch out, spending a little more but enjoying a decent dish at one of the (few) decent restaurants in the area.

Unless I end up going to AZ State, which is in a suburb of Phoenix thus giving me access to a pretty awesome food scene.


If you're in Phoenix you have to hang out with Steve Nash. You guys already have the same diet.


By that time he'll probably be gone from Phoenix :(

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Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:42 pm
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Post Re: Supersize Me, Sodexo, Awful Food, and Me
firefly...I need to know what you think about Primanti Bros. Every single time I see those sandwiches on TV I stop and stare. They look fucking delicious. Not to mention my daughter's godfather is from Pittsburgh and it's probably the single biggest thing he misses from home.


Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:18 pm
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Post Re: Supersize Me, Sodexo, Awful Food, and Me
ram1312 wrote:
firefly...I need to know what you think about Primanti Bros. Every single time I see those sandwiches on TV I stop and stare. They look fucking delicious. Not to mention my daughter's godfather is from Pittsburgh and it's probably the single biggest thing he misses from home.

Meh...I've eaten at Primanti Bros twice. Liked the first one, didn't like the second one. It's not really my thing. A lot of people really love them and I can see why.

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Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:02 pm
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