Nutrition, flavour, and other wonders to be found in residence meals

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Illustration by Yimeng Bian, Graphics Contributor

Illustration by Yimeng Bian, Graphics Contributor

In light of recent events, the Martlet has found it pertinent to update previous statements regarding UVic’s Food Services. Reports now show campus food to not only be entirely reliable and safe for mass ingestion, but also just about the healthiest cuisine available on Vancouver Island.

Vegetarian, pescetarian, and vegan options are overwhelming. Village Greens is devoted to providing meals that are practically animal free, with the exception of some occasional extra protein UVic’s thoughtful staff has been known to throw in for students who appear to need more nutrition.

On top of that, Cadboro Commons also offers a bountiful salad bar, which marinates all day in the open air for added flavour. Certainly, students agree this is more than enough for anyone to “veg out.”

The inclusive offerings have also recently been expanded with  Fresco’s Taco Bar and a Booster Juice in Mystic Market, to much acclaim. “Sure, the same stuff is two dollars cheaper in the SUB,” said one student regarding Fresco’s. “But everyone knows the best part of Mexican food isn’t the flavor — it’s churros!”

For the 1 720 students lucky enough to be on the full meal plan, this is a daily reality.

“I find myself never wanting to go home,” one first-year History major confessed. “Sorry mom — home cooking simply can’t compare to the culinary wonders being whipped up in UVic’s kitchens.”

Although most find it difficult to identify a single quality that makes UVic food so exceptional,  fourth-year Justin Stein said it’s the consistent element of surprise.

“It keeps you on your toes. You never really know what you’re going to find nestled in your steamed veggies,” Stein said. “That’s what keeps me coming back to the full meal plan year after year.”

According to a survey of the 2017 graduating class, 47 per cent cited “stellar food quality” as the thing they’d miss most about leaving UVic, second only to discovering their edge.

“I think the biggest indicator of how satisfied students are is the scads of deer on campus,” claimed Blake Southerton, a laid back Cap’s cashier. “No way would that much venison run free if food was actually an issue.”

Not only does UVic ensure strict adherence to food safety guidelines, but staff say that students should be even more confident in the food prepared out of sight in the kitchens than the gallery-style serving stations. While they were unable to explain why this was was the case, the Martlet was assured it was nothing to be too concerned about.

While recent reports confirmed that metal was found in a student’s meal last November, the situation turned out to be a simple misunderstanding. In an attempt to offset increasing tuition costs earlier this academic year, UVic cooked up a Willy Wonka-esque contest in which tiny ounces of silver were slipped in fortunate student’s meals at random. UVic said that any future discoveries are simply a continuation of this generous giveaway.

When asked if they felt comfortable eating campus food, Erica Danvers, a professional writing student on the full meal plan, responded, “Comfortable? Yes. More than satisfied? Also yes. Would I hire them to cater my next big event? Already did!”

Food Services has requested all constructive feedback students may have to be deposited into any construction pit on campus, and that glowing praise be directed at the nearest passing tour group.

A Residential Dining Focus Group, made up of Community Leaders and students living in residence, met on March 7 to discuss food quality and value. As it turned out, the group had very little to discuss, aside from their mutual admiration of how Food Services manages to run such a high-class operation with so many mouths to feed and apparent needs to satisfy.

“The most important thing for students to remember is this isn’t something that’s good 80 per cent of the time, or even 90 per cent of the time,” one UVic executive said. “Here at UVic, we have the best food all of the time. Or, you know, close enough.”

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