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Students to cook own food after food service departure

Staff Writer

Published: Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 11:03

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Jim Gehrz/Minneapolis Star Tribune/MCT

Mette Nielsen joins others in a "crop mob" helping plant tomatoes on the Cornercopioa Farm, a student-operated organic farn on Parkland’s campus on March 17, 2012. With Chartwells now gone from the campus, students must resort to growing their own food.

News broke earlier this week when the Parkland administration announced that they have completely done away with the food service program. The news came as a shock to all parties involved. Sources say, however, that there is a plan in place that will be sure to please everyone.

Reports of the story began at 9:37 p.m. Friday when the guy who sits outside the public safety office got the story from some other guy. This other guy, in spite of recently predicting the end of the world and Brett Favre’s retirement, is usually a very reliable source. He assured us that “the food services’ days are numbered.”

Parkland’s food service program will be sorely missed in the college as well as in the community. Voted America’s No.1 place to eat on a Parkland campus, none can deny the memories and joy they brought to everyone they touched.

Daisy, who frequently sits at the third table away from the Coke vending machine, shared one of these experiences.

“I remember one time, I had grabbed a burger and it said it was a cheeseburger. But, after I bought it and I paid for it, it was a hamburger. They were generous enough to put my slice of cheese on there, plus another one,” she said with a tear in her eye. “Those were the good old days.”

She tried to continue but the tears started to flow uncontrollably. Parkland’s food service had a real emotional effect on her.

One person who does not share these sentiments is Parkland’s oldest student. Betsy Dangimold, 97, believes the students have been spoiled these past few decades.

“I remember back in my day we had to earn our food,” Dangimold said. “We believed in Darwinism. And we didn’t have a cafeteria or kitchens. We ate in the ruins of the Roman Empire.”

After background research uncovered the fact that Dangimold was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, she refused further comment.

A lot of heartfelt emotion has been displayed throughout the school over this decision. A mural is currently being constructed in memory of the food service program. It is said to be 50 feet high and feature the outrageously high menu prices.

Sources say the 50 foot letters will enable passersby to compare the food prices to nearby gas prices. They can then decide between a delicious Parkland hamburger or a half tank of gas.

The question now being asked is “What’s next?”

The administration has proposed a revolutionary idea. One of the members spoke but chose to remain anonymous.

“Students are all about being independent and do- it-yourself. So, why not let them cook the food themselves?”

This landmark idea is sure to receive mixed reactions. The administration has, in effect, turned the grills over to the students.

Students will be able to cook in a real kitchen, many for the first time. It should be an interesting experience.

Students will only be provided with vegetable oil, butter, Pam spray, and hairnets. All food, spices, and cooking utensils must be brought from home.

Multiple offices have been cleared in the L wing to make room for cooking advisors. Graduates of culinary arts programs all across America are hoping for a chance to be a part of this project.

There is an incentive for the students, who have been given permission to sell the food at prices they set. There is a tax involved, however, and a certain percentage must be paid to Parkland. This money will go toward projects like widening the lanes in the parking lot, overall betterment of the school and urinal cakes, not necessarily in that order.

Parkland’s agricultural resources will be used as well. Open areas around campus will be set aside for students to grow crops. It will be monitored, of course, to make sure no illegal plants sprout.

In coming semesters, this system will be diversified to include other means of food production. For example, students will be allowed to raise cattle, pigs, and ostriches.

Classes will be offered to educate those who may have forgotten or simply want to learn the art of livestock farming. This is one of many courses added to the curriculum, as a result of this new program.

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