B!KE
Statement House
Theatre Trent 2022
Arthur News School of Fish
Champlain College at sunrise. Photo by Rishabh Joshi.

The Seasoned Spoon: A Food Haven On Campus

Written by
Stephanie Spencer
and
and
March 2, 2022
The Seasoned Spoon: A Food Haven On Campus
Champlain College at sunrise. Photo by Rishabh Joshi.

In the early 2000s, Trent had a food service problem. Aramark, the food service provider at the time, had a monopoly and the students wanted a change. This is where the Seasoned Spoon comes in. “From its grassroots origins, the Seasoned Spoon evolved from a Stone Soup Project on campus run by the OPIRG Food Issues Group (FIG). FIG started serving local, organic soup by donation in 2002. The Stone Soup project challenged the food service monopoly that Aramark had at Trent University, offering staff and students more diverse choices as well as food for thought about the prevailing institutional food policies.” This is what you’ll find on the Seasoned Spoon’s website.

While I wasn’t around in the era before the Seasoned Spoon, I have been around for the era of Chartwells – Trent’s current food service provider. As someone who lived on campus, and goes there frequently to study, my life has been affected by Chartwells. Whether it was gaining 30-40ish pounds in my first year, or the constant blood sugar crashes, Chartwells was there through it all. 

The Spoon, as affectionately called by my fellow students, is the one saving grace we have on campus. A vegetarian eatery that provides fresh and local vegetables for Trent’s students. Though I’m not a vegetarian by any means, I'd still choose the Spoon over Chartwells any day. 

The Spoon’s mission is “To grow a regional food system that is sustainable, inclusive and just.” They are “committed to serving locally, and whenever possible, organically sourced food at affordable prices.” So, unlike the $20 grilled cheese and fries that I had at the Gzowski cafeteria, the Spoon’s food is produced locally and feeds students affordably.

As a regenetarian, someone who eats organically and sustainably, the Spoon is all I could ever want. As someone who is low carb and gluten free, good luck trying to find anything to eat in the cafeterias – and I’m sure I am not alone. I don’t want the processed chicken strips that came from a factory, I want a fresh kale salad that came from Trent’s rooftop vegetable garden. After all, the Spoon boasts over 400 co-operative members – and that only includes those who specifically buy their membership. 

I am giving all this praise to the student-run coop, but I haven’t actually stated my purpose for writing this piece. What I want to say is that we need a change in Trent’s food system. Why is it that I must pay an arm and a leg for a meal at a Chartwells cafeteria when there could be more options like the Spoon available?

That is because, in my opinion, Chartwells has a monopoly over the food services at Trent much like Aramark did all those years ago.

While the Spoon is only open on certain days and for a limited number of hours, Chartwells thrives and continues to feed our brains of tomorrow with their menu that is lacking in fresh fruits, vegetables, and properly-sourced protein. Whereas the Spoon serves whole foods that are nourishing our local environment and students’ minds.

I am angry. I want change; but I cannot do that alone. Students, stand up. Let your voice be heard. Start supporting student-run groups, like the Spoon, and get to know the local side of consuming food. For off-campus students, I can suggest some amazing ways to support local and to divert your business from Chartwells whenever you’re on campus. However small, however you can, join me in the fight against Chartwells.

B!KE
Statement House
Theatre Trent 2022
Arthur News School of Fish
Written By
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B!KE
Statement House
Theatre Trent 2022
Arthur News School of Fish
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