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I need my two servings of ‘froot’

| Thursday, October 16, 2014

All this happened, more or less. The parts about the cereal, anyway, are pretty much true. North Dining Hall really did stop serving the only cereal that contains real “froot.” It really did seriously traumatize me when I became conscious of the injustice that had transpired. And so on.

It’s 9:20 a.m. on a Monday. Somehow, I had managed to stay awake for the duration of my 8:20 a.m. class in DeBartolo and am now stumbling my way along the familiar path to North Dining Hall. Haphazardly dumping my backpack near the first empty table I spot, I deftly weave my way into the central food room. I take a quick inventory of the produce options, eager to fulfill my recommended daily fruit intake. Bananas. Oranges. Bananas. Some cantaloupe. Bananas. Rotten athletes taking all of the blasted strawberries in northeast Indiana.

Disheartened and looking for any alternative to bananas, I navigate to the lone area of the dining hall that I know will not let me down. The oasis in the desert. The hammer in Nintendo 64 Super Smash Bros. The Charizard in my Pokémon collection, if you will. The cereal bar.

But then I remember, as a rule of thumb, there will be bowls available only at the farthest point in North Dining Hall from which I am currently standing. It takes me several minutes to unearth a bowl and reach the promising line of dispensers that I have learned to rely on. I feverishly scan labels, prepared to cram my bowl with heaps of Fruity Pebbles that I know will provide me with all (…most?) of the essential nutrients contained in my daily serving of fruit. One lap proves futile. Surely I must have missed it. Two laps, still nothing. They’re probably just out of Fruity Pebbles today. That’s all right. I can go for some Froot Loops instead. A few laps later, and I am left staring at the bottom of my empty bowl — the unadulterated, sky-blue plastic mocking me as if I have done something to deserve this assault on all that is good and respectable in this world.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends two whole cups of fruit daily for men and women ages 19 to 30. And that’s assuming that you participate in less than 30 minutes per day of “moderate physical activity.” Hell, it takes me 30 minutes just to walk from McGlinn to North Dining Hall when I want access to chocolate chips from the ice cream bar for my waffle toppings. Add in my hike to the far end of North for Grab n’ Go, and I’ve practically burned off my entire recommended daily calorie intake! How can I be expected to meet such a lofty standard of fruit consumption with no fruity cereal options?

You’ll notice that I began this article by paraphrasing Kurt Vonnegut’s opening lines of the famous novel “Slaughterhouse Five.” I do this not to belittle the tolls taken on veterans of World War II by the tragedies of battle, but rather to stress that the lack of fruity cereal options in North Dining Hall is exerting an somewhat analogous detrimental influence on the mental and physical state of our already cerebrally overextended student body.

So, please, North Dining Hall, resurrect Fruity Pebbles and Fruit Loops, and we promise that we won’t fault you for ditching the Grape Nuts.

Editor’s Note: this is a longer version of the letter that appeared in print today.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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