by Taylor Bata
A new hot meal vending machine was installed early last week next to the cafeteria. Some claim that it is a Black Mirror-esque installation that cuts the human experience out of buying a lunch, while others say it’s just a convenient way to avoid the line in the cafeteria for some quick food in a pinch. Either way you slice it, it looks like this food provider is here to stay.
Warrior News spoke with a representative from the company this past Monday on the reason this vending machine was put in the school. “Many parents were concerned about how long it takes to buy a meal in the cafeteria during the lunch hours,” said the representative. “This new hot meal vending machine is the solution to cut down on traffic and inconvenience in the lunchroom.”
Currently, there are four food options to choose from: a selection of meat, pancakes, occasionally fish, and pierogi are available for purchase. Some students were concerned about the lack of vegan, vegetarian, and pescatarian options. When questioned about this, the representative replied that, “Within the next few months, we are looking to expand our catalogue to six options including vegetarian and vegan options.”
Meals cost 13 pln a piece, less than the cost of the cafeteria food, which ranges from 18 to 23 pln for one hot dish. So far, it seems like the prices will not change for the remainder of the school year.
Jan S. was among the first to buy lunch from the vending machine on Monday and he picked the chicken. He said that he received the meal hot and ready to eat, silverware provided. He liked the meal well enough, and when asked if he would plan on buying again he said, “If I was in a hurry, yes.”
The environmental impact of the vending machine could potentially lead to a loss of revenue for the service as all the food items are currently packaged in plastic containers that are thrown out after every meal opposed to the china plates that can be washed in the cafeteria.
Filip N. was asked if he would still buy from the vending machine after learning of this news and he said, “I don’t think that it would matter really, lots of water is wasted washing all the dishes so it’s really a give or take on how you want to kill the Earth.”
It appears that the cynicism of the 10th grade will not affect the sales.
But what goes on behind the facade of the vending machine? How does all this food stay fresh without destroying the nutrients? The answer to this is specialized refrigeration technology. The food is kept in the dark at a constant temperature between one and three degrees celsius to ensure a healthy and fresh meal, according to the vending machine representative. Once purchased, the food is able to stay fresh for up to five days if refrigerated so, theoretically, one could buy lunch and then save the lunch all week.