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The Mystery of the Extra Food

After cracking the mystery of the missing spicy chicken, Bwog freelancer Joe Meyers delves further into the underbelly of on-campus dining locations.

In food news, it turns out that loading your John Jay cafeteria tray with a sampling of every available entrée isn’t just bad for your cholesterol; it’s bad for your soul. That’s right; when you take too much food at John Jay you’re actually stealing food from the homeless. According to Tony Hall, General Manager of Columbia Dining Services, every Friday John Jay donates left over food to City Harvest, which then distributes it to community food programs throughout the city.

Hall said John Jay alone contributes between 50 and 100 pounds of what is “mostly starch” a week. Almost none of the donated food is “protein.” Yuck. Columbia Catering, on the other hand, uses much of its leftover food to feed employees. Whatever is left over after the employees are fed is given to the soup kitchens of local churches.

“There’s so many hungry people in the city, I never throw anything away,” said Executive Chef John Santiago. In Ferris Booth and Café 212, on the other hand, little is either thrown away or donated. According to manager Ray Prete, most of the food they sell is either sold by the end of the week or refrigerated over the weekend.

212 and Ferris keep careful tabs on how much food is sold to avoid having to refrigerate and reheat too much food, since that brings it through what Prete and other food professionals call the “danger zone.”

Contrary to what you may want to believe, this “danger zone” is not a 4g inverted dive with a MiG28, but (almost as exciting and dangerous) the temperature range of 40-145 degrees Fahrenheit, within which most bacteria can multiply rapidly. It is generally safe for food to be in this danger zone for up to two hours, and according to Prete liquid food is always brought to a boil after reheating to kill bacteria. a

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  • Maverick says:

    @Maverick That’s right! Ice…man. I am dangerous.

  • Erf says:

    @Erf (What they don’t tell you is that it’s probably cheaper to give it away than pay for trash disposal)


  • Oh, says:

    @Oh, how I long for the good old days when the 212 workers would actually give you free pastries if you went right before closing…

  • Carleton says:

    @Carleton trashes pounds and pounds of food on a daily basis rather than donating it to starving engineers.

  • ... says:

    @... What about Tao Tan?

  • haha says:

    @haha The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

  • ... says:

    @... I got two cookies for 85 cents just before the Butler coffee bar closed a few days ago. I went back a few days later, thinking that was the actual price, and got hit with something like $2.15 for the same purchase. How kind.

  • ......... says:

    @......... this wasnt actually written as a mystery. the title seems off in relation to the actual post, no?

  • what about says:

    @what about that sketchy food that they serve at John Jay for brunch… you know… the stuff you *know* was for dinner last night. yeah, you know what i am talking about.

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