Food for Thought: HandCut Foods

By Summer Crown (Note: This editorial does not represent the viewpoint of all students.) Two brands of sparkling cucumber water. Freshly baked cookies. Spring water making note of its direct importation from the earth. These are just some of the changes in the cafeteria. Latin has switched meal services from Flik to Hand Cut Foods (HCF), which has introduced a new sandwich station, snacks, drinks, and for a while, receipts at the register. The increased number of freshman and beginning-of-year rush have also increased the length of lines and crowding in the cafeteria. Naturally, students and teachers alike were excited to first try the HCF’s unique assortment of drinks, but some students’ excitement quickly faded. A popular first choice was the energy drink, Up Time, however with the discovery of the amount of “energy” in this drink, it became less appealing to some, myself included. Up Time has 142mg of caffeine in it, which in comparison is 14mg more than a double shot of espresso and over 30mg more than a can of red bull. Not to mention, energy drinks have not been approved by the FDA. This knowledge has caused me to wonder: Why it is being sold in our school? HFC’s addition of Dasani Water and Bruce Cost Original Ginger Ale have also received some poor reviews. Of the students I spoke with, the majority preferred Flik’s Arnold Palmer and Izze and now recommend only Smart Water and Vitamin Water. Even if you have to time try HCF’s assortment of hot foods it is “not much better than the drinks,” in the eyes of one student. The specialty chicken parmesan sandwich may be delicious, but the line to get the sandwich takes up nearly half of a lunch period. Not only are there an exceptional amount of freshman waiting in line, but also HCF Chef’s heats up three sandwiches at a time instead of six (as Flik used to do it). The line for the hot meal is also long, and it is possible you will receive an undesirable surprise with your meal. Last week, sophomore Zach Sessions discovered a shoelace-like string in his fried rice. His finding was reported to HCF’s manager and Zach was rewarded a free lunch, but I doubt that he will be eating their fried rice any time soon. To avoid the long wait (or eating shoelaces) many try Hand Cut Food’s pre-made lunches. Unfortunately, I have not been a fan of those either. In my opinion, the salad bar this year does not live up the standards Flik set and has made multiple students angry. “Last year there were so many ingredients to choose from and this year, there are so many less,” said Morgan Kmety. The two options for a pre-made salad do not have many fans either. While some view the pizza as an improvement from last year, others claim that the pizza is not as good as Flik’s and tastes like “cardboard with cheese on it.” The quality and variation of the fruit cups has also decreased, but they remain expensive. On the other hand, the majority of the new, healthy, snacks have been popular and gotten good reviews, though some of my classmates miss their Twizzlers and Junior Mints. It may be too soon to tell if our harsh evaluation of Hand Cut Food’s is because we miss Monique at the checkout register, but it does seem there are some aspects of concern. Hopefully we get past the caffeine-overload and surprise shoelaces, and speedy, delicious, chicken parmesan sandwiches will become the norm. ]]>