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October 24, 2007 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2007-10-24

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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A TIP FOR DEVELOPING YOUR Ikebana (ik-uh-bah-nuh): a Japanese style of floral
design characterized by simple lines and pare colors.
COCKTAIL PARTY VERNACULAR lkebana designs often include sticks and branches.

Wednsday Scober 200

Feasting
for free
Every student group knows that if they want
people to come to their events, free food is
a must. Our writer decided to test the lim-
its of campus's bounty by eating only
complimentary food for an entire week.

Cont'd: Light refreshments and free pizza do not a I'

know a lot of college students
who consciously seek out free-
food opportunities on campus.
Doughnuts and cider from student
groups on the Diag, entire boxes of
pizza for signing cable TV contracts
(which they immediately cancel),
Kroger-brand cookies at various
mass meetings - it's all fair game.
Festifall on its own is a treasure-
trove of light lunches and after-
class snacks. These kids save a lot of
money on food.
I am not one of these people.
But for a week, I tried to be. I
scrimped and saved and haunted
the Diag for signs of tents, which
often enough are signs of bagels
or trail mix or air pots of coffee.
Before, when I had a late class or
work at the Daily, it was simply
easier to eat out. Even though my
schedule didn't change, I made an
effort to make it back to my co-op
for dinner each night, where food is
part of rent.
When I told my friends I
wouldn't be spending any money
on food for an entire week, some
of them gave me suggestions on
where to go, while others didn't
believe my intentions. "Kimberly,"
a friend exaggerated, "you're the
kind of person who would skip eat-
ing for two days to buya really good
cheese."
Despite my reputation as a Visa-
swiping foodie, I knew I could
find enough free food to constitute
roughly three meals a day. There
are enough opportunities out there
(check out www.hungryhungry-
coeds.com for a list of campus
events with free food) and even
more if you're bold enough to drop
by brunches and luncheons held by
departments other than your own
("Hello, business school!").
But the main reason I was doing
this was curiosity. Would it be pos-
sible to not only eat for free, but to
eat well for free? At which events

could I find food that wasn't made
of starch or sugar? I qualify eating
well as being able to eat relatively
healthy.
Two weeks ago Monday, I start-
ed the experiment. Here are some
highlights from the experience;
Monday, Oct. 8
I decide to start in the evening.
Rules are that I won't pay for any-
thing outside of the co-op - espe-
cially after I've spent $40 on a tank
of gas to drive to Southfield for a
story assignment. I run into a friend
in Southfield and make him buy
me a coffee at a family restaurant.
I drop by my co-op and eat part of
dinner before dashing backto work,
where there are leftover Jimmy
John's vegetarian sandwiches from
a meeting. I debate whether or not
to eat one when I am hungry later.
I take a bite and realize maybe I'm
not ready to do this yet.
Wednesday, Oct.10
After pulling an all-nighter,at
speed to a 9 a.m. appointment at
the Art and Architecture Build-
ing where I proceed to think about
whether I can make it back to
Central Campus by 12 for a Lunch
with Honors event (these honors
program luncheons where they
invite distinguished guests to speak
- and eat lunch - with students). I
do make it in time; and even better,
the honors program has catered in
from Afternoon Delight, a caf6 on
Liberty Street. I have half a chicken
salad sandwich on wheat, fruit and
some potato salad. I feel starchy and
tired. But maybe that's just because
I haven't slept.
Later, my roommate tells me
they're giving away bagels and cof-
fee Wednesday mornings at the
Alumni Association Center from
September through November. I
ponder how to stock up.
See FOOD, Page 9B

FOOD From page 4B
Friday, Oct.12
Lunch with Honors - ant
Afternoon Delight - again. I
debate chicken salad again, or tur-
key. I end up with what seems tc
be tuna. Curses. I'm getting hun-
gry and increasingly indiscrimi-
nating about my cuisine options.
Later in the afternoon, someon
at a Semester in Detroit meeting
I attend has made a funfetti cake.
Maybe if I eat enough funfetti :
won't need to worry about dinner
- actually this is a bad idea. I con-
sider asking someone to take me to
Shabbat dinner at Hillel.
Monday, Oct.15
I try hungryhungrycoeds.com
There's an event for later that day
promising "light refreshments.'
Could this work for dinner? I fint
myself at a drama interest group
discussion on Samuel Beckett
questioning the number of pep.
permint patties I could take that
would still be considered polite
(I guessed two). As we introduce
ourselves over cider and Nilla
Wafers, I realize that everyone
else is a graduate student. I con-
sider putting back the second pep-
permint patty.
Maybe this wasn't the best weel
to conduct this test. Or maybe the
problem is I'm too afraid to drol
in on the engineering school/busi-
ness school recruiting dinners -
where I'm guessingthe food migh-
even surpass tuna sandwiches. I
cave a few times to buy coffee
and feel terrible; I'm certainly
not doing as well as another
friend of mine, who has been
able to locate campus'events
catered by Zingerman's and
managed two weeks straight of
free Japanese lunches and din-
ners as part of a summer intern-
ship. At one point, he had six
teriyaki bento boxes stacked in
his refrigerator. I do realize that
outside of the desire to scrimp
and save (whether to be able to
make a few more rounds at the
bar at the end of the week or to
make rent at end of the month),
there's a certain pride from
being able to do something for
as little money as possible. It
has a stick-it-to-the-man kind
of quality to it. Most important,
I realize now how much money
I usually spend - and a lot of it
is unnecessary.
Think aboutit. Ifyou decideto
eat out an entire day, how much
money do you spend? A mini-
mum of 10 bucks? Fifteen? Even

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if you skip breakfast, let's say you
have a bagel for lunch (between
$1 and $2) and the cheapest sand-
wich you can find (Potbelly's or a
falafel deal is usually around $4)
for dinner. Let's throw in coffee
for a dollar or so. Added up, that's
still more than double what you'd
be allowed on the United States
Department of Agriculture's Food
Stamp Program. Earlier this year,
in anticipation of the farm bill
(which includes the food stamp
program) being up for reauthori-
zation, four members of Congress
conducted what they called their
"Food Stamp Challenge," eating
on $21 or less a week. Similar Food
Stamp Challenges have been taken
up by other groups like the Jew-
ish Council for Public Affairs and
United Way of Roanoke Valley. It's
something that's gotten a lot of
positive press attention. Nancy
S. Tivol of the San Jose Mercury
News wrote, "Feeling full on $3 a
day is one challenge; eating nutri-
tionally is virtually impossible."
Bagels or bread or French fries
(even when sold at Amer's or Wen-
THIS WEEK IN FREE EATING
Think you could subsist on store-bought
baked goods and sandwich quarters?
Drop in at these events:
Tomorrow: Lunch at the Dow Corporate
Luncheon in Room 2233 of the G.G. Brown
Laboratory Building at 12:30 p.m.
Food and drinks at the "Mars and Planetary

dy's) are cheaper than anything
else. Salads - buying the ingre-
dients to make one, much less
buying one from Cosi or (god for-
bid) Zingerman's - are out of the
question when you're trying to live
cheaply. And so many people are
forced to live on very low incomes,
not just for a week to complete a
Statement feature story, but every
day. Worse, they're not living in a
world overflowing with catered
honors luncheons.
Even though I've got my credit
card in hand again, I've become
a lot better at paying attention
to event listings with those key
phrases: "refreshments," "lunch
provided" or "FREE PIZZA!!!"
And in addition to a deeper under-
standing of the farm bill, I've been
introduced to some interesting
events I wouldn't have heard of
otherwise. So maybe you'll see me
at Prof. Enoch Brater's Beckett
talk at Angell Hall tomorrow. He'll
be talking about "The Seated Fig-
ure on Beckett's Stage" - and pep-
permint patties will be the least of
my concerns this time.
Exploration lecture in Room 1109 of the Fran-
cois Xaier-Bagnoud Building at 6 p.m.
Thursday: Panda Express at the Sun Micro-
systems Student Tech Talk in Room1504 of the
G.G. Brown Laboratory at 4:30 p.m.
Friday: Lunch at the Career Pathways Series
session "Beginning as a Post-doc" in thelJohn-
son room of the Lurie Biomedical Engineering
Building at 11:15 a.m.

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Magazine, Newspaper & On-Line Journalism Information Session in New York City
Media Management + Media Studies Saturday, November 10
New Media * Photography + Public Diplomacy Open House in Syracuse, N.Y.
Public Relations + Television, Radio & Film FridayNovember17
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