The comment cards on your way out of Rastall raise a lot of pressing questions like, “Where’s my Captain Crunch at?” Lately, the cards have been raising a more pertinent question that you might be pondering later in private — Does Rastall put laxatives in its food?
It is a rumor among many colleges across the country that cafeterias put laxatives in the food for a variety of reasons. Supposedly laxatives reduce the chance of contracting food-borne illness by evacuating the food more quickly, or they help to stave off that freshman 15.
Regardless of what reasons a college cafeteria might introduce laxatives into the food, Bon Appetit Director of Operations Derek Hanson ensures that laxatives, and any supplement for that matter, stay out of campus food.
“It’s not like there’s anything really hidden going on behind those doors,” Hanson said. “For example, on the Benji’s grill, the food is prepared right before your eyes.”
Bon Appetit’s values are not hidden either.
On every table, at every food service location, there is a tri-folded pamphlet listing the tenets of food preparation that Bon Appetit stands behind.
“All those values are 100 percent true. It’s not propaganda,” said Hanson.
There are also periodic checks on food preparation done by both the city and representatives from Bon Appetit to ensure quality.
“We’re audited two different ways,” said Hanson. “We pass both, obviously.”
Touring the kitchen, the attention to cleanliness and providing efficient, well-prepared food is evident. The chefs also pay as much attention to menu planning in addition to the actual preparation of the food.
One of the values on those tri-folded pamphlets is balance.
“A lot of thought goes into the meals,” said Hanson. “At the Dinner Global station there has to be a certain amount of protein, a certain amount of vegetables, and a certain amount of a complex carbohydrate.”
No laxatives, natural or unnatural, are ever added.
CC student Robert Peroutka feels otherwise.
“After I eat Rastall’s it’s like clockwork,” said Peroutka explaining his gastrointestinal woes after eating at the all-campus cafeteria.
There is even a meme, with quite a bit of likes, from the “CC Problems” page on Facebook, dedicated to the phenomenon.
It reads “What’s that grumbling in my stomach… Rastall shits.”
“We get comment cards about laxatives. I always think the students are joking around,” said Hanson.
All nutrients, including those helpful to digestion, are all found naturally in the foods.
“On most stations there’s usually a bean or rice, some kind of fiber, or broccoli,” said Hanson.
Head Chef Ed Clark confirmed that there are no hidden additives in any Rastall food.
“Only the fiber that’s in the food itself is in there,” said Clark.
Bon Appetit also has a clean track record at CC with student health.
“In the time I’ve been here I can count on one hand [the number of issues in relation to food poisoning],” Hanson said. “Every one of those times it turned out that it [the food] wasn’t the case. It was something more along the lines of a virus.”
Next time you’re not feeling so good after a Rastall’s meal, it is more likely the quantity you ate, not the quality, that has you running to the