In my time as a Binghamton University student, it has come to my attention that one factor can make or break my day here: my eating experience.
Just to be clear, I’m not talking about the food. “Sodexo this,” and “Sodexo that,” is really all I hear around campus, but maybe our focus should be less on what food goes in our mouth and more on what’s used to get food there.
There is a wide variety of cutlery available on campus. Between forks, knives and spoons, there are many factors that contribute to the success or failure of an eating utensil. Ranked from worst to best, here’s a spotlight on four of them.
4. Disposable white plastic from C4/CIW
There are times when I’d rather use my hands than struggle with this garbage. These utensils take the “cut” out of “cutlery.” The flimsy forks, knives and spoons bring a new meaning to the term “single use.” As in, it breaks every time you try to use them and you go through a few in just one meal. And they’re tiny. What are these? Cutlery for ants? Real silverware should be at least three times this size.
3. Disposable black plastic from the Marketplace
These are pretty decent. Not going to lie. These Dixie utensils are sturdy and well-made, but their terrible shape knocks them down the ranking. The fork’s tongs are stupidly short, and the palm of the fork is unnecessarily long. The spoons are way too deep; they’re basically a small bowl with a handle. The knives really aren’t bad, though. Unfortunately, we’re forced to use these poorly shaped utensils every time we want to get a rice bowl at Moghul or The Bearcat at Cakes and Eggs. I’d recommend sticking to a chicken margarita sandwich or a labretti so you can avoid the Marketplace cutlery.
2. Metal silverware from dining halls
These dirty dining hall treasures somehow made it this high on the list even though they haven’t been properly washed in 40 years. Although I love the remains of yesterday’s BU mac and cheese on my metal fork, there is something to be said for using something clean. Nonetheless, the metal silverware that Sodexo provides us with is a bit more sturdy than many of its plastic competitors. It’s also safe to say that anyone who lives off campus has a silverware drawer that is composed of at least 60 percent Sodexo silverware.
1. “Disposable” off-white plastic from Mountainview
Although these are disposable, I don’t know why anyone would want to throw out these perfect specimens of cutlery. Not only are these puppies a pleasant shade of peach, they’re by far the most sturdy utensils available on campus. The tongs on the fork are the perfect length. They’re just long enough to dig in to some fresh fruit and strong enough to hold onto a perfect cut of steak. The serrated knife is tough enough to cut through anything in the Mediterranean bar. And the spoon has the perfect bowl shape: not too deep but not too flat. To top it all off, these “Green Wave” utensils are 100% compostable. Awesome!