The Common Market is a unique dining option on campus. In addition to being the central location where students purchase tickets to on- or off-campus events, it is also our school’s very own candy store. Offering everything from chocolate-covered pretzels to trail mix, sour peach rings to locally-made fudge, the Common Market has something geared toward every kind of sweet tooth. Most campuses cannot boast such a luxury. Unfortunately, however, there is a flaw in our beloved candy store, and that is the market’s method of food storage.
On any given night, the Common Market never sells out the entirety of its gustatory delights — perhaps with the exception of the chocolate-covered pretzels during times of campus-wide stress, like finals week. So, while the fudge offering changes every day, and the candies in the front display are prepackaged, the free-floating, scoopable food stored in canisters on the market’s back shelves is not rotated each day or kept in airtight containers.
This means that, until the contents of a container have been completely bought out, this food just sits on a shelf day in and day out in porous storage, resulting in stale food. For items such as unsalted almonds, which are less popular than, say, their dark chocolate covered counterparts, they could spend days, weeks or even months being improperly stored, ultimately resulting in an almond that tastes and feels much like cardboard. No one wants to spend their precious declining dollars on stale food, especially students with Unlimited meal plans that have low declining balances.
Luckily, there are two possible solutions, and they’re both fairly simple. Firstly, the Common Market could empty the containers, repackage their contents at the end of each night and then put them back each morning. Secondly — and probably more easily — the Common Market could just use better storage containers that have a rubber, airtight seal around the edge of the cover. This would allow the snacks to sit on a shelf until it’s sold out at no cost to food quality or consumer satisfaction.