Searching for salt

Searching for salt

Brandon Rakowski, Staff Writer

In the early fall months of the previous year, 2013, a crime of considerable proportions struck the Staples cafeteria with force; salt had mysteriously disappeared. Sodium mavens and epicures of that savory seasoner found themselves at a loss for words (and flavoring) when they discovered that their favorite condiment had perished. Who was behind the atrocity? Rumors, wives tales have provided the standard explanations, no one could truly say for sure. Until now.

The prime suspect? Chartwells, Westport’s food service provider, a business with a penchant for healthy choices.  Other possible culprits, though, have remained in the fray. Brandon Schock ‘16  suspects foul play on the part of the administration.

“No one can say for sure what happened,” Schock admitted, “But if I had to bet someone on top’s hoarding it all for himself.”
So far, no secret salt stashes have been reported. And yet, salt has not merely disappeared in its packet form, nearly all foods have been unable to escape the sodium defamation campaign. Pickles, sandwiches, and sauces have all been cleansed.
Do students have a sovereign right to salt their own dishes though? Kyle Ratner ‘16 certainly thinks so.

“Kids in Westport are raised with the knowledge of how to eat healthy,” said Ratner. “Having salt is a good option for those who need it in their food.”

Joe Badion ‘15 disagreed, though, and argued that kids’ brains just aren’t ready to make those kinds of difficult nutritional choices. Policy aside, the question remains: who’s behind the condiment caper?

The mystery came to an end this week: Chartwells confessed. In truth, they’ve always admitted being behind the salt removal. The reason for the move? Corruption? Scandal? The truth is a lot less interesting: state regulations.

“Under the National School Lunch Program, we’ve been purchasing foods with reduced salt content,” Frank Rupp, director of dining services in Westport, said. “Unfortunately, that includes providing salt packets to students.”

Time then to put this cold (and somewhat salty) case to rest. Still, Rupp has a solution for those salt fanatics wishing to forgo healthier options.

“Students are always welcome to bring their own salt in,” said Rupp, smiling slightly as he held up the salt shaker, masked all along by the clutter of his desk.