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September 16, 2008


Last month, Seven Days published an article lauding the "green" credentials of UVM-contracted campus food mega-corp Sodexo.

Lots of things come to the minds of us UVM students when we think about Sodexo. Sometimes "green" pops into my head. For example, green is the color my face turns after eating a greasy Sodexho burger sandwiched in a stale bun. Green is the envy I felt towards off-campus students when I lived on-campus and was forced to eat garbage three times a day. Green is what the lettuce in my off-campus fridge looks like, as opposed to to the brown lettuce that sits out all day at the Sodexo salad bar in on-campus dining halls.

The author of the article, Kevin Kelley, did hit all the points of Sodex-dissent among college students.  Yes, Sodexo employees don't get paid livable wages. Yes, Sodexo is a far cry from "local," operating in countries from North America to Europe. True, Sodexo used to sell its services to prisons. But the article did miss one thing: The food sucks. 

Of course, food quality is somewhat subjective, so I won't get into the dull and repetitive menu options,  the low-quality meats, the undercooked pasta, or the fly-filled dining halls. If you want to hear about that, go to Simpson Dining Hall on Redstone campus and ask anyone what he or she has had for dinner for the past two weeks. Or check out what Urban Dictionary — the raw and explicit pulse of American youth — has to say about Sodexo. It's good for a laugh. 

But one thing that is totally objective, totally undeniable, totally known to anyone who lives on campus, and totally gross, is Sodex-Poo.

When you eat Sodexo food, you will take a trip to the bathroom within thirty minutes. Guaranteed. Some think they put laxatives in the food. Others say that our bodies are so disgusted by what's inside it, it pushes it out super-quick. Regardless, Sodex-food becomes Sodex-poo in a matter of minutes. Without fail.

Honestly, some overpaid government bureaucrat should do a study on how much toilet water is used by Sodexo campuses vs. non-Sodexo campuses. I bet all the UVM Sodex-poo flushes alone are grounds for disqualification from the "green" label.

Now that I live off-campus, my bowels are finally back in order. True, I no longer have the privilege of being served prison-quality food by a greenwashed corporate giant, but that's the price I have to pay to go to the bathroom on a regular schedule. And at least I can take solace in knowing that I am helping the environment by not eating on-campus. Now that's truly green.


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Did you have Nutriloaf on campus? I hear Sodexo has the state's secret recipe...

Whatever you do, don't enter corporate America. I work for one of the world's largest companies and when I worked in a brick & mortar office outside of VT, you can guess who ran the cafeterias.

Tyler Machado

We've got Sodexo, and all of its associated health traits, at St. Mike's too. The other day a friend of mine got a baked potato at dinner, only to discover that its inner consistency could best be described as a clear gelatin. eew.

Jon Taylor

I'll never forget some of the more "appetizing" dinners at SMC's Sodexo-run Alliot freshmen year. It took an entire summer of home-cooked food to get my stomach right. Since then, all hope has been lost for my health. My stomach lining is coated in an Armor All-type substance now...

Thank you Alliot!

Max Bookman

haha very funny. no nutriloaf at uvm. but there have been some memorable meals...the worst i ever had was the "Miami Fish" on "Caribbean Night." My whole dorm floor had to fight over the bathroom stalls for about a week after...


I recall getting a salad (or about to get one) and one of the staff members was over there, well anyway, he tosses the lettuce with HIS BARE HANDS right in front of me and was like "there you go." Also watch out for the pumps they have for mayo, you never know when it's going to have something that's NOT supposed to be there. (maybe that's why I have plain fries, etc) or use packets instead. One more thing, I was eating this alfredo pasta and one staff memeber was putting rosemary branches (for garnish) in the hot plates and when some of it broke off into the pasta, it made me feel sick. Yah, doncha just love Sodexo, Blechhh! On the good side, I make a habit of taking antioxident vitamins to build up immunity.

Sodexo Insider

Sodexo using former CNN reporter to circulate negative propaganda against labor organizations

Gaithersburg, Maryland – Michael McManus, the Director of Public Relations of Sodexo, is being used as a weapon by company to create and circulate negative rhetoric against labor organizations such as the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

In late 2009, Michael McManus, the Washington Bureau Chief and White House Correspondent at HDNews, was hired as Director of Public Relations for Sodexo, the global food and facilities management company based in Paris and the Washington D.C. area.

During his three years at HDNews, McManus handled the day-to-day operations in the Nation's Capitol including the DC based reporting, managing, and the public relations and marketing of the television network.

Prior to that, McManus spent 12 years anchoring, reporting and producing at CNN. During his time at CNN, McManus anchored, reported on, and produced countless major stories, including the Iraq war, the JFK, Jr. plane crash, the 9/11 attacks, TWA flight 800, the Virginia Tech massacre, the Pope's visit to the United States, and the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. While McManus had a stellar career at CNN covering disasters and major events, he was roundly criticized by many labor and environmental organizations for his superficial and often flattering coverage of big business. In fact, McManus had earned a reputation for being a friend of big business and was known as being very critical and dismissive of the concerns and issues of labor.

Originally, Sodexo had stated that McManus would be building the company’s digital presence and heading up its social media strategy. However, some PR representatives at Sodexo have privately indicated that McManus has been mainly hired to attack the SEIU and other labor organizations. As one Sodexo official stated, “the best defense is a good offense.” Given McManus’ history of being a friend of big business, McManus is said to be greatly enjoying his role as “labor attack dog” for Sodexo.


I hate how on my campus if they actually make something that tastes good that everyone likes, they decide to never make it again. I even asked the chef if they were to make some foods like apple pie and beef stroganoff again. He said yea a lot of people loved it! but we never saw it again. Instead we get repeats of weird combinations like dry rice and big meatballs with little gravy.. I mean seriously, do they not know that they don't go together?!

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