Tomatoes make their re-debut on campus

Tommy Tomato | Immolokee worker

Students all across campus rejoiced on March 19 as Bon Appétit announced that tomatoes would return to campus via shipments from farmers in California and Mexico. However, what Bon Appétit did not tell students was that Californian and Mexican tomatoes will make up only a small percentage of the total tomato shipment. Bon Appétit Resident District Manager Nadeem Siddiqui said students should not fear, however, for Bon Appétit has been growing tomatoes on West Campus with the Topsy Turvy Tomato planter (as seen on TV).

The Topsy Turvy planter is an easy way to grow tomatoes. You simply place your favorite tomato plant in the beautiful plastic planter and watch as your tomatoes grow upside down, hanging off vines like performers at a Cirque D’Soleil show. Siddiqui says the idea came to Bon Appétit Management one day as he and some other Bon Appétit employees were watching TV in the break room. Siddiqi explained, “An infomercial came on for the Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter. I at once new WashU’s tomato famine was over.” Bon Appétit Management immediately adopted Siddiqui’s idea to buy a thousand planters.

Although there was some confusion as to how the buy-one-get-one-free deal would work with an order of a thousand planters, Bon Appétit said that after negotiating successfully with customer service representatives for Topsy Turvy, Bon Appétit was not only able to get two thousand Topsy Turvy planters, but was also able to get one thousand Handy Kitchen Slicers. The surplus of Handy Kitchen Slicers included free with the order of the Topsy Turvy planters will no doubt make serving caprese sandwiches a breeze. Carol Lee Smith, a chef at Dining Services, said she was excited to use the Handy Kitchen Slicer for the new tomatoes and is thinking of ways she can implement the newly accessible ingredient into new dishes such as the soon-to-be tomato yogurt parfait with crouton topping. Other tomato themed dishes planned include tomato bagels, tomato cupcakes and Bruchetta served on sundried tomato bread with a side of tomato-basil soup.

Even though students are singing the praises of Bon Appetit’s creative way to bring back tomatoes, some student groups have raised issue over the fact that tomato harvesters on West Campus were not being paid fair wages. Siddiqui responded, “Of course Bon Appétit is paying its workers fair wages. Unfair wages are the whole reason we got rid of tomatoes in the first place.” However, Siddiqui did admit that for some reason most of the harvesters of the tomatoes so far have been elderly men and women who volunteer their time because they simply “enjoy gardening.” As tomatoes return to campus, be sure to fill up right away; supplies are limited.