Columbia says Nutella theft claims don't stick
The university has issued a press release trimming the amount of chocolate-hazelnut spread stolen from its dining halls.
Stealing $2,500 in hazelnut-chocolate spread a week? That's more like it.
Being embarrassed by claims in a student paper like the The Columbia Spectator is one thing, but having your starchy Ivy League laundry aired in The New York Times is another matter entirely. So, Columbia took the odd step of issuing a self-deprecating press release on Thursday downplaying claims of grand snack-spread larceny.
Columbia claims the initial Nutella hoarding cost the school $2,500 the first week it was introduced in mid-February, then "quickly dropped to $450 per week for dining halls that serve some 3,600 students, seven days a week at three campus locations."
It also credited the extensive attention the reports received for shaming students into leaving Nutella jars alone and refraining from filling to-go cups with the spread for late-night baguette-and-banana benders.
It all adds up to more publicity than untainted condiments generally get, but Nutella tends to inspire these outsized reactions wherever jars of its rich, decadent spread appear. The problem in Columbia's case is that a Nutella craving is a somewhat costly habit to maintain. Then again, even the Times story suggested that the $5,000 claim was a bit steep, quoting a university spokeswoman who claimed initial reports are "roughly 10 times greater than the actual figures."
Still, Nutella's cost and its reputation as a grocery luxury may have inspired its mass disappearance. Columbia likely issued that release in a good-humored attempt to save face, but its subtext seemed more about saving its already socioeconomically stereotyped student body from itself.
Nothing good can come of these Nutella enemas. Need to stick to coffee.
Have them make single-serving packetrs for institutional use. Restrict how many a diner can receive per meal. Problem.....well, if not solved, at least cut down quite a bit, eh? ;)
Trisha S Hakim
Soc Sec # 136-88-6383
27 Ferris Rd, Edison, NJ 08817
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