By: Matt Teegarden
Growing up, and through most of college, I was rather regimented in the times at which I ate my meals. Like an alarm clock, my stomach would growl- letting me know it is 3:00, time to eat my afternoon snack. Then I started grad school, and something must have happened to my clock because now it just goes off all the time. I find myself constantly reaching in the bottom left drawer of my desk to grab a few almonds or some pieces of whatever dried fruit was on sale this week.
As a student of food science, I have to say I am a little ashamed at how lame my stash is. Adventurous taste buds are an unspoken requirement of this field, and the only interesting thing I keep is a supply of “desk” za’atar. I added the “desk” in front so I can differentiate it from the giant jar of this middle eastern spice blend I keep at home.
Knowing that I am not the only chronic snacker in my program, I set out to see what my fellow grad students keep in their desks to satisfy their mid-morning/late-afternoon/all-day need to chow down.
The student who sits at the desk to my immediate left has her own stash of desk za’atar (copy cat) but also a bag of delectably spicy Thai lime and chili seasoned cashews. She also keeps a bag of “emergency coffee” for when she accidentally runs out of grounds for her french press.
A quick trip the other offices in the department revealed which of my coworkers are hoarders of diet root beer, bagels, soba noodles, peanut butter, and other shelf-stable delicacies.
It’s good to know that I can forget my lunch in confidence.
But let’s move along to the more exotic finds. Ever heard of quinoa candy? Yeah- apparently that is a thing. And apparently it is hard to find, so the student who indulges in this item keeps it carefully hidden (bottom left drawer, behind the file folders…don’t tell her I told you).
There was one desk that truly took the cake*. This student had a veritable treasure trove of strange goodies including jasmine and green tea flavored chocolates, countless other candies, and alligator jerky- no doubt courtesy of IFT14.
Now that I know where to go the next time I run out of desk snacks, I am curious to know if anybody else has a go-to snack they cannot live without. Do you keep any interesting snack items in your desk (or backpack)? Share with us in the comments below!
*note: no cake was actually found in this desk.