Dining hall bug leads to contract suspension


Curtesy of Instagram

The Instagram page Barstool UVM, a direct affiliate of Barstool Sports according to their Instagram bio, posted a video of a cabbage worm with the caption “AYO MAGGOTS!”

Lee Hughes, Assistant News Editor

After videos of bugs in dining hall food circulated on social media, UVM suspended a portion of its food order from a local agricultural nonprofit.

Barstool UVM, affiliate of pop culture blog Barstool Sports, posted an Instagram video of a cabbage worm, which they described as a “maggot,” in a salad Sept. 27. The UVM Dining Instagram account replied that the worm was harmless, and that they shared the information with their local supplier.

Barstool UVM posted a video showing a spider in a salad Oct. 16.

The Intervale, a community farm organization in Burlington, was deemed the probable source of the greens.

Teddy Gamache, Intervale Food Hub manager, questioned the credibility of the video, saying that there’s no evidence that the produce came from the Intervale or that the bug was not brought in for the purpose of making a viral video.

“We were blown away that someone can make an accusation like that,” he said. “It was almost like slander for the UVM Dining team.”

Gamache described Barstool as objectifying women and showcasing alcohol use.

Campus Executive Chef Brandon Williams said that after the first video, UVM paused its order of lettuce from the Intervale.

UVM continues to purchase other produce from the Intervale and may resume ordering the lettuce next year, he said.

Marissa Watson, UVM Dining’s sustainability manager, said that after having initially paused the order for lettuce Sept. 27, it was resumed again until another bug was reported to UVM Dining, leading to the order’s suspension Oct. 11.

Since the Intervale farms are organic, they don’t use pesticides or chlorinated solutions to get rid of bugs, Watson said.

Gamache said that the produce from the Intervale is washed three times before being packaged, but the lack of pesticides may allow some bugs to slip through from time to time.

Williams said that although he understands why people wouldn’t want to have a bug in their food, cabbage worms are harmless if consumed.

If a student finds an issue with their food, they should speak to a staff member rather than take to social media in order to solve the issue most efficiently, he said.

Sophomore Ryn Stanfield said they are less likely to eat from the salad bar following these videos.

Although they do not want to cause any harm to farmers, there should be more measures in place to keep bugs, particularly spiders, out of dining hall food, Stanfield said.

“If it’s a worm, it’s a worm, but a spider is too far,” they said.

Barstool UVM declined to provide non-anonymous comment. Barstool Sports was unable to provide comment before the time of publication.