In a Pickle with SLU’s Pickles

When you think of a pickle, you may see nothing more than a sandwich’s sidekick. Yet throughout history, pickles have been essential to the American way of life, and they remain so to this day. Amerigo Vespucci, the person America was named after, was in fact a pickle-dealer before he was an explorer. The tradition of the Christmas pickle also graces many families’ homes each year. Beyond their cultural significance, pickles are important to the overall food experience. This is why the Grand Dining Hall at Saint Louis University needs to step up and provide better pickle spears.

The health benefits of pickles are limitless: they provide probiotics that help with your digestion. They are high in antioxidants that help fight diseases, which is particularly important during the pandemic. They are full of electrolytes, help with blood sugar levels and may help with muscle cramps. All of these health advantages still pale in comparison to the satisfaction you feel when you bite into a crispy, crunchy pickle spear. 

Pickles’ acidity also allows you to better experience the other tastes of your meal. This helps elevate the subpar food that college dining halls are known for. Pickles are important to our lives at Saint Louis University because a pickle can turn a boring black bean burger into a five-star meal. 

Despite the obvious importance of pickles to having a good dining experience, SLU provides us students with Schwartz pickles, which are renowned for going bad quickly. A speedy spoiling time would be fine if a lot of students consumed them, but surprisingly not everyone appreciates a good pickle spear as much as I do. On countless occasions, I have repeatedly received a pickle spear that had reached the end of its life. Such pickles no longer have the characteristic crunch and the taste that a pickle connoisseur such as myself demands. As a result, I was unable to take more than one bite of the limp, soft spear before discarding it. As someone paying for a decent meal plan at SLU, I will not stand for this injustice any longer. I demand that better pickles be provided to students.

Yes, the pickle slices that SLU offers are good, but they do not have the same seed to flesh ratio that a spear provides. Nor do they offer the same nostalgia of getting a full pickle from Jimmy John’s to share with your family (is that memory unique to me?). 

In comparison to the average pickle, Schwartz pickles have more sodium per spear than the average pickle spear. If I have to consume extra sodium in order to have a pickle, I want it to be good. In a 28 g spear, a Schwartz pickle contains 350 milligrams of sodium. In the same size, the average pickle spear only contains 226.4 milligrams of sodium. This is entirely unacceptable when the SLU website boasts that any student can find “an all-you-care-to-eat meal from the healthy and delicious options at Grand Dining Hall.” 

In conclusion, I demand that SLU instead provide students with a pickle that is classic and adored: Vlasic Kosher Dill Spears, instead of the present floppy, foul, poor excuse for a pickle. If my demand is met, not only will my physical health improve, but my mental health will as well. Nothing is quite as spiritually uplifting as a good pickle.