(Not) Eating Bin Food: A How-to Guide

Karah Kemmerly

The well-meaning staff of Residence Life would like you to believe that members of the IHC are held together by their common interests, but this is false. IHC camaraderie is built around the strong bonds that can only exist among a group of people who have spent a year of their lives eating dinner out of two large plastic bins.

Dear readers, I know you might be skeptical. What about the French House? Don’t they all, like, speak French at dinner? That’s a bond, right? Kind of. Sure. But almost everyone in France also speaks French, and I promise that they would never eat field roast delivered to them in a Ziploc bag. That’s for IHCers only.

As an alumna of this cuisine-related bond, I know how you’re all feeling, dear readers. You’re probably a little tired of forgetting what you’ve ordered by the time you get dinner a week later, maybe a little passive-aggressive about the fact that you always seem to be the one to take the bins back to Prentiss and certainly a little fed up with this food. Good news: If you’re looking for a break from the bins, here’s a guide to help you find alternative solutions to your dinner problem.

1. Create art.

Have you always wanted to be an artist? (Don’t be embarrassed if the answer is yes. I spent pretty much my entire junior year of high school writing poetry in front of my locker and wearing long black sweaters, and I totally understand that sometimes your feelings can only be expressed via Instagram photos.) If yes, you’re in luck. Bin food is a little-known but nonetheless excellent new medium for self-expression.

Try making sculptures out of mystery vegetable mixes or using soup as paint. Does someone have a birthday soon? Give your creations as gifts. Or you could always submit them to blue moon and quarterlife. I guarantee that the staffs of literary magazines love looking at photographs of food art.

2. Pull some zany pranks.

There is no better way to show your new IHC pals that you’re barrels of fun than with a well-executed prank. Try moving all the bin leftovers to his or her section of the fridge. Or even try an alternative to the prank in which you surround someone’s door with full glasses, and surprise your housemate with a walkway full of baked potatoes. What a riot you’ll be!

If you’re feeling especially mischievous, you could also just order 100 servings of Cocoa Puffs. Then even the Bon App employees will be impressed by your humor and free-spiritedness.

3. Have a family game night.

Your bin food provides you the perfect opportunity to play a rousing round of  “Who Ordered This?” The rules are simple. Each player must pick up one of the white containers in the bin, observe its contents for 10 seconds and then guess which of his or her housemates selected this delectable dish from the menu a week prior. If you guess correctly, you’re off the hook. If you guess incorrectly, you have to eat whatever is in the container.

Psh, too easy, you might be thinking. But not so fast, dear readers. Bon App has a trick up its sleeve to make this game more challenging: Inside several of these containers is food that no one at the table actually ordered.

So, dear readers, next time you hear that familiar doorbell ring, don’t groan. Think of the possibilities that await you in those plastic bins.