There are plenty of good reasons to go into higher education. Maybe you have a hunger to learn all you can about something incredibly complicated and totally useless, or maybe you fancy spending a few years perpetually balancing between hungover and totally pissed. Either way, there’s a lot to be said for the uni experience. Now, for the first time, food can be included in that argument.
In order to prepare for their upcoming exam season, Ohio State University have decided that their undergrads deserve some much needed meaty motivation. Instead of offering extra curricular classes, or therapy for stressed students, the powers that be have decided to bestow upon the student body a very special vending machine. This machine doesn’t offer ice cold drinks or shrink-wrapped chips. Instead, hard-working, hungry scholars can help themselves to bacon.
For $1 a pop, the new machine will dispense pre-cooked, ready-to-eat, shelf-sustainable bacon strips, all served inside easy to open plastic packaging. In a promotional video for the new design, a queue of students can be seen patiently waiting for their first try of everyone’s new favourite revision fuel. Though the bacon itself may not be freshly cooked, it’s clear that that won’t be a deterrent.
At first glance, a bacon vending machine might seem needlessly excessive, and even overindulgent. However, there’s more to the project than a hankering for pork. The machine was actually provided by the Ohio Pork Council, and contains products donated by major meat producers Hormel, Sugardale and Smithfield. Food & Wine report that all proceeds from the machine go straight to Ohio State’s Meat Science Program, suggesting that this could be the best way that students have of giving to the important area of bacon research.
Speaking about the new addition, Lyda G. Garcia, assistant professor of meat science in the Department of Animal Sciences, was quoted as saying, “The meat science program is excited to partner with the Ohio Pork Council through the Bacon Vending Machine project,” at the vending machine’s unveiling. Her enthusiasm was mirrored by Ohio Pork Council’s President-Elect Dave Shoup, who added that, “The Bacon Vending Machine is a unique and fun way for the Ohio Pork Council to support Ohio State students and promote the pork industry at the same time.”
Whether eating more bacon actually contributes to better exam results is a question that remains up in the air. Though meat and fatty foods are often said to have adverse effects on the body, there is also some evidence to suggest that bacon might be just the thing to get you through exam season. Tutoring website “Score at the Top” suggest that a protein-rich breakfast can actually help with concentration, whilst the Daily Mail wrote in 2012 that “a bacon and egg breakfast will supply your body with serotonin building blocks,” which can alleviate anxiety. It might be an unconventional way to revise, but maybe bacon vending machines could become more popular at universities everywhere.