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The Carletonian

Why toasters are terrible

So. You’ve decided you want a piece of toast. How bold of you. I wish you luck in the journey you’re about to embark on. However, I would also caution you to take a moment. Consider your options. The rest of the dining hall is still there; you have options that I can assure you will be less soul-destroying than making toast, and I urge you to reconsider. Take a stroll around the dining hall: if there’s any other food that looks remotely good (or at the very least edible), that feels like a better option.

If, however, you are feeling brave, and you decide to continue with your toast, here are some other foods that I would suggest you find something else to eat. A sandwich (on untoasted bread), perhaps. Soup and a banana. The plastic packaging from a loaf of bread. Your dinner companion’s OneCard. These are all good options, and they are significantly better options than toast. 

I have noticed, however, that popular opinion on this campus may not agree with me, based on how many people I see attempting to toast things in the dining hall. And so I turn to the Carletonian, Carleton’s most respected newspaper, because I believe that access to information is essential to democracy. And I recognize that the dining halls aren’t a democracy — we don’t vote on whether Lindsay should toast her English muffin at breakfast — and yet, I shall continue.

I would like to provide any toast-considerers with all the information they need to understand why making toast in the dining halls is never a good idea. This is not a criticism of toast, and should not be taken as such. I enjoy toast. If I could, I would have toast with breakfast and a bagel with dinner most days, but I cannot (see point five below, and also points one through four). Here are the problems with the toasters:

  1. Decisions

After deciding that you want a bread-including meal, you have to decide what type of bread you want and what to put on that bread: do you really want to add in the extra decision of how toasted you want it? I doubt it.

  1. Waiting time

If you’ve managed to decide how toasted you want your bread, now you have to wait for it to become toast. This takes an oddly long amount of time. What do you do with that time? It’s just awkward. I have ideas, but they aren’t relevant enough to include here. In summary: there are no great options, and you will end up being the last one to finish getting food. You don’t want that. 

  1. Waiting time again (you were wrong the first time)

Great, you waited for your toast and you’re back (or maybe you never left at all). You wanted to get your toast? Too bad. Your estimation skills leave something to be desired, and either you’ve burnt your toast (unlikely – do these toasters even toast things enough to burn them? Or maybe I’m just impatient) or it’s still undercooked. Repeat step two.

  1. Ill-distributed heat

This is the part where you give up. Your toast isn’t properly toasted. Should it even be considered toast? Who knows? If you run into the issues that I do, your bread is partially toast and partially bread and it’s generally sad. Heat distribution matters, and these toasters are struggling. So is your toast.

  1. Sadness and gluten

There is a rumor that the toasters in Burton don’t work. I can’t confirm this. Well, I could probably check, but I don’t really care that much, because I am allergic to gluten, and thus can only use the gluten-free toaster. You may be familiar with the gluten-free toaster. It doesn’t work very well, and it has a little sign saying that only gluten-free items should go in it. 

I think that little sign isn’t effective enough. Almost every time I go to use the gluten-free toaster, I see non gluten-free things in it. And this is the cause of the toaster sadness: should I be using the gluten-free toaster at all? No, I really shouldn’t.

I know it seems like just one piece of bread can’t cause that much harm, but it can. The crumbs left in a toaster from a single piece of bread are enough to make someone with celiac incredibly sick for easily a week just from eating a gluten-free piece of bread cooked in that toaster afterwards. And here’s your fun fact about toasters: they’re not particularly clean-able! No, really, if you look up how to un-cross-contaminate a toaster, the answer you’ll find online is consistently that you can’t.

The toasters on campus are not gluten-free, and every time a piece of gluteny bread is put in one, the only way for people with celiac to toast their bread would be to literally replace the toaster. It’s not a feasible solution in the long term. And of course, bringing your gluteny bread and your gluteny hands over introduces crumbs and cross-contamination into the gluten-free station.

In summary, please keep your gluteny bread out of the gluten-free toaster. It’s separate for a reason. If the toaster doesn’t work, there’s an entire dining hall full of other gluteny things, and not very many gluten-free things. 

And of course, there are a plethora of reasons that you already don’t want to make toast (see points one through four).

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About the Contributor
Becky Reinhold
Becky Reinhold, Editor in Chief
I'm a junior Philosophy major, and I can usually be found in the basement of Anderson or wandering around Northfield. I like thunderstorms and writing articles around 2am. Becky was previously Managing Editor, Viewpoint Editor, and Design Editor.

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