Nutella-Gate Exposed: It's a Smear!

March 7, 2013Bookmark and Share
(Not April 1)—Columbia University officials today denied press reports claiming that campus dining halls were running rivers of nut-brown ink to the tune of $5,000 per week in allegedly pilfered Nutella.
 
Alma Mater gets in on the action.
Columbia further denied that the Comp Lit department was joining with the University's Nobel Prize winning neuroscientists in an NSF-funded interdisciplinary study of the Proustian impact of Nutella on human memory.
 
The Athletics Department denied that, instead of firing tee-shirts off into the stands during basketball timeouts, Roar-ee the Lion would henceforth hurl those little snack-packs of Nutella and pretzels (though it actually sounds like a pretty good idea, no?) 
 
It is not true that the New Media and Cybersecurity centers at the Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering analyzed a trending YouTube video purporting to show a pig carrying a jar of Nutella to a hungry goat at the suburban Lamont-Doherty campus and found it to be a fraud. Film at 11.

The mundane fact, according to the University's Division of Dining Services, is that the weekly cost of the Nutella supply is actually less than 10 percent of the amount originally reported on a student blog and quickly picked up by other media.

In the first three to four days after Nutella was added to the dining hall selections, demand was extraordinarily high, with students enjoying a large amount in that short initial period. The actual cost was only around $2,500, and quickly dropped to $450 per week for dining halls that serve some 3,600 students, seven days a week at three campus locations. Happily, the media attention to Nutella-gate has cut down on the amount people have been taking in recent days.

"I mean, who can resist a sweet story involving hazelnut spread?" asked Columbia's chief digital officer Sree Sreenivasan, a noted Nutella nut and social media maven. "I've already retweeted this thing in several time zones myself since I assumed it to be true just based on the Nutella consumption in my house." (Editor's note: Sree didn't say any of this... but he easily could have.)

—by Columbia News Staff

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Milestones

Columbia University mourns the death of Robert Belknap, professor emeritus in the Department of Slavic Languages, who died March 17. An expert in Russian literature, particularly Dostoyevsky, he also taught Literature Humanities in the Core Curriculum for 50 years and influenced generations of Columbia students. For more information, please visit this page.

Mary Bassett, associate professor of clinical epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, was named New York City’s commissioner of health.

University Professor Ronald Breslow won the 2014 American Institute of Chemists Gold Medal, the AIC’s highest award.

The Record