Ariana Rodriguez | Staff Writer
With a new semester comes a new tradition, and Panther’s Market is one of them. With delicacies such as guanabana and mamey, local vendors and farmers tend to set the price too high.
Popping up every other Thursday at Modesto Maidique Campus, Panther’s Market invites local vendors and farmers to set up a tent and sell their products to students from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s a fantastic opportunity for students and faculty alike to enjoy fresh produce during the week, and it’s also accessible to many students who may not have the time or resources to access these types of products.
Disappointingly, I noticed the staggering prices immediately. Whether it’s $11 for coconut ice cream that’s the size of a ring box or $16 for a pint of guacamole, the Panther’s Market is very pricey.
Some students express disappointment when the exotic fruit choices you can’t find at your Publix are too expensive. Especially for international students or students physically disconnected from their culture, it can feel horrible wanting to purchase foods like mamey or star fruit that’s locked behind an astronomical price.
It can be disheartening when your favorite cultural fruit shows up, such as the guanabana, and you can’t buy it in bulk. Although I understand these are local farmers and it’s grown fresh, I feel we deserve a discount for students, especially since they’re advertising on our campus.
On rare occasions, there is a booth that does a “bundle and save,” but the bundle itself is just too expensive for it to be considered a save. In the grand scheme, it’s difficult for students to afford to eat healthy since many “organic” foods gouge the prices. Eggs costing more than $7 have become the norm, but we must fight back and not spill $300 on groceries.
Budgeting food costs as a college student is now impossible. With this great opportunity for students to explore different fruits and foods from different cultures and areas of the world, it’s hard to embrace and enjoy with such a hefty price tag.
A student discount should be implemented similar to the employee discounts already in place at FIU, and more importantly, there should be an option to bundle and save money at these booths. Some places, like the guacamole stand, gave you a percentage off the chips if you purchased the guac. Although that’s a good step, that discount should exist for all the booths.
I noticed an organic honey stand that costs $16 for a small jar of honey, and it’s just unrealistic for a student to afford that, especially in Miami, where most college students work $12 an hour. That product is worth more than an hour of hard work.
Overall, Panther’s Market has caught Panther’s attention with their farm fresh foods and organic produce. However, the price tag is just too overwhelming. The average broke college student doesn’t make enough to enjoy these products.
The opinions presented on this page do not represent the views of the PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.