How Much is Inside The University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt?

Three teams participating in the University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt have asked to host their Scavenger-hunt-related guest episodes of How Much is Inside.

Team One - Refrigerator

How much is inside that fridge?

Frustrated with the lack of 24-hour dining options on campus, first-year Yabtsega and I decided to scope out the contents of his dorm room fridge in hopes of finding sustenance, and possibly a more exciting diet than that to be found at Bartlett . The fridge is a bulking behemoth as seen from a prone state on the floor, measuring a whopping 33.5 in. x 18 in. x 19.5 for a total volume of 6.8 cubic feet.

But, alas! Yabtsega is baffled by the apparent emptiness of this food storage receptacle. 

There are a total of 12 objects in the fridge—not all of which are immediately identifiable. Two of these are entirely empty, their lack of scrumptious treats adding to the rumbling of our insatiable bellies.

But lo! Three of the 12 are staples in a college student’s diet—Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Tostito’s salsa. Hooray! 

Two clear plastic tubs sit on the floor of the fridge. From the looks of them, they’ve been there for quite a while—and we agree that they look neither enticing nor safe to eat. We leave them, of course, just in case someone, some other day, is hungrier—or perhaps drunker—than ourselves. We leave the other mystery object on the bottom shelf, as well.

I guess that the orange is edible, despite its obvious health value.

This leaves six ingestible items for our enjoyment. Never mind that peanut butter and salsa are supposed to be toppings for other food choices. We are college students, we have spoons, and we have no shame.

We also have no measuring implements, as it is 3 a.m. in a dorm made up of sleeping first-years. 

Nonetheless, we note the following approximate percentages of food left in containers:

The Jif peanut butter jar has about 1/10 left, of a 490g jar. At a serving size of 31g, with 190 calories, this gives us 1.58 servings, with 300 calories.

Each of the salsa jars has 1/3 left of a 453.6g jar, with a serving size of 33g and 15 calories. This means that we have 302.4g of salsa, with about 9 servings and 137 calories.

The Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Cookie Dough ice cream has exactly one serving left—1/4 of the 416 gram container—which gives us 270 calories.

The 64 fl. oz. generic cranberry juice cocktail is about half full. At 8 ounces per serving, we have 4 servings with a total of 600 calories.

A medium orange has 62 calories (and none from fat!), according to

All told, Yabtsega had 1259 calories worth of viable sustenance in his fridge.

Based on a very general daily intake recommendation of 2000 calories, if we were to eat everything edible we found (or everything we found edible) in Yabstega’s fridge, we would ingest 37% of our daily food intake—enough for a whole meal, including protein, fruits, veggies and dairy products.

Not bad for what looked like a pretty barren fridge!