How to arbitrage the salad bar?

Nate Silver has a tip, based obviously on the assumption of additive separability of utility:

4. Go crazy on toppings. Check out how high the prices for walnuts, almonds, gorgonzola crumbles and croutons are in the graphic above. Much to its credit, Whole Foods doesn’t stock the best salad topping of all — bacon bits, obviously — in its salad bar. Why? Because it costs a whopping $21.28 per pound. With any luck your local salad-bar merchant isn’t quite as savvy.

I don’t want free toppings!  And you have to pay me to eat bacon bits.


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