Coffee in The Caf’
by John M.
Student Devon Pattle arrived at FHS one fateful morning in 2011 and proceeded to the cafeteria to acquire his daily coffee. Upon arrival Devon noticed there was in fact no longer coffee in the cafeteria.
Coffee has been removed from the FHS cafeteria to further the grip of the healthy eating policy put in place by the school district. The district and the nurse claim that the ingestion of coffee is detrimental to the growth and development of students so they have removed it from their menu. Despite the claims made my school officials there is in fact little evidence coffee is unhealthy or has any negative effects on the people who drink it.
There are many myths associated with coffee drinking that are all nothing more than myths. Some will claim coffee stunts your growth which has been debunked. According to the NY times “after decades of research on the physiological results of coffee consumption, there is no evidence that it has any effect on height.”
It really makes no sense to remove coffee from the menu at a learning institution seeing as how it has been shown to increase alertness. According to a 2005 study by Florian Koppelstätter and colleagues at the Medical University at Innsbruck, Austria,” MRI scans determined that caffeine promoted increased activity of the anterior cingulate and the anterior cingulate gyrus in the prefrontal lobe of the brain. These specific areas are involved in planning, attention, monitoring and concentration. Although caffeine has been shown to stimulate concentration, there is inconclusive evidence of how long this effect lasts or precisely how it varies in individuals.”
Coffee has also been shown to just generally increase people’s mood, making them more easy going and sociable according to a steadyhealth.com article.
Student Devon Pattle stated that he estimates that about 50% of students at FHS drink coffee either habitually or occasionally making the consumer base for selling it at the cafeteria massive. It has also been shown that students will acquire their coffee regardless of the healthy eating policy as there are many places within walking distance of FHS who serve coffee such and Tim Horton’s and McDonald’s.
For a short duration at the start of this year, coffee was back in the cafeteria for about a week’s time. Students happily purchased coffee during this time period and there were no noticeable negative effects on any students. But all good things must come to an end… again. And it was swiftly removed by district demands.
Another point to be made is that students are not the only ones who drink coffee, many teachers at FHS also enjoy the drink but are not able to acquire it nearly as easily anymore which the lack of coffee could increase tiredness in the faculty and thus decreasing effectiveness of the teachers.
Coffee has been part of our culture for a very long time, denying students coffee readily available is denying our culture, claiming it has adverse health effects with no evidence to support the claims is almost tyrannical.
Many students including myself suffer from very intense tiredness during the day may it be because lack of sleep or just general fatigue from being 17, if coffee were more available it could be used to help put an end to this by drinking one cup of coffee in the morning. Coffee has a half-life of about 6 hours meaning even one cup in the morning would be beneficial throughout the school day.
A 1988 study showed that caffeine had a previously unknown effect of reducing boredom and making work at hand more interesting. This alone should be enough reason to have it in the cafeteria, lacking motivation is a huge problem to a lot of students at FHS. Coffee in the cafeteria could effectively be used to treat this lack of motivation present in the student body.
It’s apparent that students want coffee, some even need it to perform at the same level as their peers. It’s also apparent students will buy coffee regardless of the healthy eating policy. At a 50% coffee consumer rate at our school they are really missing out on a lot of money. Coffee sales are almost all profit when purchasing beans in bulk, costing the school literally pennies a cup could make a killing, perhaps even put a stop to our annual paper shortage that occurs second term.
All in all it’s just illogical to not serve coffee in the cafeteria, so why aren’t we? There is no adverse effects for anyone reflecting in the sale of it so it should be sold, it has been sold for a very long time in the cafeteria until its sudden and disappearance no one saw coming.