The Separation of Food and Knowledge

Kawika Mau, Writer

“PUT THAT FOOD AWAY!” is not a likely phrase you have heard lately. Eating, it seems, is a commonly ok thing to do in the class room. It’s nearly universally recognized, even some science teachers allow it. Science Teacher Mr.Bryan said, “I tell my students to not pull out a watermelon and start slicing that thing open, but I think kids need food to concentrate. So unless it’s a lab day where it becomes a safety issue, I’m alright with some snacks.” Science Teacher Mr. Brock agreed, saying, “I just like to use common sense, if you’re around chemicals you shouldn’t be eating but I don’t see a problem with students having something to munch on.”

We know that these days food in the classroom is ok, but what about back when our teachers were students? SRO Bronson said, “I don’t ever really remember if they didn’t allow us to eat, or if I just didn’t. From what I remember, no one really ate in class. But, today, if it’s not a distraction I don’t see a problem with it.” With all the positivity towards eating in class it sees like there isn’t a single teacher who won’t allow it. However Ms.Kirk teaches multiple lab science classes and said, “I allow students to drink, if it has a lid, but I don’t let them eat at any time in my classroom because there is potential for residue of contaminates on tables, and I don’t want to risk anyone putting that in there mouths.”

Students around the campus agreed with the teachers on all fronts. Senior Jenna Randich said, “I totally think students should be able to eat in class, I mean for me it helps me focus if I’m not starving.” According to the World Health Organization, adequate nutrition can boost your productivity by 20% and along with Randich, other students agreed that eating –expecially eating healthy food can help them in school. Senior Morgan Puckett said, “I feel like food helps my brain work a lot better, I’ll eat a bunch of vegetables throughout the day and it keeps me from getting bored in class.”

From a study noted in the book, Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, By Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney, the pro’s of eating a healthy snack are highlighted as researchers directed that, “All the children in a class were told to skip breakfast one morning, and then, by random assignment, half of the children were given a good breakfast at school. The others got nothing. During the first part of the morning, the children who got breakfast learned more and misbehaved less (as judged by monitors who didn’t know which children had eaten). Then, after all the students were given a healthy snack in the middle of the morning, the differences disappeared as if by magic.”

So, are there any cons? Certainly a minor one: Brock mentioned, “It becomes an issue when people start leaving their garbage out,” and Junior Henry MaCcready says, “ I mean I like eating in class but it can be pretty distracting if someone’s eating chips and getting crumbs everywhere.”

For once administrators, teachers, and students are in agreement: Eat your food, just don’t be obnoxious. Clean up your mess and for heaven’s sake, don’t rub your sandwich in sodium chloride.