Our lunch should be longer

Twenty minutes is not enough time to eat, and the new long block schedule amplifies the negative effects of the short lunch period.

Andrew Torrance, Staff Writer

Meal time has long been a sacred tradition throughout human history. Especially these days, it is crucially important for students and workers alike to take a break during the day to wind down and eat a substantial meal.

Numerous studies have found that there exists a positive correlation between worker productivity and taking an hour-long lunch break away from the desk. However, the standard lunch length at BSM is only 20 minutes. This causes the lunch scene to typically consist of long lines followed by students desperately trying to shove as much food in their mouths as they can before they have to venture off to their next class.

In an extremely professionally-conducted survey done by yours truly, I awkwardly watched kids in the lunch line and timed them. Through this, I have found that the average student waits about five minutes to get his or her lunch. This leaves only 15 minutes for a student to eat and socialize. This time constraint prevents students from enjoying a highly-beneficial break in the day to recharge and relax from busy school work. The current 15-minute break doesn’t offer much help for students looking for a hiatus from the stress of school as the lunchroom is loud and packed; it doesn’t promote a good environment to get away from all of the chaos the school day has to offer.

Some schools have switched to a 30–40-minute lunch period in order to allow students a better opportunity to take a break and enjoy a quality meal. The benefits of these changes are clearly shown through a number of studies which found that students with 20 minutes of lunchtime or less ate almost 20% less food than students whose lunch periods exceeded 25 minutes. Additionally, longer lunches resulted in less trash as well as increased student productivity. Students deserve a longer lunch in order to have the opportunity to eat a comprehensive, nutritional meal in order to focus and maintain their academic excellence.

Students deserve a longer lunch in order to have the opportunity to eat a comprehensive, nutritional meal in order to focus and maintain their academic excellence.”

— Andrew Torrance

With the advent of BSM’s new long block days, many students anticipated a standard 30-minute lunch that students traditionally got on event block days. The fact that lunch is still only 20 minutes long is upsetting because it’s not really a liability for the school to give students an extra 10 minutes of lunch, especially when we have 85 minutes of class. I, of course, think that all lunches should be at least 30 minutes long, but I think it’s a no-brainer that at least all block days should include a 30-minute lunch period due to the fact that classes are longer anyway.

The benefits of lengthening the lunch period at BSM are obvious, and from what I’ve heard from students, most of them wish they had more time to eat lunch. Lunch is a cherished time in each student’s day, and the time should be given to us to actually enjoy a meal with our fellow students and reinvigorate ourselves to become more productive for the rest of the day.