Red Bull in The Hawk Shop?


Ben Undem

The Hawk Shop’s Red Bull Spritzers.

Ben Undem, Reporter

Red Bull in the Hawk shoppe? Many foods are slipping into school lunch rooms by working around the requirements of Michelle Obama’s healthy school lunch program. Red Bull is just one example, the tipping point of the iceberg.

The Hawk Shoppe, a student run store that is open during both lunches here at Peninsula High School, is a popular spot to grab a coffee or smoothie while helping support the student ASB. The new popular drink is Red Bull Spritzers.

“The student store is run by the students, they choose what to sell and [Red Bull Spritzers] makes money and is a big hit,” says Myka Cranford, VPO president and Hawk Shop manager.

Red Bull is within the FDA food guidelines so it is 100% legal to sell in schools. It is also one of the more popular items in the Hawk Shoppe. The Red Bull sold in the shop is sugar free Red Bull, although sugar substitutes are not considered healthier for you. Also, some of the syrups added to make the drink a spritzer, contain sugar.

“Sugar substitutes are far more potent than corn syrup or table sugar. The two [Artificial Sweeteners] that are contained in Red Bull, aspartame and isulfulmane, are approved by the FDA. It changes the way we taste our food because it overstimulates our sugar receptors in our brain,”  says Kimberly Napier, English teacher here at PHS.

An 8.3 ounce can of Sugar free Red Bull contains artificial sweeteners substituted for the 27 grams of sugar in a regular can. 80 mg of caffeine, about as much as a cup of coffee contains. 100 mg of sodium. 1,000 mg or 1 gram of taurine, an amino acid.  And 60 mg of glucuronolactone, a substance that is produced when glucose is converted in the liver (a performance enhancing substance).

Energy drinks are seen as unhealthy by many people, including some teachers.

“It breaks my heart when we put more focus on the money we can make and less focus on the well being of our children. I want to see junk food taken out of their options here at school. In a place where they go to be secure, to be healthy and safe [School],” says Napier.

Despite the criticisms of food in the Hawk Shoppe, they have made steps toward selling healthier products. The Hawk Shoppe has recently discontinued pizza, soda, and other unhealthy products due to the change of guidelines.

“The store used to make a lot of money for ASB and it does not any more because of all the guidelines.” said Mr. Goodwin, principal here at PHS.

In the past, the Hawk Shoppe has sold things that were, in today standards, deemed unhealthy to sell to students. The school even made money that benefited the school’s ASB which positively impacted the school as a whole. Then because of new guidelines, the Hawk Shop had to get rid of these items and find a healthy alternative. These alternatives weren’t as favorable or profitable.

The Hawk Shoppe had to find something else to bring in the money. They decided to start selling Red Bull Spritzers, which passed the new guidelines. They became a big hit but there’s a catch: they aren’t healthy. In the end, it is the student’s choice to consume what they want no matter how unhealthy or healthy it is.