Coffee Consumption

It’s good to be aware of what exactly we put into ourselves when we try to wake ourselves up a little more every day. The National Coffee Association found in 2013 that 63 percent of Americans drink coffee daily, so people should know what exactly is in their drink. The bar graph below details the amount of caffeine in 100 milliliters of coffee in many regular brands. For each type, the ‘regular’ coffee was the one examined, as opposed to decaffeinated, Americano or any other type of coffee given. The information was taken from a FDA report on caffeine consumption of Americans released in December of 2012. With caffeine consumption on the rise for many Americans from energy drinks, caffeine pills or shots, and most popularly, coffee, it is important to know just what exactly you are putting into your body. As the graph shows, Starbucks regular coffee has the highest caffeine content, with 70 milligrams in 100 milliliters of coffee. McDonald’s regular coffee has the least amount of caffeine, with 31 milligrams in 100 milliliters, less than half of what Starbucks’ coffee contains. Generic coffee, which includes most store-brands, contains 57 milligrams of caffeine. So if you need a cup of coffee to function in the morning or like to have a cup to finish out the day, just be aware of how much caffeine you are actually ingesting. Too much is never a good thing.

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Coffee, according to the National Coffee Association (NCA), is accountable for at least 50 percent of the caffeine intake of adults in the United States. In 2009, the NCA, took a random sample of adults to find out how much coffee they drank. They found that 18-24 year-olds drank on average 686.1 milliliters of coffee daily; 25-39 year-olds drank 709.8 milliliters; 40-59 year-olds drank 851.7 milliliters; and those 60 and up drank 733.4 milliliters of coffee each day on average. The study suggests that the older percentage of the US adult population drinks more coffee each day than the younger proportion, as those 40 and older drank 53. 17 percent of the coffee consumed each day by adults in 2009. This could come in part because older Americans have more money than young adults, especially considering the poor state of the American economy in 2009. Young adults are also more likely to drink energy drinks or soda as well, as they are usually cheap and easy to get. For college students especially, soda is something that can be easily obtained if they live in a dorm, as cafeterias supply almost limitless amounts of various sodas. Coffee consumption is just something that increases with age, reaching its peak between the ages of 40 and 60.

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More and more people seem dependent on their daily cup of coffee. Coffee consumption, in billions of pounds, has increased among those in North America. Canada and the United States have seen upward growth in how much coffee is consumed each year from 1998 to 2008. The data shown below was collected by the International Coffee Organization, and was put together in November of 2009. It shows that coffee consumption went from 3.05 billion pounds of coffee consumed in a year to 3.63 billion pounds of coffee consumed annually over a 10 year period. This mass consumption in the United States and Canada matches the trends shown above of large amounts of coffee consumed daily. As adults desire to drink more coffee, more and more is imported to both the United States and Canada. Coffee consumption has seen a 19 percent increase over the past decade, from 1998 to 2008. That is an increase of 42 million pounds of coffee. That’s 84 million more 8-ounce cups of coffee that Americans and Canadians have had to drink. That’s a lot of trips to Starbucks or Tim Hortons!

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Neal Shine lecture hosted Judy Keen

The Michigan State School of Journalism recently had Judy Keen speak at its annual Neal Shine lecture. Keen, who has been a writer for USA Today for 25 years, shared her observations on the evolution of journalism during her time in the industry.

The biggest change Keen has seen in journalism has been the ever-changing aspect of digital news.

“Print newspapers are going away,” said Keen. “There are less than 40,000 full-time journalists in the country. This all adds up to a news industry that is undermanned to handle reporting news.”

Keen shared that she has seen more people turn to their phones or tablets for the news, reading short online stories rather than longer ones in newspapers. A consequence of this, she said, is that more reporters are no longer needed because they only need the ability to create online or multimedia stories that are short and can be uploaded to a news website quickly.

“News is an important part of what people do on their mobile devices. Four out of five people say they are getting more news than ever before,” said Keen. “That data came from a recent Pew Poll.”

Keen also pointed out that the largest growth seen in the news industry came from Google, oil companies and banks. Instead of journalists, these corporations employed workers in public relations, which she said often means that the news given out by them is biased.

Keen said part of the problem this creates for the public is that more people distrust the news.

“At a time when people are getting news from people who aren’t reporters at all, like blogs and such, trust in journalism has gone down to 24%,” said Keen. “But it is still important.”

While Keen sees that breaking news has been a healthy and growing part of the industry, it has come at the cost of some of the essential traits of journalism.

“Accuracy—that is the essential quality of journalism. There is a pressure to be first, and a pressure to be wrong,” said Keen.

Journalism is a field that Keen said constantly evolves and changes in order to meet the demands of the people. But there are certain aspects that will stay the same, no matter what new technology comes out.

“The exciting part and the optimistic part is the storytelling,” said Keen. “Journalism has been—and always will be—storytelling.”