School lunches have become a touchy subject as government agencies seek a way to keep America and America’s kids from packing on the pounds via an increasingly diabetes-inducing diet that served us better when food was made of food and our greatest physical exertion wasn’t removing apps from our iPhone screens, and milk is the latest American staple to have a shaky future on the lunch trays of American kids.
It’s only natural that after First Lady Michelle Obama tried to redistribute everyone’s cookies to less-fat kids that its companion of milk would be next up on the docket for re-education camp, but experts with their informed opinions seem to think a food that exists solely to beef up baby cows may not be the best thing to give to kids who spend more time on the PlayStation than the playground.
A group called the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has petitioned the USDA to remove milk from kids’ school lunches, complaining that the dairy industry has been milking the cash cow of kids in school for far too long. In a blog post decrying the distribution of milk in school cafeterias, the group writes:
“The dairy product industry has been milking school lunches for profit since the National School Lunch Program was introduced more than a half century ago. The federal government spends more money on dairy products than any other food item in the school lunch program.”
“But it’s time to get milk out of school lunches. Abundant research shows milk does not improve bone health and is the biggest source of saturated (“bad”) fat in the diet—the very fat that Dietary Guidelines push us to avoid. So PCRM recently petitioned the USDA to stop requiring milk in school lunches.”
In place of milk in school lunches, the PCRM recommends broccoli, tofu, kale, beans and collard greens as calcium sources better for kids than milk, which will almost certainly at least carry the benefit of an increase in material for compost piles for school gardens.
Do you think milk should be banned in school lunches?