I’ve been out of the daily-blogging saddle recently (recovering from surgery) and haven’t written on a matter of real substance in a few weeks. So I’ll use that as my convenient excuse for potentially creating some confusion this morning with my post about a petition by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine to ban milk from the National School Lunch Program.
The point of my post was simply this: conflicts inevitably arise out of USDA’s dual roles of administering the NSLP and serving the needs of the agricultural industry. And as demonstrated by this week’s rather stunning “Meatless Monday” incident (described in today’s post), any proposed changes to the NSLP — regardless of their merits — are likely to be rejected if they will adversely affect the financial interests of farmers and ranchers. As someone who cares deeply about the millions of kids dependent upon school meals, I don’t think that’s an ideal state of affairs.
That said, I’m not a supporter (as some seem to have assumed) of PCRM’s petition to ban milk outright from schools. While I’ve become aware in the last few years of studies finding that dairy is not all it’s cracked up to be (running counter to those “Got Milk?” ads administered by USDA itself), I still buy and eat a wide variety of dairy foods, including milk, and I serve them to my family. In fact, I’m not just anti-anti-milk (if you follow), but I also took a lot of heat last year when I dared to question the “war” against flavored milk then being waged by Jamie Oliver, wishing he’d use his high profile and broad media reach to address other – and, in my opinion, larger –problems in the school lunch program.
My feeling about milk in schools, as shared by many TLT readers (judging from this morning’s discussion on the Facebook page and in comments on the blog), is that milk does have a place on lunch trays, but not to the exclusion of other beverages like water (which, as it turns out, is not so easy to get into cafeterias) and plant-based milks for those who drink them.
Hope this clears up any confusion.
Do You Love The Lunch Tray? ♥♥♥ Then “like” The Lunch Tray! Join over 3,600 TLT fans by liking TLT’s Facebook page (or follow on Twitter) and you’ll get your Lunch delivered fresh daily, along with bonus commentary, interesting kid-and-food links, and stimulating discussion with other readers. You can also check out my virtual bulletin boards on Pinterest and find selected TLT posts on The Huffington Post.