Is milk harming children?

One nonprofit urges the USDA to remove milk from students’ trays.

Milk: It does a body good. Not so fast says the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM).

In the evolving school milk fight—first it was chocolate milk, then high fructose corn syrup—PCRM says milk, of any kind, should be taken off the school lunch menu.

“One of the only reasons people talk about dairy, or promote it at all, is because it is going to help build strong bones,” said Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the PCRM, in an interview with Time. “Research has now made it abundantly clear that milk doesn’t build strong bones. Whether we are talking about children who are forming bones or older people who are trying to keep their bone integrity, milk doesn’t have a beneficial effect on either one.”

Last week PCRM sent a petition to the UDSA’s Food and Nutrition Services department urging it to remove milk from children’s trays. In the petition the group says that while milk does contain calcium, it also is high in sugar, “animal growth factors, occasional drugs and contaminants, and a substantial amount of fat and cholesterol in all but the defatted versions.”

The group went on to say that schools should focus on non-dairy sources for calcium, such as beans, tofu, broccoli, kale, collard greens and calcium-fortified beverages.

When I spoke to Dr. James Rippe, founder of the Rippe Lifestyle Institute, cardiologist and professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Florida, about flavored milk in schools a couple of weeks ago, his passion for student milk consumption was palpable. Here’s what he had to say about children drinking milk: “The Dietary Guidelines for Americans have a lot of recommendations in this area. They listed four nutrients of particular concern: calcium, vitamin D, potassium and fiber. Milk is the main source of three of those.”

I didn’t ask Dr. Rippe about the PCRM petition, but I think it’s fair to say that his reaction would be negative.

What I find confusing about PCRM’s petition is that it suggests that child nutrition professionals focus on the entire child’s diet to better health and nutrition. So why is the council zeroing in on milk? The entire point of the new meal regulations, My Plate and just about every nutrition plan out there is to have a well-balanced meal. Milk isn’t the enemy. Let’s not waste time and energy in places where it doesn’t need to be spent. We have a big enough problem with child obesity in this country. Let’s direct our resources to fixing the real problem.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Dining hall workers at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., have been asked to remove stickers worn in protest of working conditions at the school’s dining halls, The Stanford Daily reports.

School officials say that the stickers with the statement “Respect and a Fair Workload” go against a union-university agreement that states union members may not wear “insignia [with] any message that is vulgar, profane, or disparaging of Stanford, or that results in conflict or disruption in the workplace.”

In a conversation with The Daily, Seth Leibson, senior organizer for SEIU...

Industry News & Opinion

The School Nutrition Foundation has named its five School Nutrition Heroes for 2018.

The honorees were nominated by their peers and then selected by the SNF for helping end hunger for homeless and low-income students and their families.

Those chosen are:

Paula Angelucci, child nutrition director, Colonial School District; New Castle, Del. Anthony Terrell, culinary specialist, Shelby County Schools; Memphis, Tenn. April Laskey, director of school nutrition, Billerica Public Schools; Billerica, Mass. Lynne Shore, food service director, Willamina School District;...
Sponsored Content
spring desserts

From Bistro Collection® Gourmet Desserts.

Consumers and operators alike often associate seasonal desserts with pumpkin pie, gingerbread and candy canes—after all, winter is a season closely associated with indulgence.

But after the winter holidays, when people are hitting the gym and holding themselves to New Year’s Resolution diets, desserts don’t get as much attention. For operators, this can mean a lag in sales of sweets—but it’s not a lost cause. Updating springtime dessert menus to reflect the change in what diners are looking for can generate excitement and boost...

Industry News & Opinion

Sidney Central School District in Sidney, N.Y., has received $58,783 from the state to improve its farm-to-school program, The Daily Star reports.

The grant will be used to aid in appointing a farm-to-school coordinator and assistant who will help source local farm products for 10 districts in the region for NY Thursday, an initiative where cafeterias attempt to serve meals made entirely by local ingredients every Thursday.

The funding is part of a $12 million award spread among 12 districts throughout the state by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Read the full story via...

FSD Resources