USFR Customer Support
See the latest reader comments and hear John explain some of agriculture’s complex topics.
Chocolate Milk: A Good Option for Kids???
Jun 06, 2011
Editor's Note: The following comments were received in response to the Mailbag segment focused on chocolate milk that aired this past weekend on U.S. Farm Report. We've posted the viewer comments first, followed by a transcript of John's comments...
#1: As a nurse, I see many kids that live on pop and chips...or only drink chocolate milk. What if the chocolate and sugar is just cut in half? I bet the kids will still drink it and be healthier for them.
#2: While they are at it, they could remove all other unhealthy, particularly pre-packaged, processed food from school menus. I personally avoid restaurants with Gordon Food trucks parked out front. There is an initiative to get locally grown food into schools; that's great! Jenny Gray - Cadillac, MI
FARM REPORT MAILBAG:
TIME NOW FOR OUR WEEKLY LOOK INSIDE THE FARM REPORT MAILBAG....
A FEW WEEKS AGO WE HAD A STORY ABOUT THE LOS ANGELES SCHOOL BOARD CONSIDERING A BAN ON CHOCOLATE MILK IN SCHOOL LUNCHES. WE HAD A FLURRY OF REPLIES, OUTRAGED AT FURTHER GOVERNMENT INTRUSION. HERE IS ONE EXAMPLE FROM SHANNON BOYNKIN.
"WHAT HAPPENED TO FREEDOM OF CHOICE? I HAVE THREE BOYS THAT IT IF WASN'T FOR THE CHOCOLATE IN THE MILK THEY WOULDN'T DRINK IT."
FIRST OF ALL I THINK REFERENCES TO A NANNY STATE ARE OFF THE MARK HERE. THE LA SCHOOL BOARD IS HUGE BUT IT IS STILL A LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNIT - NOT A FEDERAL AGENCY. HAVING BEEN MARRIED TO A SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT, I THINK THIS IS THE APPROPRIATE LEVEL FOR SUCH A DECISION. REMEMBER, WHEN SODA MACHINES LARGELY DISAPPEARED FROM SCHOOLS THERE WAS LITTLE OUTCRY.
EVEN THE DAIRY INDUSTRY RECOGNIZES HOW MUCH SUGAR IS IN FLAVORED MILK AND IS TRYING TO DECREASE IT. AND DAIRY SUPPORTERS POINT OUT THAT MILK CONSUMPTION DROPS DRASTICALLY WITHOUT FLAVORING.
THE QUESTION IS WHETHER THE DECREASE IN SUGAR IS OUTWEIGHED BY THE LOSS OF OTHER NUTRIENTS SUCH AS CALCIUM, POTASSIUM AND VITAMIN D. LOOKING AT THE NUMBERS, IT IS A CLOSE CALL CONSIDERING OUR OBESITY-PRONE SOCIETY.
TAKING STEPS TO LOWER CHILDHOOD OBESITY IS ONE KEY TO TACKLING OUR NATIONAL HEALTH COST BATTLE. BUT THE MORE ALARMING PROBLEM FOR OUR DAIRY INDUSTRY IS HOW AMERICAN TASTES HAVE BEEN TRAINED FOR SWEET FOODS, AND TODAY THEIR MAIN PRODUCT DOES NOT SELL WELL WITHOUT SUGAR ADULTERATION.