Chocolate milk has become a real point of contention in schools across the nation. Schools in the District of Columbia and Los Angeles County have become the center of controversy over none other than flavored milk. And Jamie Oliver was even kicked out of LA County schools for bringing light to the issue, amongst other district nutrition problems, but it seems he may actually be making some headway. The new LA County superintendent says he will recommend the removal of flavored milk in the nation's largest school district. I wrote over at Planet Green about the controversy surrounding of all things, chocolate milk. That controversy, which started in DC has spread to LA. According to the Washington Post, Fairfax County and D.C. schools banned chocolate milk last year from elementary lunch lines and it was a real source of contention. Schools received letters and petitions from a slew of nutritionists and influential special interest groups.
"We got 10 to 20 e-mails a day," said Penny McConnell, director of food and nutrition services for Fairfax. "It was a lot of pressure."
Due to the pressure both from parents and industry groups, DC schools reintroduced flavored milk made from sugarcane and beets rather than high fructose corn syrup and decreased the fat content. My reaction can be put no better than school nutrition advocate Ann Cooper: "Trying to get students to consume calcium by drinking chocolate milk is like getting them to eat apples by serving them apple pie."
Jamie Oliver Puts The Pressure on LA Schools
Just to give you a little background. Seventy-five to 85 percent of all milk sold in public cafeterias in this country is flavored milk mostly strawberry or chocolate milk. One 8 oz carton of flavored milk has 28 grams of sugar, that's more per ounce than a soda. In a country where 1 in 3 people are projected to have diabetes in their lifetime, this is a real problem for kids.
Jamie Oliver put the pressure on LA County schools on his show Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. This isn't the first time he's had a few words to say about school nutrition. And it turns out he's made a big impact. According to a story I found on MNN, while the former superintendent kicked Oliver out of LA County schools, the new superintendent said he would recommend to the board of education that flavored milk be banned.
Watch LA's new school superintendent and Jamie Oliver on Jimmy Kimmel
It's time to teach our kids that the over processing of already hormone and pesticide laden milk does not a healthy body make. And that building healthy bones comes more from nutrient dense foods like dark leafy green vegetables, broccoli, kale, collards, and bok choy as well as whole grains, than just a diet loaded with non-organic dairy.
Like this? Follow my Twitter feed.
More on Jaime Oliver and School Nutrition
Wake Up America, Jamie Oliver's Healthy Lunches Make Kids Smarter
Jamie Oliver is Thrown Out of Los Angeles' Schools
Jamie Oliver's School Lunch Programme is in Jeopardy