Group Wants Flavored Milk Out Of L.A. Schools
In an attempt to thwart flavored milk from the school cafeterias, 50 parents and activists conducted a rally and even gave Valentine gifts for the people in-charge of L.A. school food program. The rally brought in numerous milk mugs decorated with hearts and filled with sugars so that they can get the flavored milks from the cafeterias of the schools of Los Angeles. The rally was held on February 14 outside the L.A. Unified School District headquarters, which then proceeded to district offices. But, it was a vain attempt by the rally to put an end to the supply of flavored milk in L.A. Schools as the officials didn’t even bother to answer the group.
Even though the meeting had been a pre-planned one, hours before the rally against flavored milk started, the concerned group received emails saying that the meeting has been called off due to the inconvenience of one of the group members.
According to one of the rally organizers, Jennie Cook, who is a caterer, the L.A. district officials had told the group to show that parents also supported their demand of not keeping flavored milk in L.A. schools.
But according to the deputy director of L.A. Unified's food services division, David Binkle, he was informed unexpectedly to be part of the ‘sudden’ meeting since the division head was not in town.
The event has called in the attention of media. And the result, Jamie Oliver, the renowned British chef, has included this ‘get rid of’ flavored milk rally as part of the second season of his reality television series, Food Revolution. He has also asked the rally to stick on to their demand and continue the efforts. Even Oliver’s efforts for access to L.A. schools have met with the denial from the district.
Emily Ventura, who is one of the rally organizers, mentioned that a chocolate flavored milk carton offered in the school has 2 teaspoons of sugar, which means a child consumes 14 cups (1 gallon) of sugar annually. According to Ventura, an associated at Childhood Obesity Research Center at USC, a child who picks his school breakfast consisting of chocolate milk, frosted corn flakes, juice and coffee cake would consume 51 grams of sugar, along with the sugar mentioned in a carton of flavored milk.
Ventura also mentioned that the flavored milk in the L.A. cafeterias was being kept so that the children would otherwise resist drinking plain milk. Citing that this was not a strong reason for stacking flavored milk in the school cafeteria, she said that consumption of flavored milk has increased the number of cases of obesity.
As for L.A. Unified’s future milk offerings, Binkle said the district’s dairy contract is up in June. “Certainly anything is on the table as we go through the budget options,” he said.
Let us wait and see if rally is able to achieve their aim of getting rid of flavored milk from school cafeterias.