From the New York Times: In New York Schools, Whole Milk Is Cast From the Menu
Oh, a quite note: I'm afraid this is another food porn/review-less post. I won't blame you if you just glance over this and move on to more exciting things; I do that a lot, as I have the attention span of a goldfish. Today when I opened bloglines after getting home from school and saw more than 130 new posts in my "food" folder, staring at me, all pleading to be read (yeah, the Internet talks to me), I wanted to cry. Why, bloglines, why? I also wanted to clean up the folder to lessen future blog bombardment (blogbardment!...no), but I couldn't decide what to unsubscribe from. Trying to follow so many blogs is pretty useless as in the end, I end up reading just a handful of posts....
...such as apartment therapy's post about the milk ban in NYC public schools (there's another post on Gothamist). My first thought was, "Hm, that sounds kinda pointless." Then I thought about it some more (probably while noshing on chocs, being the health conscious person that I am) and it truly bothered me. While most of the country is probably pissed at Bush (well, I guess that's more like half; the majority did vote for him, right?...somewhere...oh, I didn't watch the State of the Union Address, so sue me), the removal of whole milk from little New Yorkers' hands is what pisses me off. To some degree.
I don't drink milk. It's not that I mind dairy products, but drinking a large class of cold (or warm) moo juice just doesn't strike my fancy. It kinda unstrikes my fancy, if there is suck a thing. What I wonder is that out of everything they could think to ban, they chose whole milk? Is whole milk really contributing to little New Yorkers' increasing waistlines? People have been drinking whole milk for thousands of years, and if it was good enough for my Neolithic ancestors, then it's good enough for me.
Yes, I know today's milk isn't quite like the "straight out of the cow's teat" fresh. I'd be interested in trying fresh, raw milk at some point; if the idea grosses you out, then is it alright for me to be slightly grossed out by the idea of drinking factory-farmed, processed milk? (I know this may seem hypocritical, as I eat a lot of processed foods, but there are "good" and "bad" versions of food products, which I'm sure you could figure out.) Although I'm not familiar with milk processing, I'd assume that whole milk is less processed than low fat versions. Some people drink low fat milk because they like the taste more; that's fine with me--it's not like I particularly like the taste of any milk, whole or with fat removed (or water added; how is low fat milk made?). However, if I had to drink a type of milk, I'd rather drink whole than low fat.
I used to rant about the healthfulness (or lack of) in milk; that's not what I plan to do in this post. It was always more controversial, than I would've liked resulting in people freaking out at me for blasting their beloved beverage. (In 9th grade, I did a report about why people shouldn't drink milk in my health class. After my presentation, people just...stared at me funnily. No one asked me questions, but they probably thought I was insane; obviously, you want to avoid contact with insane people. Thankfully, my health teacher agreed with some things I said, so I wasn't completely insane.) So all I'm saying is...uh...
...Crap, I forgot. Well. I just feel like if we're so damn concerned about the health of today's youth, much better things could be done than removing whole milk. (I know some schools have banned soda and junk foods. I have no statistics as to how much of an impact those changes make, but I wouldn't oppose them. During high school I was pseudo horrified to see classmates drinking Coke at 8 AM. And then there was that time two of my classmates were throwing cigarettes across the room, but I guess that's a different problem.) Maybe change menus around to incorporate healthier foods and take out heavily processed foods. Don't get me wrong--I understand the logic behind recommending that people drink low fat milk instead of whole milk; I just disagree with it. I also understand why schools can't fill their cafeterias with organic and locally grown food, but maybe someday they'll be reasonable options.
In the meantime, I can't say I'm taking any action. I'm insanely passive. Insaaane. Lazy. (sigh) My rant is pretty meaningless unless I actually do something about it.
However, I just wanted to ...possibly raise an issue in readers (like you! *points*) that they wouldn't usually think about. Surely there are stupider things in the world than banning whole milk, but I'm just choosing what interests me. That's why I have a blog. Mwahahahaa.
Just some final thoughts not to wrap things up but because this blog isn't edited in any professional means: When I was in elementary school, I only drank chocolate milk every so often. Because...it was chocolate. Technically you were supposed to pay for milk in the beginning of the year (or send in a form saying that you wanted it) but there were always loads of leftovers, so I'd sometimes nick a chocolate milk for meself. However, I'd rarely even drink those; I was under the impression that milk would give me mucus.
My dairy consumption was low growing up, but I wouldn't say my health suffered because of it, despite what the American Dairy Association would like me to believe (you know, that my arms and legs would just turn to dust and my brain would atrophy and yadda yadda). Many of you probably know that milk products don't play a large role in Asian cuisine. One popular theory for this is that a large percentage of Asians are lactose intolerant. I call this a theory because we've discussed the lack of dairy in Asian culture (Southeast Asia, more like) in some of my classes and...I'm too lazy to sum them up, which makes this paragraph rather useless. Here's a random observation: people in Taiwan really like ice cream. Hell, it's hot, why wouldn't they like ice cream? Taro ice cream! Oh baby.
...wow, does my mind wander or what?
Uh. Oh yeah, milk. If you're a milk aficionado then feel free to share some knowledge. My problem with milk is "real" milk versus factory produced milk. These qualms can be extended to meat and produce. I'm not saying I don't ingest big agribusiness-produced food (hellooo mysterious Chinese pork/meat/chicken products), but I think it's good to know about what other options are out there, if you have access to them.