But only when it comes to milk, of course. At least, according to Anna M Clark (president of EarthPeople, in case you were wondering. No ‘take me to your leader!’ jokes, please..):
“Why are the children drinking pink milk?” asked the Finnish intern my family was hosting. As a graduate student, Nina came here last year to research American perspectives on green marketing. She accompanied me to a client site, where our task was to increase recycling in a large North Texas school district. That day, I was counting aluminum cans in the trash when Nina asked about the strawberry-flavored milk.
It seems a strange question.
Inspecting the label, I noted that the strawberry-flavored bottled milk contained 33g of sugar, enough high-glycemic carbohydrates for more than two meals worth of food.
Oh, here we go…
Yes, the calcium and Vitamin D in milk are important, but what does it say about where America is headed when it takes four spoonfuls of sugar to make the medicine go down?
It says that this current generation is spoilt, entitled and easily led. Isn’t that what the progressives wanted?
Seeing my world through the eyes of my “Fintern” got me curious. Finland is one of the best-educated countries, and it’s also one of the healthiest. At a time when America is expanding its waistline while slipping in educational rankings, could elevating nutrition in schools be a lever for societal transformation?
I’m going to go out on a limb here and…
Yes, and it’s already happening.The DC Healthy Schools Act, which passed unanimously in May 2010 and went into effect in August 2010, has been hailed model school wellness and anti-hunger legislation for America. Addressing the complex cycle of obesity and poverty, the multifaceted solution includes serving free breakfast; encouraging farm to school programs; following enhanced nutrition standards in cafeterias and vending machines; and increasing physical and environmental education.
So, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but there is such a thing as a free breakfast?
In spite of the progress, flavored milk is still being served, including at my own kids’ school. “We can’t remove it from the menu until the government mandates it,” an administrator from our school told me. “We’ll get too much pushback from parents who fear that their kids will stop drinking milk altogether.”
Well, quite! And isn’t it interesting that the ‘school administrator’ is quite happy to pass the buck to Big Daddy Government and let them take the blame?
In serving flavored milk, our schools may be in compliance with federal regulations, but we can do better than the bare minimum, especially since the minimum is so bad for America’s future. Unless and until school districts adopt more rigorous requirements, parents can support Jamie Oliver’s campaign to bring back plain milk at school. We can also raise our own standards by modeling responsible consumption at home. Allowing parents to exercise responsibility has consistently been the argument for schools not getting more involved. Now it’s our turn to teach.
If you don’t exercise responsibility, it’ll be taken away from you. And we’ll exercise it for you…