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Federally Subsidized School Lunch in America

发表于 2-6-2019 17:38:20 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Eric Helgas with Shruti Singh, Big Dairy's Big Friend. The American dairy industry is in a bad way. But the Department of Agriculture has thrown it a lifeline -- it's easing Obama-era rules for school lunches. Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Jan 14, 2019.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/f ... l-lunches-with-milk


"The American lunchroom war * * * [has] raged anew since 2010, when the Obama administration backed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The law directed the US Department of Agriculture to rewrite the nutrition standards of the $13.6 billion National School Lunch Program for the first time in 15 years. The department soon required more fruits and vegetables, more whole grains, and lower sodium levels. Chocolate milk, if it was served, had to be fat-free. In many ways this was a frontal assault on dairy: Cheese, especially the American kind popular on burgers, is high in sodium. The new rules even told schools to make water available with every meal—after decades when the only beverage kids were routinely offered was milk.  A week after his appointment was confirmed in 2017, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, a stocky ex-Georgia governor who made his fortune in the grain business and was once a consultant to milk producers, sat down for lunch with grade schoolers in Leesburg, Va, to announce an easing of the restrictions. Higher-fat chocolate milk was back, along with more white breads and pizza. * * * The win is especially sweet for the $200 billion US dairy industry, which has been in a self-declared crisis for years because of declining milk consumption

"The shift has particularly unwelcome consequences for the one-third of American kids considered overweight or obese. It underscores the contradiction at the heart of the meals program, which is simultaneously trying to feed schoolkids healthful food while supporting agribusinesses that want to pack the menu with their own products. * * * In the months after the election of President Donald Trump, only one thing drew a direct rebuke from either Barack Obama or his wife, Michelle—the changes to her signature effort for healthful eating. As she put it soon after Perdue's lunchtime visit: 'Think about why someone is OK with your kids eating crap.'  But then, for many of the kids and the professionals serving them, the crap was the whole-grain pitas and skim milk the government forced on them. * * * Per capita, people in the US are drinking 40 percent less milk than in 1975. Production, however, keeps rising. As a result, milk prices are sliding and dairy farmers are failing—Wisconsin alone lost 600 dairy farms in 2018.  Consumption is down in Canada and Western Europe as well, and it isn’t just a matter of taste. Among doctors, there’s growing recognition that high dairy intake can increase risks of heart disease, cancer, and weight gain. One widely publicized 2014 study by Swedish researchers, published in the BMJ, formerly the British Medical Journal, found that people who drank three glasses of milk a day—the amount of dairy suggested in U.S. dietary guidelines—had a higher risk of dying over 20 years than those who drank less than a glass. * * * What's more, the study found that the calcium in milk hadn't made people less prone to bone fractures, contrary to popular belief.  The American Medical Association recommended in 2018 that the U.S. call meat and dairy optional in its next set of dietary guidelines. The AMA also asked that the school lunch program recognize something that’s become clear from genetic studies in recent years: It’s mainly people of Northern European descent who can easily process the lactose in milk. Among Asian Americans, intolerance to lactose is about as common as being right-handed, and it’s also prevalent among black people and people of Mexican heritage (one reason for a particularly weird twist that's seen white supremacists turn milk into a symbol of racial purity in internet memes).

"For the industry, that's all the more reason to thank federally subsidized school meals. The 'feeding programs' account for 7.6 percent of total fluid milk sales, by one producer's 2017 estimate. The largest US dairy processor, Dean Foods Co * * *  Two-thirds of sales in schools are flavored, according to the National Dairy Council. Counting what they drink everywhere, kids age 2 to 17 represent 40 percent of consumption, according to the Milk Processor Education Program, or MilkPEP, a quasi-governmental marketing group funded by federal levies on milk processors.  When the Obama-era rules took effect in 2012, requiring all flavored milk in schools to be skim, it only exacerbated the industrywide slide [of milk consumption]. Skim doesn't taste as good, and more kids passed. By MilkPEP's count, children caused the largest share of milk's volume drop from 2011 to 2015.  The federal government has had a hand in school meals since 1946, when military leaders convinced President Harry Truman of the need for healthier conscripts; the Agriculture Department now subsidizes 30 million lunches and 15 million breakfasts a day. Kids get as many as half their calories at school—a fact Michelle Obama emphasized when she made healthier school meals the centerpiece of her 'Let's Move' campaign for weight loss. Often, she argued, those calories were the wrong kind [eg, sugary drinks]  The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act [of 2010] gave schools more money if they met updated nutrition standards. Under President Obama, these included leaner proteins, limits on calories, and a fruit or vegetable at every meal. The rules reached deep into the nonsubsidized foods sold a la carte or in vending machines * * * Almost immediately, the rules came under attack. The potato lobby fought off limits the Agriculture Department sought to impose on 'starchy vegetables'—for example, french fries. * * *  when it [the 2010 law] was implemented in 2012, kids were shocked by the smaller servings and blander menus. * * * Those who could afford to began bringing their own lunches. That hit the budgets of the schools' lunchrooms, which typically fund themselves using a mixture of the federal subsidy of as much as $3.31 a plate and sales of snacks and a la carte foods. * * * 2 million students had dropped out of the program by this past fall.

(a) Print and the online version are the same.
(b) Lunch lady "in Las Vegas for the annual conference of the School Nutrition Association. There, in the convention center at the Mandalay Bay hotel * * * toting swag bags"

swag (n):
"3         a: goods acquired by unlawful means : LOOT
* * *
        c : promotional goods or items
        d : goods given to people who attend or participate in an event"
(b) George Ervin "Sonny" Perdue III (1946- ; Secretary of Agriculture since Apr 25, 2017; is not related to the family that owns and operates Perdue Farms (commonly associated with "Perdue Chicken")  en.wikipedia.org for "Sonny Perdue."

(c) About quotation 2.
(i) Bridgit Bowden, How We Produce More Milk With Fewer Cows; Breeding and DNA contribute to rising milk per cow. Wisconsin Public Radio,
(A) Michaëlsson K et al, Milk Intake and Risk of Mortality and Fractures in Women and Men: Cohort Studies. BMJ, 349: g6015 (Oct 28, 2014).
* Labos C and Brophy J, Statistical Problems with Study on Milk Intake and Mortality and Fractures. BMJ, 349: g6991 (Nov 26, 2014);
* Kerr JR, Milk and Mortality: Raw versus Pasteurised Milk. BMJ, 349: g6993 (Nov 26, 2014);
* Hill TR, Vitamin D Status, Bone Fracture, and Mortality. BMJ, 349: g6995 (Nov 26, 2014);
* Hettinga K, Study Used Wrong Assumption About Galactose Content of Fermented Dairy Products. BMJ, 349: g7000 (Nov 26, 2014);
* Sundar S, Milk and Mortality: the Potential Effects of Modern Milk Production. BMJ, 349: g7006 (Nov 26, 2014);
* Bonneux L, Unaccounted Sex Differences Undermine Association Between Milk Intake and Risk of Mortality and Fractures. BMJ, 349: g7012 (Nov 26, 2014);
* Michaëlsson K and Byberg L, Authors' reply to Labos and Brophy, Kerr, Hill, Hettinga, Sundar, and Bonneux. BMJ, 349: g7023 (Nov 26, 2014).


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