Could Chocolate Milk be Banned From New York Schools?
Should kids be allowed to purchase chocolate milk while at school?
The debate is on between lawmakers, parents, and schools as the Mayor of New York City announced recently that he would like to see chocolate milk banned in city schools. The mayor has made it clear that the health of students is going to be a priority during his tenure and he feels that if chocolate milk is removed from schools, children will be healthier.
Many state and federal lawmakers do not agree and are asking the Mayor to keep the popular choice available for kids for many years to come according to WRGB. Not only do some agree that the ban would be taking choices away from our kids, but the ban would also have a negative effect on dairy farmers.
Hudson Valley Congressman Antonio Delgado along with other members of Congress sent a letter to the Mayor to express their concerns about the effect the ban would have on dairy farmers. The letter stated..
"As Members representing both rural and urban communities, we are committed to supporting the dairy farmers, producers, and agriculture partners across New York, while also ensuring that children in NYC schools have access to critical, life-enhancing nutrients. Unfortunately, for many NYC families, the meals children receive in schools are their only source of many recommended nutrients."
Dairy Farmers Express Concerns if Chocolate Milk is Banned
Dairy farm owner Nathan Chittenden, who is also part of a dairy farm group called Hudson Valley Fresh told WRGB that supplying milk to New York City schools is a big part of business for most upstate dairy farmers, "All the milk that’s in New York City schools is coming from New York upstate farms. It is an important aspect to our business. You know, there’s a lot of milk going down there."
New York Assemblyman Chris Tague agreed with this ban hurting dairy farmers but also added another great point, "We’re doing a big disservice to our farmers and to our children by banning it. It just doesn’t make any sense when kids can go to the soda fountain or soda machine and buy sugary drinks when they have flavored milk products available to them with their school lunch."
Many Hudson Valley schools have removed soda machines from school already, but some still offer many sugar-filled choices including juices and teas, and taking away chocolate milk and leaving them just doesn't make much sense to many.
Many farmers are also parents and from the parent and health standpoint, dairy farmer Nathan Chittenden made a good point saying, "There is no beverage you’re going to choose available to kids that’s going to be more nutritious than milk, It’s got 13 essential vitamins, minerals, nutrients, everything a body needs to grow healthy bones, healthy teeth, muscles, hair."
There is no official word on when the Mayor will make his final decision on the ban, but when he does we will update this article with the results.