Cue the hysterical voice screaming “but it’s for the children!”
News from San Francisco tells us that chocolate milk is being banned from elementary and middle schools now… And high schools next spring… because, well, the children!
San Francisco school officials have deemed chocolate milk too sugary for students, and they’re now phasing it out of district cafeterias. The San Francisco Unified School District’s board of education voted to add chocolate milk to a long list of banned food items in the city’s schools starting in elementary and middle schools this fall. School officials will impose the chocolate milk ban on high school students in the spring, the Associated Press reports. The change follows the district’s ongoing war on sugar that has already resulted in bans on candy, soda and other sugary drinks, and is designed to cut down on calories students consume at school.
There’s a pesky little problem with this brainstorm, however, and it is not lost on the people that actually have to manage the cost of running the school cafeterias:
District officials there found that serving chocolate milk could mean an increase of 12.5 million cartons consumed rather than wasted each year — which would translate to a 23 percent increase in milk consumption. District officials put chocolate milk back in all the district’s schools this spring.
Los Angeles’ results mirrored those from a 2014 Cornell University study, which found that while banning chocolate milk could reduce calorie and sugar consumption, it could also mean less milk consumed, more waste and fewer kids buying school lunch.
“Food service managers need to carefully weigh the costs and benefits of eliminating chocolate milk and should consider alternative options that make white milk more convenient, attractive, and normal to choose,” the Cornell authors wrote.
Other studies came to the same conclusion, including a 2009 study by the American Heart Association that found both flavored and plain milk provide health benefits for students without weight gain.
Not mentioned in the article but surely considered is the additional havoc all those wasted white milk cartons are wreaking on the already-over-burdened Northern California landfills.
This is just one more shining example of Governors and lawmakers stepping over each other to be the first to Champion a lofty ideal while giving no thought or consideration to the realities on the ground.