ALBANY – A new push is underway at the State Capitol to return whole and two percent milk back to school cafeterias in New York.
The bill’s sponsor, and ranking member of the Senate’s Agriculture Committee, Senator George Borrello, says the milk prohibition has hurt both children and farmers.
“This is all based on thirty year old, outdated ideas, it’s not even science. Thirty years ago, the idea that a healthy breakfast included some artificially flavored cereal, that was fat free, and loaded with chemicals covered with skim milk. And that was considered to be a healthy diet for our children. We know now that that was wrong,” says Borrello.
According to Borrello, children that drink whole milk have a forty percent less obesity rate than children that drink skim milk.
“Kids routinely threw out the skim milk. And when you put out a product that nobody wants, people don’t buy it. And that has hurt our dairy farmers. We need to return good tasting, nutritious whole milk to our schools. It’s not only right for our farmers, it’s right for our kids,” claims Borrello.
Senator Peter Oberacker, who is also a food scientist, says that certain animal products have numerous health benefits.
“Actually helps the body go from a storage mode into basically a mode of not allowing fat to accumulate. And where does that come from? It comes from whole milk,” says Oberacker.
Oberacker says the CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is the acid found in animal fat responsible for this decline in fat formation.
Registered dietitian and nutrition expert Toby Amidor touted her support, saying that milk has nutrients all humans need to thrive.
“Milk has thirteen essential nutrients, three which the 2020 – 2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans identified as nutrients of concern that are under-consumed by all Americans of all age groups, including children; calcium, vitamin D, and potassium,” says Amidor.
Though some health experts are concerned by the level of saturated fat in whole milk, Amidor says that these fats have a place in a healthy diet.
“The kids need nutrition, they need something that’s palatable. Especially since many of these kids do not get meals at home and they’re food insecure. We do have to remember that,” says Amidor.
The bill is intended to give children the opportunity to make the decision on which milk to drink at breakfast and lunch.