The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a national vegan and physician group based out of D.C., has filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Agriculture asking for milk to be banned from school lunches, according parenting site BabyCenter.
According to the report, PCRM claims that the beverage is “…high in sugar, high in fat and high in animal protein that is harmful to, rather than protective of, bone health.”
Despite the American Heart Association's recommendation that children between ages 1 and 8 drink around two cups of reduced-fat milk a day, the PCRM asserts in its petition there are better ways for youngsters to get their calcium.
“Children can get the calcium they need from beans, green leafy vegetables (e.g., broccoli, kale, collard greens), tofu products, breads and cereals. Additionally, a wide variety of non-dairy, calcium-fortified beverages is available today including soy milk, rice milk and fruit juice, all of which provide greater health and nutritional benefits compared with dairy milk.”
Anne Goetze, a registered and licensed dietitian at the Oregon Dairy Products Commission, told the Capital Press that while calcium is available in other foods and beverages, it couples many other necessary vitamins as well.
"Milk is its own component because of the irreplaceable package of nutrients it provides," Goetze told the Capital Press.
The report notes that milk sold in schools makes up 7 percent of total milk sales in the U.S.
The PCRM petition also goes against new school lunch guidelines unveiled by first lady Michelle Obama in January that calls for low fat milk and nonfat flavored milk. All meals included on a sample menu released by the USDA call for a serving of milk for students.
School districts across the country have already started to ban sugary drinks like sodas from their lunchrooms, and schools from California to Massachusetts are considering banning, or have already banned, chocolate and flavored milk, citing its high sugar content. Will regular milk be next?