Jamie Oliver, you sly dog – you’ve made your campaign stick. Yesterday, by an overwhelming majority rule, the Los Angeles Unified School District school board voted to ban chocolate and strawberry milk from school cafeterias starting July 1.
The issue of flavored milk in schools caught the public eye after becoming one of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s pet causes. Oliver criticized the outsized amount of sugar added to flavored milks, and enacted equally outsized publicity tactics to demonstrate flavored milk’s potential harm, including filling a school bus with sand to represent how much sugar is served to school children in the ostensibly healthy form of flavored milk.
In addition to celebrity endorsement, parents have also been behind the push toward a ban: according to recent reports, 6,000 LA school district parents signed a petition advocating eliminating flavored milk within the school district.
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Others, however, have not been as supportive. According to Huffington Post, some board members felt unfairly pressured by public attention into making the decision.
“I really don't understand why we're letting a TV chef dictate our policy," said board member Tamar Galatzan, who voiced the lone dissenting vote in the election and cited sources like the American Heart Association in forming the opinion that the health benefits of chocolate milk outweigh the dangers of added sugar. The common thought along this track is that, denied sugary flavored milk, children will instead leap out of the frying pan and into the fire with sodas and juices made up of an even higher sugar content. But the prevailing opinion is that one day, perhaps soon, children will learn to appreciate plain milk as they once did years ago.