Does milk “do a body good,” as the marketing slogan promises?
There’s a big debate about whether cow’s milk delivers a range of problems along with its measurable dose of protein and calcium. But for millions of Americans, it’s not a close call. Their digestive systems are intolerant to milk – lactose intolerant to be more precise.
That’s why there’s growing concern about the dairy industry monopoly over the school lunch program because lactose-intolerance disproportionately affects Black, Asian, Latino, and others of non-European descent. In fact, 70 to 95 percent of Black, Pacific Islander and Asian, Native American, and Latino individuals suffer adverse symptoms after consuming dairy. Failing to provide alternative and nutritious beverages to these kids is unhealthy, unfair, and wrong.
Many kids throw the milk away, generating volumes of food waste and shortchanging kids of essential nutrition. Or they consume it and suffer the consequences, complicating their ability to absorb their school lessons. Animal Wellness Action and the non-profit nutrition group Switch4Good are working to make milk alternatives more readily available to schoolchildren, seeking to unwind this tone-deaf, stomach-churning food plan in our nation’s schools
Fortunately, there’s an easy answer. In 2020, the US Dietary Guidelines recognized fortified soy milk as a nutritional equivalent to dairy cow milk. But nutritional equivalency and cafeteria availability are not the same thing, and schools have failed to make soy milk readily available. To provide all students with a nutritional beverage that won’t make them sick — and to respect public schools’ tight budgets — USDA should implement a policy that makes soy milk readily available at all public schools and reimbursable at prices similar to cow’s milk.
Today, on the Animal Wellness Podcast, we talk with Dotsie Bausch, executive director of Switch4Good and Olympic Silver Medalist in cycling, and Dr. Milton Mills, an expert on this very issue of lactose intolerance and child nutrition.
Wayne Pacelle and Marty Irby from Animal Wellness Action join host Joseph Grove.