Dunking the Milk Mandate
We are working to end an archaic and wasteful milk mandate in the National School Lunch Program – a mandate that puts a carton of milk on every tray regardless of consumer wishes. The solution is to give kids a choice of a nutritionally equivalent plant-based milk. By eliminating the government mandate and scaling back unwanted milk marketing and distribution, one outcome may be better treatment of cows on farms.
The National School Lunch Program has a “milk mandate” for children who qualify for the nutrition assistance program (30 million kids are provided with lunch, and 15 million with breakfast). The problem is, millions of kids who participate in the program are lactose intolerant, and dairy milk makes them sick, causing many of them to throw the milk away or to drink it and risk illness. Kids need a choice, and soymilk has been recognized under the American Dietary Guidelines. Soy is one of the biggest agricultural sectors in the U.S., with more than 500,000 farmers who’d like to see their product offered in the schools.
Not only does the program waste $300 million in taxpayer dollars every year, but it ignores the sacrifices of the cows who produce the milk. A cow on an industrial farm produces 22,500 pounds of milk in a year (more than three times the volume that a cow produced decades ago), with the animals often suffering from foot, leg, and mammary problems, with nearly half of cows having inflammation of their udders (mastitis).
Read more about our campaign
Are Plant-Based Milks Safe?
Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet
Actions to Take
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ADD SOY Act
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