Breaking News on Supplements, Health & Nutrition - Europe US edition | APAC edition

Read more breaking news



Trial Greek yogurt as high-protein school lunch option, politicians urge

1 commentBy Mark Astley , 21-Jan-2013

Greek yogurt products - such as those made by Chobani - should be trialled as a high-protein option on New York school menus, Gillibrand and Hanna claim.
Greek yogurt products - such as those made by Chobani - should be trialled as a high-protein option on New York school menus, Gillibrand and Hanna claim.

The inclusion of Greek yogurt in the National School Lunch Program could save money, while providing students with a high-protein meal option, two leading US politicians have claimed

Greek yogurt typically contains around 10% protein, while levels in traditional yogurt usually stand at around 3% or 4%. Despite this, Greek yogurt is not differentiated from traditional yogurt under the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) MyPlate nutrition guide or permitted as a high-protein option under the National School Lunch Program.

According to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Richard Hanna, Greek yogurt is packed with “healthy protein and should be available to our children in schools.”

In a statement directed at the USDA, Gillibrand and Hanna called for the introduction of Greek yogurt as a high-protein option on school lunch menus on a trial basis in the US capital of Greek yogurt production – New York State.

Better health, strengthened industry

“New York State is home to a strong and growing Greek yogurt industry,” said New York Senator Gillibrand.

Greek yogurt manufacturers Chobani and Fage have had an established, growing presence in New York State for a number of years.  

Traditional yogurt production has also increased in the State. In 2012, Muller Quaker Dairy – a joint venture between PepsiCo and German dairy giant Theo Müller – broke ground a yogurt manufacturing plant in the state.

“And when we connect these businesses to lunchrooms across the country, we can give our children better access to healthy, nutritious food, while strengthening New York’s own dairy industry. It’s time to make this common sense change in our lunchrooms so our students can thrive in the classroom, and help grow our economy,” said Gillibrand.

New York Congressman Hanna added that with such a “burgeoning Greek yogurt industry” New York seems an ideal place to begin introduce Greek yogurt as a protein option in schools.

“By launching a pilot program in New York, schools could offer a high-protein, healthy lunch option for students at a considerably lower cost. The trial period would allow us to see the many benefits that could be gained by school districts, taxpayers, agriculture businesses and – most importantly – in the health of our children,” said Hanna.

Second update attempt

Gillibrand and Hanna have previously petitioned the USDA regarding the health benefits of Greek yogurt.

In September 2012, the Senator and the Congressman wrote to US Secretary for Agriculture Tom Vilsack urging him to update the National School Lunch Program to permit Greek yogurt as a high-protein option.

They also asked him to update the MyPlate nutrition guide to differentiate Greek yogurt from other traditional yogurts.

At the time, Chobani president and CEO Hamdi Ulakaya voiced his support for the USDA reclassification.

Despite their efforts, no changes have been made to the USDA’s official guidelines or the US National School Lunch Program to-date.

1 comment (Comments are now closed)

Fat content the problem?

No mention of why the Greek yogurt is not currently allowed in schools. Presumably because traditionally it is also a lot higher in saturated fat than regular yogurt. Of course it can be made lower fat or even zero fat...which one is being promoted here?

Report abuse

Posted by chris aylmer
25 January 2013 | 13h262013-01-25T13:26:47Z

Related products

Live Supplier Webinars

Polyphenols tipped to become the way to innovate in Sports Nutrition
Orally bioavailable standardized botanical derivatives in sport nutrition: special focus on recovery in post-intense physical activities
Collagen in motion: move freely and keep your injuries in check
Leading manufacturer of gelatine and collagen peptides
Life’s too short for slow proteins. Whey proteins hydrolysates: Fast delivery for enhanced performance
Arla Foods Ingredients
What it Takes to Compete and Win in Today’s Sports Nutrition Market
Sports Nutrition Snapshot: Key regional drivers and delivery format innovations
William Reed Business Media
Gutsy performance: How can microbiome modulation help athletes and weekend warriors
William Reed Business Media
Pushing the boundaries: Where’s the line between ‘cutting edge nutrition’ and doping
William Reed Business Media
Alpha & Omega in Sports Nutrition – Using Omega 3’s and A-GPC to improve performance and recovery.
KD Pharma

On demand Supplier Webinars

High-amylose maize starch may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes: what does this qualified health claim mean?
Balancing Innovation and Risk in Sports Nutrition Ingredients
Explaining bio-hacking: is there a marketing opportunity for food companies?
William Reed Business Media
Personalized Nutrition – how an industry can take part in shaping the future of Nutrition
BASF Nutrition & Health
Find out Nutritional and ingredient lifecycle solutions and strategies!
Is the time rIpe for I-nutrition?
William Reed Business Media
The Advantage of Outsourcing Fermentation-based Manufacturing Processes
Evonik Health Care
All supplier webinars