Editorial: Greek yogurt goes to school, and New York benefits
There are unhealthy fads, and there are healthy ones. Greek yogurt, which has been booming in popularity the last couple of years, is a very healthy one — not only physically for those who eat it, but economically for those who make it and the dairy farmers who provide the milk they make it with. Most of the big producers, including Fage and Chobani, are in upstate New York state, and for them the good times are about to get even better.
That’s because the U.S. Department of Agriculture, after lobbying by U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer and state Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Darrel Aubertine, has just approved a pilot project to make greek yogurt part of the federal school lunch program. New York, Arizona, Idaho and Tennessee were the four states chosen to participate in the pilot project, which will begin with the new school year in September.
The federal government is testing the cost-effectiveness of adding greek yogurt to the foods it buys for schools. It should find it very cost-effective, a versatile, low-fat, nutritional, high-protein food that can even replace meat. And, unlike the vegetables that are being required as part of the program, kids actually like the taste and will eat it.
If the program is a success, it will be expanded to other states, which would mean much more demand for greek yogurt and milk. Good news for New York.