Flavors of War
There’s a new war brewing and it’s finally hitting the headlines. This battle is not over oil or WMDs. It’s being waged over a different kind of substance that affects the mind, bodies and souls of America’s kids. To some, this is a local battle that’s nowhere near as important as Iraq or Afghanistan. But if you’re one of the kids on the front lines, you know damn well that things are getting dirty.
One week ago, the LA Times published an eye opening article about the most recent battle raging in the schools of Los Angeles. If you take a good look at the kids on the yard, you’ll find worn down faces, confusion, even a couple pairs of wet pants. These anxious young minds are scared, as they may soon be stripped of the only thing they’ve ever enjoyed about school. In two words: flavored milk. The school board is claiming that this drink is unhealthy, full of sugar and bad for kids’ diet. I can’t speak for all flavors, but I can vouch for the positives of chocolate milk. This delicious drink has been making kids happy for years. It’s deep rooted. And there’s proof. Like this commercial:
Many argue the focus on milk is a weak one. When was the last time you visited a public elementary school cafeteria? The bulk of the slop they serve for the kids puts the threat of chocolate milk to shame. Sure they offer a few apples and oranges for appearances, but it’s ugly out there. However, what some do not yet realize is that once you look deeper into the issue, you’ll find that this isn’t the everyday battle of man vs. the system. In the spirit of Palestinian politics, the flavored milk advocates are experiencing a divide. As LAUSD decides if they are going to cut flavored milk altogether, parents and activists find themselves butting heads. It’s Chocolate vs. Strawberry.
You would think that chocolate would have the edge over strawberry just based on longevity alone. But strawberry fans usually ingest 10 calories and 10 grams of sugar more than the usual chocolate milk drinker, making them wilder and more unpredicatable. Things have hit a stalemate after both sides discovered their main peace tool is a rabbit currently being hospatilized for split personality disorder.
But back to the kids. Haven’t they been through enough? Some of them are still recovering from the LAUSD soda ban of 2004. If flavored milk is abolished, they will completely hate school. They need their fix, especially the ones whose parents pack them crap like carrots and rice cakes. Once the system leaves these kids by the wayside, parents will find themselves picking up miniature zombies, wandering the yard, salivating and muttering profusely. Like kindergardners.
Is this the future you want, Los Angeles? A wasteland of unhappy children unable to pour their generic milk over their lunch because they actually have to drink it? That doesn’t sound fair and it certainly not tasty. When I was in 2nd grade, a kid in my class once told me that fruit-roll ups give you cancer and that school milk gives you rabies. He was ahead of his time. And I still believe him. Maybe you should too.