The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is set to start a pilot program replacing meat with Greek yogurt in New York public schools with the support of Senator Charles (Chuck) Schumer.
Senator Schumer was the host for Joint Congressional Committee which hosted President Barack Obama second term inaugural lunch. Senator Schumer likes Greek yogurt so much and believes in its benefits that he had Chobani and Fage Greek yogurt served at the inaugural luncheon.
Senator Schumer did petition the Agriculture Secretary last year to add Greek yogurt to the list of proteins that would qualify for the USDA school lunch standards.
In an effort to cut back on childhood obesity, which is an initiative that the first lady Michelle Obama has taken on to help end childhood obesity by having children increase their intake of plant base foods and to get moving with daily exercise.
The first lady Michelle Obama has been working with the Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in joining their efforts in creating a new healthy school lunch guideline to boost nutrition for students.
First lady Michelle Obama requires that lunches from K-12 have 8 to 12 ounces of protein in school lunches so adding Chobani or Fage Greek yogurt will cover the allotment.
The effort is to give students more protein throughout the day so they are less hungry. Meat was being cut back from student’s lunches in an effort to decrease the student’s absorbing saturated fat from meat. Greek yogurt is lower in fat, but has around the same number of calories than regular yogurt. However it has doubled them about of protein than regular yogurt hence it will keep students fuller longer.
Currently the approved meat substitutes in schools are: nuts, tofu, beans, cheese and eggs. Soon Greek yogurt will be added to that list as it was just approved.
If students like the new addition of Greek yogurt, and the launch pilot goes as expected schools across the country will have Chobani or Fage Greek yogurt in their cafeterias.
The USDA is currently working on releasing guidelines for school snacks.