USDA Considering Adding Greek Yogurt to School Lunches

Greek Yogurt Collection


Greek yogurt has more than twice the protein of regular yogurt. That’s because it is strained, a process that removes water from the yogurt. A serving of Greek has 18 grams of protein vs. just 8 for regular yogurt.

New York is a Greek yogurt empire, home to market leader Chobani, and also Fage and Alpina. Sales of Greek yogurt have been growing meteorically in the past 5 years. Dairy farmers love this new product category because it requires twice as much milk to produce Greek yogurt compared to regular yogurt.

Congressional representatives from NY have asked the USDA to add Greek Yogurt to its school lunch program. The USDA, which regulates what foods can be included in the meals its programs provide to underprivileged children, has indicated that it is willing to bring Greek Yogurt onboard.

The USDA is now asking manufacturers like Chobani to propose how they will provide bulk packaged Greek Yogurt to schools.

Our take: this sounds like a win-win-win for child nutrition, Chobani, and the NY dairy industry.  A rarity in US food politics. Pobably a few lobbyists made a buck too.

The devil is in the details though. Will the yogurt served be non-flavored, served up with fresh diced fruit? Or will it be the flavored yogurts with added sugars? Kids used to chocolate milk with 3 added teaspoons of sugar may find it challenging to adapt to the tart flavor signature of yogurts. But hey, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.

Do your kids eat Greek yogurt?

  • Catherine

    One of my kids likes it – he actually prefers the tart flavour. I limit how much dairy they get though because we all have sensitivities to it.

    • Matt Sladen

      lol of course you have ‘sensitivities’ to cow’s dairy, you’re a HUMAN BEING!!!

      • Lisa

        You seem a bit sensitive to everything, Matt, did you accidentally consume some dairy this morning?

  • Matt Sladen

    The one thing I will never understand about this blog is its praise of dairy. I thought you guys were all about being healthy?

    Don’t you realize that there is not one single animal that drinks one drop more of their mothers, or any, milk after they can eat other food? But for some reason soon after humans are weened and up until death we consume all the cows milk we can. Really? ADULTS drinking the milk of another SPECIES? That should be a giant red flag right there!

    In a study of over 20000 infants, among those fed their mother’s milk from birth only saw 1.5 deaths out of every 1000, while for those fed from cow’s milk the rate skyrocketed to 84.7. GI infections were 40x more frequent and respiratory infections were 120x more common.

    The acidity of milk is just one of the many things that makes it bad. It’s ironic that every commercial for milk is “calcium this, calcium that” when in actuality because milk is acidic, the body immediately reacts the only way it is able: by drawing out the phosphorus from our very bones and then pissing away the calcium that was attached to it, leading to osteoporosis. Milk weakens your bones, it doesn’t strengthen them. In addition, milk is also the biggest cause of so many diseases, including iron deficiency anemia, many allergies, diarrhea, heart disease, colic, gastrointestinal bleeding, sinusitis, skin rashes, acne, frequent colds and flus, arthritis, ear nose and throat infections, asthma, and multiple sclerosis. The American Dietic Association reports that breast cancer is most prevalent in countries where women consume high-fat, animal-based diets. In Asia, where almost no one drinks milk, breast cancer is almost unheard of.

    Among the many disgusting ingredients you chug down every day are adrenaline, casin, hormones, lactose, LDL cholesterol, thousands of pathogens, bovine growth hormones (both natural and administered) somatic cells (also known as puss), triglycerides, and uric acid. If you choose raw milk you’re just getting even MORE of all this gross crap, in what way is that even remotely better?

    Oh, and one last thing. There is one more ingredient found in cows milk, and the reason that you are literally addicted to it. That’s casomorphin, which is an opioid. You’re basically shooting heroin.

    • Fooducate

      Thanks Matt, for your feedback. While milk and dairy products are definitely not for everyone, that doesn’t mean they aren’t for anyone. Dairy has literally sustained entire populations for many centuries. There are many things humans do and eat that animal don’t, so this argument the adults should not drink milk has limited merit. Again, milk is not for everyone, but to totally dismiss it would do a disservice to those who can benefit from its beneficial nutrient profile.

      • Mayan Orgel

        @Fooducate:disqus, I completely agree that the argument “no other animal drinks another mammals milk” is quite a silly and meaningless one. No other mammal cooks it’s food either, nor does any other animal plant its own garden. That being said, Matt has made several other good and valid points which you have completely ignored. I’d love to hear your take on those.

    • Jesse Garrison

      “Don’t you realize that there is not one single animal that drinks…milk after they can eat other food?”

      Let me introduce you to one. It’s called the domestic cat. There are over 60 million of them in the United States.

      Dogs will also happily drink milk. As will pigs. For that matter, if you ever lived on a farm with a cow you would know pretty much any animal will drink it.

      • Lauren Smith

        Dogs also eat poop, so…

      • Conuly

        Cows milk is very bad for cats, and can make them quite ill. Cats should eat primarily meat, or wet cat food that is primarily meat. Maybe the occasional egg.

  • Violet

    There are predators that hunt/kill for milk when it is available. They will consume just the udder of a lactating animal or just the stomach of the nursing young.

  • Heidi Hall

    how much you want to bet they would add in the greek style yogurt because it is cheaper….

    • Fooducate

      Actually it is more expensive than regular yogurt.

      • Heidi Hall

        what i meant is that they will probably go greek style because that is cheaper than real greek yogurt

  • OliveTomato by Elena

    A comment from a Greek-American Nutritionist: Just for the record “Greek” yogurt was termed that way when Fage imported it from Greece, but it is not really Greek. Traditionally Greeks would mostly eat traditional yogurt made from leftover sheep’s milk (no cow) after making cheese. This non-strained sheep’s milk yogurt that was stored in ceramic containers (and still is) was an important part of the traditional Greek diet and had multiple health benefits. Greeks do not consider “Greek” yogurt (which is really strained yogurt) some sort of super food, just an alternative yogurt that is creamier than the traditional kind. And it is not necessarily healthier, let’s not forget that whey (which is strained out) is a source of vitamins and minerals. In fact by looking at the nutritional information from the Preventative Medicine and Nutrition Clinic of he University of Crete, traditional sheep’s milk yogurt had more protein, less calories, less fat and higher amounts of certain minerals as well as Omega-3 fatty acids than the strained yogurt.

  • Susan

    Well if it low fat or no fat yogurt, then it will be enriched with sweeteners including cane sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Which will cancel out the benefit of the protein and then some. Hopefully they are smart enough to provide full fat yogurt flavored with real fruit and possibly a little bit of stevia.

  • malachite2

    Not sure how Fage is doing it, but if I strain homemade yogurt, I get a liquid but it’s not just water, it’s whey. Whey has proteins in it. So possibly straining yogurt decreases the amount & types of proteins in yogurt, not increases them.

    I add the whey to water when making bread but some people like to drink it cold, w/a little salt added.

  • Zia Bossenmeyer

    I agree with Matt. Dairy Free is the Way to be. The animal cruelty involved in the process of making dairy should be reason enough for everyone to stop. I was horrified when I learned it takes twice as much milk to make greek yogurt. More babies ripped from their mothers. Hideous.