What is going on around here? Is there anything better than a glass of Hershey’s or Bosco? Doesn’t chocolate make everything better? State Senators Anthony Musto and Andres Ayala, both of whom represent Bridgeport, voted to ban chocolate milk in schools. Fortunately, sanity prevailed. Governor Dan Malloy vetoed the bill on Thursday, noting “I love chocolate milk. I love chocolate shakes. I like chocolate. I’m also a big milk person. So, looking at this, this was the right decision to make.”

All Connecticut state senators voted to ban the sale of chocolate milk in schools in an effort to lower sodium intake, including senators Musto and Ayala. State Senator Joe Crisco, who represents the Naugatuck Valley, also voted to ban chocolate milk. The problem with the diet of Connecticut students isn’t too much chocolate milk. Maybe the problem is too much Crisco. And how could Musto vote against chocolate milk when one of the preeminent union activists David Bosco is helping his reelection?

Nutritionists who support Malloy’s veto of the bill say chocolate milk has essential nutrients such as potassium, calcium and vitamin A.

“I actually drank some chocolate milk in my office this morning,” Malloy said on Thursday. “To reach, at least for an adult, the sodium content, you would have to drink more than 10 of those.”

In his veto message, Malloy announced: “Ideally, students will choose to drink unflavored, nonfat milk. Chocolate milk contains unnecessary calories, sugar, as well as sodium. Research shows, however, that when chocolate milk is removed as an option, total milk consumption goes down and milk waste increases, presumably because students who do not like the taste of unflavored milk throw it away.”

The National Milk Producers Federation issued the following statement from President and CEO Jim Mulhern on Malloy’s veto of legislation banning chocolate milk from Connecticut school lunchrooms:

“It’s encouraging to see reason and common sense returning to the debate over chocolate milk in schools. As a recent university study made clear, schools that remove chocolate milk from the cafeteria are simply throwing the nutritional baby out with the bathwater. They deprive kids of calcium, protein and other needed nutrients while they increase waste and boost costs. Certainly, obesity is a serious problem among today’s youth. But the answer isn’t to ban chocolate milk. Connecticut is not required to pass this legislation to keep its federal school meals funding. Federal nutrition standards specifically allow schools to serve fat-free chocolate milk as part of reimbursable meals and in cafeteria a la carte lines. Governor Malloy is to be congratulated for thinking this through, and not opting for the quick, easy but wrong solution.”

 

Top Image: (c) iStock/Thinkstock | senatedems.state.ct.us

 

 

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