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LAUSD board deciding on fate of flavored milk in schools

June 14, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education is considering whether to drop flavored milk, like chocolate, from cafeterias. But such a change could jeopardize federal funds.

At issue is a promise that new LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy made on national television. Deasy said the district would phase out flavored milk.

Deasy was trying to sell that idea Tuesday to the school board, who will ultimately make the final decision.

The issue began when the LAUSD was taken to task by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver on his ABC show "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution."

Oliver said he was critical of the district for serving food that he said was not nutritious. That set off a feud between the chef and the district, and resulted in production of Oliver's show being banned from LAUSD campuses.

But back in April Deasy and Oliver made peace on the "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" show. That's when Deasy pledged to do away with flavored milk and pledged to make other improvements.

But Tuesday some school board members pushed back, wondering why a celebrity chef has any influence at all on school policy.

"I don't really understand why we're letting the TV chef dictate our policy when there are experts in the field who are all supporting flavored milk," said LAUSD board member Tamar Galatzan. "I am not a huge fan of flavored milk. I try to eat healthy. I teach that to my two children, but I do believe flavored milk can be a part of a healthy meal."

Deasy plans to make his arguments to the school board.

One of the reasons the school board members are pushing back is because the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has no problems with flavored milk and has less sugar than juices.

The board is expected to make a final decision late Tuesday.

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