'Milk in schools' attracts 34 in Otago

Thirty-four Otago primary schools have signed up for Fonterra's milk in schools programme.

Since it announced the scheme last month, more than 520 schools nationwide, about a quarter of those eligible, had registered their interest, the co-operative said yesterday.

The scheme starts to roll out in Southland towards the end of term 1, followed by Christchurch. A Fonterra spokeswoman could not say when it would start in Otago, where it will cater for at least 4300 children in the participating schools.

More schools are expected to sign up. Otago has 144 schools eligible for the programme. Pine Hill School principal Melanie Jewiss said she had registered the decile 3 Dunedin school for the scheme. The school planned to incorporate the daily milk into its nutrition education programme.

She did not know whether school pupils' parents struggled to afford the basic commodity, but given the price she imagined some did. She said parents did a good job of providing healthy lunches for schools.

A Dunedin business provided fruit for the school, which was not eligible for the Government's targeted fruit programme. Methodist Mission chief executive Laura Black said milk was proven to improve children's learning, and she hoped Fonterra would extend the scheme to preschool children aged 3 and 4.

While ideally she would prefer philanthropy was not used to provide basics, in the ''real world'' parents were struggling and Fonterra's scheme helped them.

-eileen.goodwin@odt.co.nz

Milk

Milk comes from cows' udders, you boil it for 20 minutes, cool it and skim the cream and have a cuppa. The other way is to milk the udders and drink on the spot, just as good.

What we call milk now is not that. I don't know what it is, but I avoid it. 

No full cream milk

Unfortunately, the milk will be one of the low-fat varieties with the nutritious cream being either totally removed or milk that has undergone homogenisation. Hopefully, it will not be the nutrition deficient green-top variety. Since the early seventies the major milk companies have been making changes to a natural product that once before had only undergone the process of pasteurisation.

So don't hold your breath Samson - the milk is not going to be the full-cream variety due to the bad press saturated fat has been given by those who make profits from all these weird and wonderful processed liquids that are derived from milk. I drink tons of full cream milk and would drink raw milk but it is hard to obtain due to government regulations. I have not put on an ounce of weight since reverting to full cream milk (the old silver top) 15 years ago and enjoy finer health than when I was drinking the low-fat stuff. One of the big companies sells the old silver top in a cartoon or one litre plastic container with purple as its signature colour.

Milk in schools

About time milk was brought back into schools.  As a kid at Port Chalmers primary (both old and new schools) milk was free in half pint bottles - every school day - and it had cream on top!  The children couldn't get to the milk quick enough and I'm sure the same thing will happen today.  It should be compulsory for milk producing firms to supply milk free of charge to primary schools.

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