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Dec 21, 2017

School milk

@genkidesu recently wrote about her child's school lunch and I recently took a visit to the nearby nursery school for a taste of their lunch and it got me thinking about the time I worked in a middle and elementary school here in Japan. I was a vegetarian the first four years and only gave it up my fifth year because I was pregnant and felt it was not good for the baby. But that didn't stop me from taking home leftover foods from the school lunches that I could eat. This often included delicious salads or several loaves of bread that I'd use to make bread pudding. My favorite days were fruit salad days because not only was it delicious but there was always a table full left over. But the thing that came home with me the most often was milk. Every child is provided with a 200ml carton of milk with their meals. If there is an allergy than the child is given barley tea instead, but out of my school of 300, only 3 to 10 of the kids got tea. Statistically, there are bound to be more than that many who are lactose intolerant, and those who just don't like milk so and all the extra milk that they don't drink sits in the faculty fridge until teachers take it home or it goes bad. Of course, I'd use it in my bread pudding. And I'd make other kinds of pudding and cottage cheese over my sink. Even so, there was a surplus of milk. I couldn't help feel how much of a waste it was, especially with how expensive dairy products can be and poor the cows are, always held up because of a lack of land to roam around. Now as a mother of two elementary aged little girls, I have to wonder how much milk is going to waste at their school. My younger daughter adds to the problem and never drinks her milk at school, claiming it tastes funny. It is a frustrating feeling being concerned about milk. Does anyone else have frustrations about the waste at school?

edthethe

edthethe

American step mom with beautiful Brazilian babies. Raising them in Japan. I'm a crafter too


4 Comments

  • genkidesu

    on Dec 21

    I never thought about it before now but I bet a ton goes to waste...it's great if others can get use out of what hasn't been touched but now I'm thinking about just how much goes bad and straight into the trash.

  • helloalissa

    on Dec 21

    I hate milk. My husband threw up when he first drank milk as part of school lunch in first grade. Instead of the mindset being that he doesn't like it and doesn't need to drink it, he was forced to practice at home so he could drink it every day for the next nine years. This is messed up. Especially considering that so many people are lactose intolerant. I'm glad using dairy products isn't a problem for you and you could use the leftover milk - I took home other leftovers too when I worked in schools. I'd see teachers dumping bottles of old milk into the sink every week... The sad fact is, school lunch is a government run system started by the US after the war, and the US pushes milk and dairy products on Japan too. The milk part is one of the things I'd love to see change. I hear private schools often have other drink options that students can choose.

  • edthethe

    on Dec 22

    @helloalissa a few years back, I saw a big controversial debate about it on Japanese tv and they brought in the whale meat and other stories with it, but rarely do I see it mentioned among Japanese friends and coworkers. I love milk, so I am lucky, but if someone's body can't properly digest it(or they just hate it), they should have the option for the barley tea.

  • edthethe

    on Dec 22

    @genkidesu there is so much waste at the schools, but much of the time, the student's are able to distribute the leftovers amongst themselves. It's only the fairly unpopular items that get tossed out. When I was growing up, thinking about it, I threw out half of my school lunch nearly everyday, though. I was such a picky eater and it wasn't until high school when I got choices for lunch that I actually didn't waste so much.