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Chuck Schumer Engineers USDA Greek Yogurt Subsidy
Reason ^ | July 31, 2013 | Abby Wisse Schachter

Posted on 07/31/2013 12:32:58 PM PDT by neverdem

The New York senator helps land a sweetheart deal for a politically-connect yogurt company.

Starting this month, the United States Department of Agriculture has announced that it will test out a new product in school lunches—high-protein, a.k.a. Greek-style yogurt—in four different states. Yet, what seems like an innocuous, even reasonable addition to the menu of foods offered to American public school students upon inspection turns out to be the latest example of corrupt nanny-statism masquerading as “for the kids” do-goodism.

The USDA argues that Greek-style yogurt is better for kids because it has more protein. And given Michelle Obama’s new National School Lunch program offerings required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, a higher protein, lower-fat, and lower-sugar yogurt seems like it would be a good thing, full stop.

Here’s the trouble.

Greek-style yogurt is more expensive than other comparably nutritious yogurts. The USDA has to pilot this program in only four states—New York, Arizona, Idaho, and Tennessee—because the bureaucrats don’t know if they can get such a highly perishable item to schools that are situated further from the yogurt distribution centers. And most important, there is one particular state and one particular business that stand to benefit from a big increase in Greek yogurt sales. Those would be New York State, where most of this yogurt is produced and Chobani, which sells the most Greek-style yogurt in the U.S., is located. All of which explains why the biggest manufacturer of Greek-style yogurt spent tens of thousands on lobbyists and worked so closely with New York’s Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer to try to get this pilot program off the ground.

And even Schumer himself admits the economic benefits are paramount to his involvement. Schumer called the pilot program “a boon for New York yogurt and dairy industries, and it's beneficial for the health of our kids.” But any yogurt would be beneficial “for the health of our kids” because yogurt is generally a healthy food.

What’s most nutritious isn’t always most popular though is it? What is healthiest isn’t always the most cost-effective, either. And as it turns out, the new diet for students buying the subsidized lunch is neither.

Last year, when the new, Michelle-Obama-inspired lunch menus were announced the USDA declared the new standards would “align school meals with the latest nutrition science and the real world circumstances of America’s schools. These responsible reforms do what’s right for children’s health in a way that’s achievable in schools across the nation.”

Tell that to the school districts that have since tried and rejected the new standards. New York’s Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake school district found that students hated the new menus and it cost the district an extra $100,000 to comply. “Students complained of being hungry with these lunches and the district lost money,” assistant superintendent Chris Abdoo said in a statement. “I’m confident we can do better on our own next year.”

A school district in Indiana lost $300,000 trying to follow the new lunch mandates. “[The USDA is] teaching our kids with this meal pattern that it’s OK to throw away,” food service director Lori Shofroth said. “We did a waste study on three different schools, and there was a huge amount of waste. That was just with produce, fruit or vegetables or milk.”

Schools in California, Arizona, Texas, and Connecticut have also opted out for the same reasons. And as Baylen Linnekin pointed out back in September, masses of students at individual schools across the country rejected the one-size-fits-all-diet codified by these new rules. So why is the government introducing a more expensive Greek-style yogurt option when things already aren’t going so well?

The answer is because a Democratic senator (Schumer) working with a successful and politically-correct business (Chobani) exerted as much pressure as they could on a willing USDA. Chobani spent at least $80,000 on lobbyists and that was after Schumer had started his Greek-yogurt campaign with the USDA. And remember too that Greek-style yogurt has already been touted as “one of the best private sector market opportunities upstate New York has seen in 30, 40 years,” declared Gov. Andrew Cuomo last year. So of course he was happy about the USDA announcement. “It is a win-win for the state, exposing our students to a nutritional product and expanding the marketplace for Greek yogurt producers and suppliers in New York State,” Cuomo said. About other private sector opportunities in New York, like say, extracting natural gas from the Southern Tier, well, he’s been quite a bit more recalcitrant, with the moratorium on drilling remaining in place for more than half a decade.

Greek yogurt may be high in protein, but so are a lot of other, less expensive and less politically-connected food products. Adding Chobani to the school lunch program is just a fat-lot of government cronyism.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia; US: New York
KEYWORDS: chobani; cronycapitalism; greekyogurt; michelleobama; schoollunch; schumer

1 posted on 07/31/2013 12:32:58 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem

“Greek Yogurt”

Great way to distribute a live pathogen. If you see the
kids in New York, Arizona, Idaho, and Tennessee acting
weird you know the government is experimenting again.


2 posted on 07/31/2013 12:38:25 PM PDT by Slambat
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To: neverdem
 
 
I've always had this figured as yet another case of following the money. It’s a matter of WHO is set to profit by providing the wacky non-standard items for that sham menu the Obama regime has been peddling.
 
 

3 posted on 07/31/2013 12:39:12 PM PDT by lapsus calami (What's that stink? Code Pink ! ! And their buddy Murtha, too!)
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To: neverdem

My son recently attended a two week Agriculture camp at a public university on the east coast, all sponsored by the USDA. We paid nothing. It was a nice camp and good learning experience. All funded by the USDA.

I asked one of the Ag department professors at this university where most of their graduates end up going to work. Archer Daniels? Monsanto? Some winery? Nope. Some get jobs in private food and agriculture industry, but most are employed by the USDA or other government agencies.

Why on earth do we need a federal department of agriculture?


4 posted on 07/31/2013 12:39:20 PM PDT by mbarker12474
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To: neverdem

Chobani. Big employer in Chenango County, NY.


5 posted on 07/31/2013 12:41:17 PM PDT by quietly desperate
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To: neverdem

This should also be a boon to the garbage can sellers and the garbage collecters because there will be a lot more food thrown away.


6 posted on 07/31/2013 12:43:25 PM PDT by Iron Munro (They Old. That's Old School People. We In A New School, Our Generation)
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To: neverdem

My toddler, preschooler, and I love plain Greek yogurt and I’d boycott Chobani, but I don’t buy that brand anyway. As a public school teacher, I can tell you that these kids will not eat Greek yogurt. In our urban setting the students’ pallets, thanks to thier moms/grandmas/Big Gov, have been refined to Doritos and hot dogs. They won’t touch any drink unless it is HFCS sweetened and neon colored. Millions of dollars worth of tax-payer purchased yogurt will be trashed this school year. In addition to that, to get the full benefits of yogurt it needs to contain fat. I bet my next paycheck the schools will have to serve to fat-free variety. For the few students that do eat the yogurt, they will receive minimum health benefits. But hey, the government solution always provides the opposite of its intent!


7 posted on 07/31/2013 12:44:15 PM PDT by goodwithagun (My gun has killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car.)
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To: neverdem

The school lunch program has always been about kickbacks and payoffs.

Was the same back when I was in school. Vendors who were providing our lunches all had names like Pauly Walnuts and Louie the Schnozz.


8 posted on 07/31/2013 12:46:49 PM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: neverdem
from the USDA website
http://www.obpa.usda.gov/budsum/FY14budsum.pdf

USDA�s total outlays for 2014 are estimated at $146 billion. Roughly 83 percent of outlays, about $121 billion in 2014, are associated with mandatory programs that provide services as required by law. The majority of these outlays include crop insurance, nutrition assistance programs, farm commodity and trade programs and a number of conservation programs. The remaining 17 percent of outlays, estimated at about $25 billion in 2014, are associated with discretionary programs such as WIC; food safety; rural development loans and grants; research and education; soil and water conservation technical assistance; animal and plant health; management of national forests, wildland fire, and other Forest Service activities; and domestic and international marketing assistance.

9 posted on 07/31/2013 12:47:47 PM PDT by mbarker12474
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To: quietly desperate
Chobani. Big employer in Chenango County, NY.

And this is why Mark Levin will try to change Fedzilla via the States in his new book which will include Term Limits and maybe even get rid of the 16th and 17th amendment's.

At this point the system is so Fubar'd I am not sure if Smuckey is the parasite or the host. Regardless, Disney on the Potomac needs an Enema and we all need an Antibiotic from this patronage lunacy...

10 posted on 07/31/2013 12:49:46 PM PDT by taildragger (The E-GOP won't know what hit them, The Party of Reagan is almost here, hang tight folks....)
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To: quietly desperate
Twin Falls Idaho, too. Huge plant there has been in operation for about a year now.

Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!

11 posted on 07/31/2013 12:51:02 PM PDT by wku man (Amnesty? No Way, Jose (No Se Puede!) by 10 Pound Test http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsTUQ8yOI2c)
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To: lapsus calami
as a former native NYstater, I am glad to see the wonderful and vast farmlands of upstate once again producing....NYS was at one time the leader or close to it in grape production, cherry production,dairy products, etc...it has fabulous cheese because its in the "cheese belt"....

it probably has more woodlands now than the time or our forefathers....

that aside, is it really unexpected that a home senator goes to bat for his/her home state?....

when the Columbia was dammed up, who benefitted?....the people of the NW who have enjoyed cheap hydro power and irrigation for the vast cherry,grape,apple etc orchards in Washington and Oregon...

12 posted on 07/31/2013 12:54:59 PM PDT by cherry
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To: mbarker12474

To put millions of Farmers, Horticulturists and Ranchers, out of business.


13 posted on 07/31/2013 12:59:23 PM PDT by carriage_hill (Guns kill people, pencils misspell words, cars drive drunk & spoons make you fat.)
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To: Iron Munro

“...garbage collecters...”

Unions and mafia; but I repeat myself.


14 posted on 07/31/2013 1:00:21 PM PDT by carriage_hill (Guns kill people, pencils misspell words, cars drive drunk & spoons make you fat.)
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To: carriage_hill

the Creamed Chipped Horsehead on Toast was my first clue...


15 posted on 07/31/2013 1:39:32 PM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Buckeye McFrog

“...Creamed Chipped Horsehead on Toast...”

LOLOLMAO! Glad I swallowed the mouthful of crabcake before I read that. Thanks for the laugh; best of the day!


16 posted on 07/31/2013 1:45:55 PM PDT by carriage_hill (Guns kill people, pencils misspell words, cars drive drunk & spoons make you fat.)
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To: Iron Munro; All

That’s a fact Jack!!!

Show me ENOUGH kids that will chow down on that stuff and maybe it’ll work...But for the most part kids want fries, corny dogs, pizza and burrito days for lunch at school...


17 posted on 07/31/2013 2:43:07 PM PDT by stevie_d_64 (It's not the color of one's skin that offends people...it's how thin it is.)
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To: neverdem
...because the bureaucrats don’t know if they can get such a highly perishable item to schools that are situated further from the yogurt distribution centers.

If it can get to grocery stores in North Dakota before the "use by" date, I reckon it can get to other venues as well.

There's lots of protein in fried chicken, too... or a cheeseburger.

18 posted on 07/31/2013 10:58:18 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: goodwithagun
They won’t touch any drink unless it is HFCS sweetened and neon colored.

Yabbut, how many drinks out there aren't HFCS sweetened. For that matter, I have been reading labels looking for HFCS content, and it is simply amazing what that stuff is in (and how little it isn't).

19 posted on 07/31/2013 11:00:39 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: cherry
 
 
You forget to add the /sarcasm tag to your post? If there was no such intent, then you failed in seeing the bigger picture and took this political maneuver solely at face value, which is something you never, ever should do.
 
 

20 posted on 07/31/2013 11:17:24 PM PDT by lapsus calami (What's that stink? Code Pink ! ! And their buddy Murtha, too!)
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