Got Chocolate Moo?

imageYou may not have noticed, but, I normally stay far away from politics in these posts. It’s not that I don’t care. It’s not that I don’t have an opinion, but political issues are so divisive today that I don’t want to go there. Also, since my opinions drift from one end of the spectrum to the other, I’m afraid I’d lose most of you sooner or later over some misunderstanding. However, there comes a time when a man has to plant his feet solid and embrace what is nothing less than political bravery in the face of overwhelming odds.

Last week, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy vetoed a bill that would have prohibited the sale of chocolate milk in Connecticut schools. It seems the Governor and I are both fans of chocolate milk.

The Governor’s veto was motivated by a recommendation by Pat Baird, president of the Connecticut Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics who, according to the above linked article says that:

Milk consumption would drop off drastically if chocolate milk, which contains sodium, was banned.”

Sodium? Sodium? Who’s talking about sodium? Chocolate milk contains chocolate. OK, some contains cocoa and some contains some chemical concoction designed to makes us think about chocolate, but us fans know why we drink chocolate milk, and it ain’t because it supplies “critical nutrients for growth and development.” Let’s face it, I have developed as far as I’m ever likely to and I’ve grown more than I should have. I just love chocolate milk.

When I was in my 20’s, working for Airborne Freight, I used to take a carton of chocolate milk and a pack of Lorna Doones into staff meetings. My boss once commented:

You know, bringing cookies and milk to a business meeting isn’t helping to assuage the notion that you are too young to be designing the solutions to this company’s problems.”

Thank God for the benefit of context, because having to admit that I didn’t know what “assuage” meant would have further damaged my image.

I explained that I was uncomfortable in those meetings, and that imagechocolate milk added the comfort that I couldn’t yet take from experience. I agreed to eat the cookies at my desk and I agreed to pour the milk into a cup. From that point on, I looked like I was drinking coffee, but me and Elsie knew the truth.

As for the sodium connection, the bill wasn’t aimed at banning chocolate milk in the first place. The bill was to ban the sale of food with “added sodium.” I have written before about unintended consequences and I have written about taking facts into consideration when making decisions, but this seems like a case of ignoring the obvious. When presented with the fact that a law banning added sodium would endanger one of life’s little pleasures, why didn’t they just change the law to say:

blah blah blah, added sodium, blah blah…except in the case of imagechocolate milk, blah blah.

I mean, they are writing the law from scratch. If they didn’t mean for it to ban the sale of chocolate milk, why couldn’t they just say that?

See, this is why I don’t write about political topics. I actually think that the people who make up legislatures, here in CT, in every other state and in Washington, DC, are capable of simply saying what they mean.

Since I’ve entered the fray, I’ll go out on a limb and say that I don’t even know why we need to ban things with added sodium. Why do we have to ban stuff from being sold in schools?

When I was growing up, I could stop at a store on my way home from school and buy penny candy. I could buy licorice, chocolate, Pixy Sticks and those brightly colored tiny globs of sugar that came stuck to a strip of waxed paper. We didn’t have vending machines in school, but the lady at Jule’s Market was pushing stuff out the door like, well you know, candy. Did that ruin my appetite? No, OK, maybe but it didn’t matter because my dad simply said: “you’re not leaving the table until you finish your dinner.” Besides, even at a penny a dose, I really couldn’t afford to OD on that stuff.

Parents and teachers should stop relying on the rule of law to keep children safe from themselves. We should be teaching moderation, restraint and self-control. We should teach children, as early as possible about the benefits of a healthy diet. We should encourage healthy choices and we should let them benefit from the experience of making healthy choices. We should also practice what we teach. We shouldn’t drag our kids from a chocolate-free-zone and then stop at McDonald’s on the way home for an order of fries. Then again, those fries are sooooo good, maybe a small order. Moderation, that’s the key, “all things in moderation.” Isn’t that what they say?

Of course, another solution to all of this would be to buy chocolate milk from Trinity Farms (the cows at the top). Their chocolate milk is made with fresh milk and ultra-fine cocoa. Nothing but moo in that stuff.

25 thoughts on “Got Chocolate Moo?

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  1. At the top, we have Trinity Farms where you can get the best chocolate milk money can. The middle is the stuff I can buy at the coffee shop near work (it does contain sodium) and the bottom is the place where everything doesn’t get done.

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  2. First soda now chocolate milk. People are looking in all the wrong places to get children to be more fit. Its about habits taught AT HOME.
    Ridiculous.

    My husband would be devastated if he lost his chocolate milk.

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      1. I’m with you on the daily agony that is our current affairs – domestic or foreign; I span the spectrum in my views and am unwilling to open Pandora’s box online. I blog to get away from that shit, but times like this make me feel so much despair. I fear our system is broken. I keep wondering if we’ve already reached the point of no return in so many ways. I don’t see a workable way forward, and stalemate can stem the tide only so long. Ok, that’s my political blog. Thanks for letting me vent.

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  3. excellent point hidden behind the chocolate milk… I think we are a nation that is to keen on government control… and they really do make a mess of it some times… if you are going to ban chocolate milk then ban it for all the sugar that is added to take it taste so good or like you said use a better source and enjoy a more healthy treat…

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    1. Actually, they pass a lot of laws that makes it harder and harder for small independent dairies to stay in business, but that’s a whole different blog post. Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. I love chocolate milk! I love it when it’s expensively made with fine shards of chocolate or cocoa powder! I love it made with Nesquik, Ovaltine, Carnation, Hershey’s syrup! I love it from Dean’s and TruMoo and Horizon! I love it at restaurants.
    After strenuous exercise? Water, then chocolate milk! Sheesh! What kinda world are we livin in when people wanna take chocolate milk away from children?!?
    Great post!

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  5. I’m with Sammy — ban the politicians and keep the chocolate milk! Seriously, if this isn’t a microcosm of how they can screw things up, nothing is. This was definitely a good issue to break your no-politics rule on, Dan. I’m a huge fan of chocolate milk, and my hand on the syrup is unapologetically heavy! Thank God for Elsie and chocolate, I say …

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  6. Always a heated debate between what schools should or not offer. I agree that everything starts at home. On the other side, for the children who have little or no guidance at home, schools can be the only place for them to learn more than only academics. Food is so much more than just fuel for our bodies. Good quality milk and chocolate are certainly great for anyone as long as you don’t have dairy allergies. I’d rather have chocolate milk in schools rather than sodas, for sure.
    As always, I like how you tie a current discussion with an event of your own life.

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    1. Thanks. You’re right, it is a more complex issue than milk or no milk.

      One of the things they cut funding for a while back was a program to educate new mothers on health issues. I wish they could connect the dots on these decisions.

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  7. Great post, Dan. I have wondered myself why politicians, when making laws, have to beat about the bush and hide meaning in a jumbled vocabulary. But I like more the second last paragraph of this post. Moderation. It is a saviour. Gluttony is dangerous.

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      1. I have read some articles about a certain indifference, an apathy, that young people have developed towards life. I think it is consequent to this lack of proper education. I heard a program on BBC about the youth in UK who commit suicide because they believe life is meaningless. Over here, well-to-do folk take their children to school from six months old (babies still in dire need of their mother’s closeness and care), to be indoctrinated and integrated into the system, as stinking as the system is. It is absurd. We want to be rich, but when we are rich, it seems so much is lost. But it falls to our lot, as humans, to pursue what destroys us. Then again, maybe everything destroys us.

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  8. Yes. Teaching our children restraint and good habits – so once they get out on their own they are very capable of making good choices independently and or recovering well and moving on when they make mistakes (which they surely will).

    Loved your reference to Elsa the cow..

    I also am a fan of chocolate milk.

    #NomNomNomNoms

    ML

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