NORWICH, N.Y. (AP) - Sen. Charles Schumer asked federal officials Monday to make it more affordable for public schools to serve Greek yogurt, saying it would expose more students to the high-protein food and boost an already-booming business in New York.
Schumer sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack asking that he modify the federal school lunch program to incorporate Greek yogurt as a high-protein meat alternative.
Current school nutritional standards treat Greek yogurt the same as traditional yogurt, despite the higher protein content and cost of Greek yogurt, Schumer said. He said a change in standards would make it easier for schools to purchase smaller, less costly servings of Greek yogurt.
"With a stroke of a pen Secretary Vilsack could provide healthier foods for New York's school children and an economic boost for yogurt makers and dairy farmers, two of the state's most important industries," Schumer said, adding that tofu was recently given its own standards as a high-protein meat alternative.
The Greek yogurt business has been booming nationwide as consumers seek healthy, "authentic" foods, and the New York state dairy industry has been a big beneficiary. Two of the largest Greek yogurt producers, Chobani and Fage, have built production facilities in upstate New York and buy tons of milk from dairy farmers in the region.
Schumer promoted his case Monday in visits to the corporate headquarters of Chobani in Norwich and the Fage plant in Johnstown.
A U.S. Department of Agriculture spokeswoman said Schumer's letter had been received and was being reviewed.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
We have new details in a case that dates back to last year. A Terre Haute man pleaded guilty to voluntary man slaughter Tuesday.
US Attorney Joe Hogsett held a press conference today for 26-year-old Emery Norton.
If you plan to go sledding in Terre Haute, be on the look-out for new sledding rules.
A Terre Haute developer is cutting the City a break in allowing the Redevelopment Commission to build a 2400 foot sanitary sewer line without requiring the City to buy an easement for it.
Over in the weather department, another week of temperatures below normal has thermostats going up at home and at work. But what if you work the 9 to 5 outside?
Last week’s early-winter storm canceled school, closed roads, and put the Toys-for-Tots program in Sullivan County in unprecedented danger just weeks before Christmas.