A landslide of thick, protein-rich yogurt sludge is falling from Upstate New York onto the rest of the country, threatening to turn every single one of our public school children into yogurt zombies with an insatiable craving for whhhhheeeeeey.
Okay, so kids getting Greek yogurt in their school lunches thanks to the relentless lobbying efforts of the Chobani Yogurt Empire and New York Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand isn’t the worst thing in the world, considering the dreadful state of nutrition in public schools. Yogurt is pretty healthy, certainly healthier than some vegetables (such as pizza), and, if you listen to advertisers, it’s the official food of all people with ovaries. What’s not to like, other than the fact that eating yogurt that hasn’t been sweetened with some sort of ersatz dessert or fruit jelly is like having a stranger gently exhale into your mouth?
Yogurt’s semi-obvious healthfulness is, according to the New York Daily News, part of the reason that Chobani might soon land an $11 billion contract to become part of a balanced federal school lunch:
Chobani is the upstart, upstate Greek yogurt firm that has come out of nowhere to make its Turkish immigrant founder a billionaire. And due to lightning-fast work by Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, it may find a lucrative spot in the $11 billion federal school-lunch program that serves meals in 100,000 schools nationwide.
The Department of Agriculture has approved Greek yogurt for a pilot program in four states, including New York. Chobani and other competing firms have until Monday to show the feds different versions of what they would serve, and then await selection of the winners.
Observers tend to agree that the ordinarily creaky bureaucratic procedures required to approve a new food for the federal school lunch program seemed to operate with uncharacteristic speed and efficiency to speed up the approval for Greek yogurt. It only took eight months for the Department of Agriculture to put its stamp of approval on the New York yogurt bogs to slather America’s children with whey protein, and that’s only because Schumer and Gillibrand are basically super-Senators. Or so we’ve been led to believe. Really, Schumer and Gillibrand are yogurt-fueled androids paving the way for a cup of pineapple Chobani that has achieved sentience and will run for president in 2016. By then, your cries of “but I don’t like yogurt!” will be powerless to stop the takeover.
Image via AP, Mark Groll