Have you ever thought it's strange that US high schools sell milk for lunch and that many students actually buy and drink it?

I've attended a year at an American high school as teenager and so I got to know that drinking milk for lunch is kind of a big thing. At least in schools. Many of my high school friends in the US drank milk along with their school lunch. This has always puzzled me because it's a tradition that doesn't exist here in Europe. At my high school in Switzerland, we just had a table with free mineral water where we could serve ourselves. So, I know it's a tradition in America and I'm not trying to be ignorant or insulting but isn't milk a little strange? Don't get me wrong, I loooove milk. I come from Switzerland, so dairy is what flows through my veins. I would quit drinking alcohol and become a vegetarian before letting go of dairy products. But still... can you imagine a universe where Gordan Ramsay goes like "yeah, Pizza and milk or Taccos and milk or salad with french dressing and milk or spaghetti with tomato sauce and milk... those all sound like amazing combinations". It just doesn't fit in my opinion. What do you think?


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Most Helpful Girl

  • I find it disgusting how people drink milk with pasta or like steak and ew! They just don't go. I find it very strange, but I'm Canadian and they do that here, also. It's absolutely disgusting.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • People eat differently in different places, simple as that. I'm sure every region of the world has things in their diet that seem weird to others. So no, I don't think it's strange because I grew up drinking milk and still drink a fair amount of it.

    Also, if you look at the history of it - well I don't know the distant history either - but milk was considered one of the "four basic food groups" for a long time. Those food groups came about not necessarily because they were the best diet, but to address specific nutritional problems.

    In the US, this happened during WW2. It was the first time in (US) history that large scale medical examinations were done. Millions of military being drafted for the war, and they all had medical exams. That's a really big sample size!!!

    With such large numbers being examined, some patterns emerged. Some of those patterns were diet related. So the gov came up with nutritional guidelines to address it. Foods like milk and meat were stressed to address specific problems.

    Over time diets changed. It turned out that people were eating too MUCH meat instead of too little. So the recommendations were changed to include less meat and dairy, and more veggies and grains (the current food pyramid). The milk at schools is kind of a legacy from when milk was considered an important part of the diet to address specific concerns.

    OK OK I'll shut up and go back to my game. :P

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    • Well, the history behind it certainly makes sense, I just think they should perhaps serve it for breakfast instead of lunch. Of course you're right that different cultures have different eating habits and traditions. I travel quite a bit and my girlfriend comes from a very different culture, so it's not like I'm trying to be ignorant about other cultures. I just feel like there are certain combinations that can unanimously be considered strange. Like... if you take part in a cooking contest and you put mustard and ketchup into your chocolate sauce, the judges won't accept an excuse such as "in my culture this is normal" because that just sounds like an insult to any person's palate. Milk with pizza is not quite as bad but it still sounds very strange. I mean, the alkaline creaminess and the spices and greasiness on the pizza... I feel like literally any other beverage would fit better to pizza than milk, even hard liquor (which of course they shouldn't serve to kids ;-)).

    • The mention of ketchup and chocolate made me shiver. If you are from Switzerland I'm surprised you can't get arrested for uttering such heresy. :P

      But on the other hand, I'd have no problem at all drinking milk with pizza, and I've probably done it before. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any food I would not drink milk with.

    • In America I want to add that low income families that often receive social welfare are fed breakfast with milk, so those kids get two servings of milk 5 days a week.

What Girls Said 11

  • I'm from Canada and drinking milk here is pretty common. Especially in schools. But for the most part, the schools I have gone to do not have cafeterias, kids are responsible for bringing their own lunches and drinks. Most kids will bring either a juice box or pop.

    For dinner or lunch, I usually have milk with whatever I am having. That could be a stir fry, spaghetti, pizza, whatever I am eating. For me it's a common thing.
    Now that I found out I'm lactose intolerant it's changed a bit. But I still drink some milk, just have to buy the lactose 'free' kind.

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    • I forgot to mention that public schools when I was growing up, had 'milk days' where kids had the option to buy chocolate or white milk to have with their lunches. I loved those days. But always envied the kids who had money to buy milk. Looking back, I feel bad for all the kids who didn't have money to buy milk. I sometimes did, but sometimes didn't. Milk is expensive here.

    • So you think drinking milk with spaghetti or pizza fits together? Cuz to me that's like dipping your tuna filet in chocolate sauce...

    • It's a culture thing I guess. I always crave milk when I'm having pasta or pizza. Not sure why but I do.

  • Lol I like that. I'm Canadian and it's the same here, I never really thought it was weird that milk is a beverage offered at the cafeteria. In public school there was no cafeteria but there were "milk days" where you could buy 250mL cartons to have with lunch. I guess it just always was that way so it doesn't seem strange? But you're right, it sounds totally unappetizing when I really think about it, and there were times I drank it with some of the aforementioned things and I can attest that they don't blend but it isn't disgusting.

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  • A lot of American kids who eat school lunches have difficulty getting good food with nutrients so schools try to offer milk so they have a source of calcium.

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  • Oh yeah I know what you mean! I'm from Switzerland too, and I lived in the US for 3 years. I attended middle school there. Wow, the difference concerning the school lunches was quite disappointing... I mean, tacos pizza and chocolate milk were fun for a few weeks, but... after a while, I started to miss fish, vegetables and just plain water (and cheese omg) . At my swiss high school we also had tap water and we could serve ourselves as well. It was very interesting to see the different traditions, but I admit I like it better here ^^

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    • Plus, I've recently read many articles and studies that say milk isn't actually healthy... http://saveourbones.com/osteoporosis-milk-myth/
      I don't know if it's the truth or not, but hey, you never know. Water is the healthiest thing you can drink I think. No chemicals, no added sugar, no pesticides, no fat...

    • Yes, you're correct that milk is not as healthy as it is said to be. It's healthy for small children but for adults the huge amounts of calcium are actually rather unhealthy because the calcium makes your bones very porous. I've read that you shouldn't eat/drink more than two servings of dairy a day if you're an adult. But honestly, I find that very hard to adhere to ;-)
      As for American school lunches... I think there are two points to this: yes, I also got sick of the lack of fresh vegetables. My personal struggle however was the lack of good quality bread. Everywhere I went there was only soggy white toast bread. But even if there would've been more veggies in school lunches, I still find the combination with milk very strange. It's almost like dipping your tuna filet in chocolate sauce... I just can't see how the alkaline creaminess of the milk could possibly fit together with the acidity of tomato sauce or the greasiness of pizza or the taste of a green salad...

    • Oh yes I forgot bread! Oh I missed that so much! Might seem stupid but the thing I missed the most were the mocha yoghurts from Migros 😂😂
      And yes the combination was strange... I like milk, but in cereal or just on its own

  • In South Africa it's also uncommon to drink milk with lunch. We don't get that. In high school we also don't have cafeteria's like American schools do. So for me it's strange.

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    • Oh, that's interesting. I have to admit I know so little about South Africa. I've always wanted to go there some time. So how do you eat your lunch? Do you go home during lunch break? Or do you bring your own lunch to school?

    • I'm curious to know this as well lol

    • You bring your own lunch mostly. Some schools do have a "tuck shop" where you can buy some food but usually it's not meals like you get in America.

  • Schools in the UK served obligatory enriched milk for children in school. But then The Witch got rid of it in the '70s.

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  • It probably originated as a health thing.
    Truthfully they're better off drinking water instead of milk especially considering that they usually drink milk with a fuck ton of added sugar.

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    • Yeah... like those "healthy" strawberry or banana milks where the whole fruit aroma is actually just a bunch of chemical substances and lots of sugar...

    • Show All
    • Yeah, I totally agree. And I don't blame American schools in any way. I'm sure they would offer free water like they do in my country if they got enough money. Unfortunately, there are many politicians in power in the US that don't think education is important and so they take away all the money for schools and universities and make students drink sugared milk and make teachers work their asses off for 30,000 bucks a year...

    • I agree with you. Our education system needs a lot of reform. To me, it seems like as a nation we are too reluctant to admit that other nations are doing it better and that we should take a page from their books.

  • In Jamaica (where I am from) we don't even sell milk in the school's cafeteria so it was a bit strange for me to see milk in the cafeterias in American schools.

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  • it's there so they drink it

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  • They just have milk? no water at all, if yes. I find it strange

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  • In the UK we used to have milk mid morning or in the afternoon. "milk time" was a big thing haha. We'd all come in from the playground and have our free carton of milk each. Then Margaret Thatcher took the free milk away from primary schools, which is why some call her Margaret Thatcher- Milk Snatcher. People were very upset over it, and still haven't forgiven her for taking our milk in primary school. I think my age group was one of the last to have the free milk in schools.

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What Guys Said 8

  • U. S. school lunches are intended by the food and drug administration, that government entity that controls those things, that milk is part of a nutritionally balanced meal. Considering that milk here is pasteurized and homogenized, it's really no better than water except it has vitamin D added to it, our milk here is a dead food, it's not anywhere near as healthy as milk in Europe that comes straight from the farm, ours is processed so much it's nutritionally incomplete. But the American public really doesn't know that, they are told "Milk does a body good, Got milk?, etc.) I think real milk the kind with thick cream on top the glass bottle, goes great with anything, I grew up on milk like that.

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    • I especially think it's crazy how American high schools tell their students that milk was healthy when they sell stuff like strawberry milk (with chemical aromas of course) or even worse, chocolate milk. Not that I have anything against chocolate milk but I feel like if you're gonna tell students that chocolate milk is healthy, you might as well tell them that drinking a coke or ice tea with your pizza is healthy...

    • Yeah I agree, our food pyramid is upside down kind of, From largest to smallest that is most healthy for a human to eat, not taking into account time of day, I would make it proteins, milk and dairy, then fruits and vegetables, then grains, then sugars. Right now our food pyramid is grains, fruits and vegetables, protein, then dairy, finally sugar. However this changes every 5 years, here's the link for the new food recommendations, Beans are no longer considered in the grains group it's now a vegetable. r.search.yahoo.com/.../...gxGYNsFA27ObUPxmQZGJp.8-

  • Well it makes sense to us because milk is healthy for you and is kind of vital for kids who's bones are still growing and developing, so to serve it with lunch everyday or at least give you the option to drink it seems like the right choice. when I was in public grade school there was a long open fridge type thing like a ice chest that was just stocked full with standard white milk or chocolate milk for kids who bought school lunches or brought their own they also had water in their as well but most of us brought our own water bottles which we kept filled and drank out of most of the day.

    I guess drinking all that milk payed off because I got into the habit of drinking two glasses of it a day one in the morning when I make a breakfast drink which is just a vitamin powder with a little flavoring that you mix in with it, which gives you part of your daily requirement. And then again later in the day when I make my protein drink I mix in protein powder with the milk.

    So it's just a cultural difference and no worries my friend your not being insulting or ignorant, you just want to understand it, nothing wrong with that.

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  • To be honest, the fact that you find this strange is really strange to me.

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    • Okay but like... have you ever been to any upscale restaurant where milk is served along with steak or fish paté or some kind of nice pasta dish or Asian stir fry or even a simple salad? I mean, I've never heard of something like that and that seems quite telling to me. It's combinations that I think just absolutely don't go together regardless of the cultural background...

  • Yeah, I like milk but I don't think milk goes well with meals at all.
    If I have anything with a meal it's black tea as a palate cleanser or plain water if I'm eating outside with maybe some soft drink on the side.

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  • In the USA we drink milk all the time with lunch.

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  • I like my milk for lunch. Milk, cookies and a smoke

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  • In Antarctica, we don't have "milk."

    I find these Americans really strange.

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  • I'm in Europe and it's a tradition here in my country - so you err in your post.

    And surely you know it's the best drink to make the bones strong? Here in our schools the cafeterias serve healthy food

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    • Where do you come from?

    • N-Europe. And also, in the cafeterias, there's milk available - which I think was drunk most of the time

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