We speak with Monica Chen, veteran teacher and executive director of Factory Farming Awareness Coalition. Monica tells us how cow’s milk became a staple in school lunches even though most children of color do not have the ability to digest lactose, the main carbohydrate in dairy products. She explains how checkoff programs like Got milk? mislead the American public into thinking these are healthy foods for human children. 



00:00-00:49 Intros

00:49-02:41 Factory farms and why is it important for students to know about them 

02:41-04:46 How schools started serving meals

04:46-05:33 Why school food looks the same across the country

05:33-11:06 Why most schools serve milk even though many students, those from especially other-than-European backgrounds are lactose intolerant 

11:06-13:10 Reimbursable lunches

13:10-16:01 Factory farm conditions for cows

16:01-18:11 Making connections between choices and impacts

18:11-21:07 Culturally responsive conversations about food

21:07-25:01 Respect/disrespect for Navajo culture in a Bureau of Indian Education school in the Navajo Nation

25:01-33:05 How schools can encourage students to think broadly about impact of choices 

33:05-34:30 Impact of industry lobbying campaigns on low-income schools

34:30-35:59 Outro


Click here to see the full transcription of this episode.  


Photo: Canva

Soundtrack: Podington Bear