A Meat and Dairy Article from All-Creatures.org

Fighting Dietary Racism in Schools

From Switch4Good.org
June 2022

We are an evidence-based nonprofit, advocating passionately for a dairy-free world.

dietary racism

The USDA mandates cow’s milk in schools to the detriment of over 50 million children. However, not only is milk the most common and severe food allergy in children under 16, but 70-95% of children of color are lactose intolerant.

Yet federal law requires milk to be served with school meals in order for state authorities to be reimbursed by USDA for the meals provided. To make matters worse—even though we applied pressure and got soy milk added to the 2020 US Dietary Guidelines as “nutritionally equivalent” to cow’s milk—soy milk is not reimbursable, therefore schools cannot provide it to children who cannot digest cow’s milk.

This is dietary racism, plain and simple. That’s why we’re demanding Equal Milk for All.


  • Pressured USDA to recognize soy milk as “nutritionally equivalent to dairy milk” in the 2020 US Dietary Guidelines
  • Sent letter to Secretary Vilsack requesting: (1) Full USDA reimbursement for schools to purchase soy milk; (2) Immediate Civil Rights Impact Analysis (CRIA) to identify systemic inequities in National School Lunch Program (NSLP); (3) Exploration of ways to make more plant-based milk alternatives available for schoolchildren
  • Met with 10 Congress Members and their staffs in Washington DC to educate them on prevalence of lactose intolerance among children of color and press our case for soy milk reimbursement
  • Joined by 20 additional racial and social justice organizations, supporting our fight


  • Soy milk added to US Dietary Guidelines as nutritionally equivalent to cow’s milk
  • Garnered 5 Congressional co-leads and 30 Members of Congress signed on to help us fight this battle
  • Led by Rep. Troy Carter from Louisiana, ALL 50 MEMBERS of the Congressional Black Caucus voted to support our measure!

Please watch: Let's STOP dietary racism! (Equal Milk For All with Vegan Doctors)

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