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Student News Site of Ruben S. Ayala High School

Bulldog Times

Bagged milk: The new school lunch crisis

As+students+continue+to+explore+their+school+lunch+options%2C+many+were+shocked+to+see+the+new+addition+of+bagged+milk.+Replacing+the+previous+carton+milk+with+a+new+plastic+bag%2C+students+are+wary+of+choosing+this+option+for+their+daily+diet.+
Madeline Khoo
As students continue to explore their school lunch options, many were shocked to see the new addition of bagged milk. Replacing the previous carton milk with a new plastic bag, students are wary of choosing this option for their daily diet.

Following winter break, many students were feeling refreshed and rejuvenated as the second semester approached. While classes saw changes in grading categories, class size, and curriculum, the school lunches also faced a change in their packaging for a lunch staple: bagged milk. 

In contrast to the milk cartons that many students are familiar with from elementary school, school lunches began including bagged milk following suit of the bagged juice packs that they began serving first semester. Whether bagged juice or bagged milk, many students have expressed their dismay for the newly added item. 

“I don’t like it because during the day when it’s hot, it’s just weird and a lot of people have more ability to mess around with the bags. If they’re in a carton, it’d be hard to mess around with,” Connor Kwon (11) said. 

In addition to the unfamiliar concept of a bagged beverage, students have found difficulties in effectively being able to open and consume the product. Whether that is through carefully punching a straw through the bag without poking a hole on both sides, or popping it in an attempt to make a mess, the battle with bagged milk has not been easy.

“Students have had trouble opening it, myself included,” Evan Chang (11) said. “For the first couple of days, I couldn’t even drink my milk because I didn’t know how to open the damn bag.”

But despite its unconventional packaging that has hindered traditional consumption, the use of plastic bags has also brought concern towards its potential health detriments from the plastic itself. While the milk cartons were made of cardboard, the new bagged milk has the potential to seep into microplastics, causing doubt as to whether the new packaging for milk is safe. 

“Plastic is bad for you and can seep into whatever you’re drinking, like the small particles that come from plastic or that are made from plastic tend to seep into whatever you’re drinking,” AP Research teacher Mrs. Kimberly Barreras said. “I know for sure it’s worse than a milk carton that they originally had.” 

With California being a plastic-conscious state, taking action to reduce plastic straws with paper straw alternatives and plastic bags with paper bags in grocery stores, the idea of having plastic bagged milk came to a surprise when it looked the other way from sustainability.

“I think it’s kind of contradictory to California. Banning plastic, like specifically plastic straws, and then you turn around and add milk in a plastic bag seems contradictory to what California’s laws are about plastic in general,” Barreras said.

Whether it’s due to cheaper production costs or a change in provider for milk in school lunches, it is still unclear as to why this change was implemented. Although bagged milk may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, students’ attitude toward the carton to bag transition have shown a strong opposition that calls for a demand of cartoned milk to be back in everyday lunch options.

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About the Contributor
Madeline Khoo, News and Features Editor
Madeline Khoo (11) is the News and Features Editor for The Bulldog Times, and this is her 2nd year on staff. Madeline hopes to write and publish articles that engage the student body while having the Bulldog Times serve as the first news source for student and Ayala updates. She looks forward to reaching out to many different students this year and capturing the variety of perspectives here on campus. In addition to being an editor, Madeline is also the President of Model United Nations and is a graphic designer for the CNH Key Club District. Outside of school, she enjoys reading WEBTOONs, watching (Chinese and Korean) dramas, and hanging out with her friends.
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