by Deanna Pan
Here's some good news for any Idaho kid who has ever been suspicious of the rubbery chicken nuggets in the school cafeteria: The U.S. Department of Agriculture has selected Idaho as one of four states to participate in a pilot program allowing schools to serve Greek yogurt as a meat alternative for lunch.
Starting this fall, schools in Idaho, New York, Arizona and Tennessee will be able to purchase the trendy, protein-rich strained yogurt using cash subsidies from the federal school lunch program.
Back in January, Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo asked the USDA to choose his state for a pilot program testing the marketability of Greek yogurt in schools. In an interview with The Inlander last month, Crapo touted the economic and nutritional benefits of increasing the state's production of Greek yogurt and adding it to cafeteria menus."That will increase the consumption of it, which will then necessarily increase the productions needs for our dairymen, and that ripples through the economy," Crapo said. "But I think the even bigger impact is the health impact for our kids and schools."
Idaho is home to Chobani’s Twin Falls plant, the largest Greek yogurt production facility in the world.