Thursday 28 June 2012

Serving Buttermink in CBSE School Canteens is not a Great move

Written by Anil Singh

CBSE is all set to serve Buttermink or "Lassi" in CBSE School Canteens. The move is a part of CBSE's attempt to weed out junk food (high Calorie food) like cold drinks, chips, burgers from school canteens; and replace them with healthy foods like Fresh fruit Juice, Milk, Buttermilk and other dairy products. It has been reported that CBSE has already issued directions to affiliated schools in this regard.

On the face value, CBSE's move appears quite benevolent ; but keeping in mind the current infrastructure required to preserve dairy products -- Serving Buttermink in CBSE School Canteens is not a Great move.

To understand why dairy products are least encouraged in canteens, one has to look at the shelf life of such products.

In the absence of right infrastructure -- which includes deep freezers and constant supply of Electricity (power back-up when there is power outage) -- dairy products become unhealthy for consumption with in hours. In a country where continuous power supply is still a dream, management of milk products in a canteens will prove to be a tough exercise.

Another important issue which plagues the serving of fresh fruit juices, and dairy products, is the hygiene.  Ensuring hygiene is a much bigger question than preservation infrastructure (which one can assume, could be arranged for).

If one assumes that CBSE chooses to serve packaged fruit juices and dairy products; then a logical question arises -- What is wrong with cold drinks then?  Preservatives and additives are present in packaged health drinks (fruit juices) and dairy products as well.

In my opinion, if CBSE really wants to weed out junk food from its schools, then it should serve healthy traditional Indian food and ensure clean water. Serving tea can be an option too. 


Junk food is real problem faced by schools and parents. But, without a sound strategy, it's hard to replace them. A packet of chips or a bottle of cold drink finds a place on a canteen rank, as both the school and the parents may not have to worry about their shelf life or hygiene.

As a parent will you allow your kid to drink Lassi or milk at his/her school?

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