View Full Version : Campaign WIC to offer a vegan alternative to milk......
07-28-2003, 07:07 AM
I pulled this post off of another board. I thought y'all would be interested in knowing this bit of info, and possibly participate
in the campaign. Another way to educate society abut veganism, and give those who need it, an alternative to what's currently offered.:)
I wanted to let everyone know that PETA is currently working on a campaign to petition the USDA to add fortified soy milk and orange juice options for mothers and their children. I would LOVE to see this happen. Currently WIC offers a soy milk formula option for infants up to age one. After that point though, there is no option for mothers except dairy products. I am a vegan and I breastfeed exclusively so while WIC is a great help in theory I have no use for several gallons of milk, pounds of cheese and dozens of eggs every month-lol. Anyway, they are encouraging people to write their state programs http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/Contacts/statealpha.HTM
and copy the federal program at
WIC Supplemental Food Programs Division
Food and Nutrition Service - USDA
3101 Park Center Drive
Alexandria, VA 22302
Wonder what the WIC program would do if a mother told the caseworker she was lactose-intolerant, or allergic to dairy?
07-30-2003, 09:34 AM
VOW, I'll see what I can find out on that one. I work in public health & am actually in the process of interviewing for a pt job with EFNEP/FSNEP (a food stamp & low income nutrition education program). They work closely with WIC & I have some friends from grad school who are working with WIC related programs.
WIC does have some odd policies, in that they strongly encourage breastfeeding yet they are the largest supplier of free formula in the US. From what I do know, their policies are also mandated by the USDA as to what they educate about and offer food wise.
It's my understanding that Food Stamps and the WIC voucher programs are more related to the price supports to farmers than to actual philanthropic endeavors to feed the needy. If you look at it from that angle, then it's understandable why the program pushes formula and dairy products. Price supports to dairy farming are horrendous. Ethical concerns aside, dairy products are extremely overpriced here in the United States, because of government assurances to farmers that they will receive a guaranteed price for their milk. When my husband was stationed in Germany, we bought milk, cheese, cream, and real butter at German markets at a fraction of the cost we would have paid in the States.
Food donations through UNICEF and WHO from the United States are also provided through the surplus agricultural goods acquired through the price supports to farmers. In fact, there was a controversy over the donation of dehydrated, "just-add-water" infant formula, since many Third World countries do not have readily-available potable water. Contaminated water added to formula powder is like feeding instant dysentery to a baby. It was finally proposed that the infant formula be reconstituted and then consumed by the nursing MOTHER as a dietary supplement so her body could continue to produce milk for her infant.
07-30-2003, 03:13 PM
VOW, you've hit the nail on the head. After reading an article, What To Do With A Mountain Of Milk, in USA Today a year ago (6/29/02), I wrote to the president, my senators and representative. I've included four of the more disturbing paragraphs below (I hope its ok to do that)...
"The government is trying to figure out what to do with $1 billion worth of nonfat milk powder that it bought over the past three years to prop up the prices paid to dairy farmers."
"That is the equivalent of about 1.3 billion gallons of skim milk, enough to supply the nation's entire consumption for 16 months. It would take 635,000 cows an entire year to make all that milk."
"Processors sell to the government for one simple reason: The government pays more for nonfat dry milk, about 90 cents a pound, than food makers pay for milk protein."
"The Agriculture Department is trying to get rid of the powder. Storage costs are approaching $20 million a year, and the powder keeps coming; about 386 million pounds has been purchased since October."
07-30-2003, 05:21 PM
OK, I have to chime in here. I used to work for WIC. They are administered by the department of agriculture. They definitely are in in to help the farmers. With a doctor's prescription you can get soy formula for kids over one. A mother would just be offerred a package without the milk ( or eggs or whatever she was allergic to). Most of the people working for WIC are truly trying to help but I can't say the same for government. And don't get me started on formula....argh!!. I was their breastfeeding co-ordinator so I tried to get formula out as much as possible, but frankly, most people only came for the formula and dropped off the program when their kids turned one.
Yup, you got it! The USDA is the government agency which handles the price supports for the farmers. And it's the USDA who issues food stamps, WIC vouchers, AND also runs the surplus commodity program.
Do you know anyone who gets the commodities? Any idea what those foods are?
Nonfat dry milk (dairy farmers)
REAL butter! (more dairy farmers)
Cheese (dairy farmers!)
Cornmeal (surplus corn, folks!)
Canned pork (pig farmers)
Corn is a BIGGIE--at one time, all the grain storage was FULL, and the farmers were piling it in huge mountains, covering them with tarps to protect it from the weather. The US Government is also a big proponent of ethanol fuel, because that is a perfect way to use up all that corn!
Now, the philanthropic endeavors of the government to feed the hungry, both here in the United States and elsewhere in the world is important. But wouldn't it make more sense to base the food provisions on what is HEALTHY instead of what the FARMERS need? Cut back on some of those dairy herds, and grow soybeans!
08-07-2003, 04:43 PM
I wrote! thanks for the link!! this has actually been bugging me for some time, but my focus had been on the health side of it, though the PETA side is also a valid one.
Here's what i wrote:
Please, it's time to offer a healthy alternative to all the dairy products that you provide the WIC recipients.
We have a serious problem of obesity, heart disease and childhood diabetes in this country and many people and children are lactose intolerant.
The dairy industry is also extremely in need of reform, in order to stop the animal abuse it inflicts.
Offering items such as enriched or fortified soy milk and orange as options for WIC recipients is one thing you could do to help.
This helpful program could be teaching people how to eat healthily, instead of promoting the consumption of dairy products which have been proven over and over to be simply not as good for us as once believed. By offering only dairy options WIC may in fact be helping to cause the aforementioned diseases and health issues in the this country, and is contributing to the inhumane treatment of animals.
don't know if that made any sense or not, but at least I wrote, lol.
08-10-2003, 09:33 AM
I just got on WIC on Friday. I didnt feel comfortable telling them that i was vegan cause i've heard horror stories about people reporting you to CPS and trying to get your kid taken away.
Anyway...i DID tell the WIC lady i was lactose intolerant and she just made it so i could get lactose free milk. And she thought is was really weird that cheese also bothered me cause normally it doesn't effect someone who is lactose intolerant. Anyway, i lied and told her i'd eat the eggs, etc. I'm just gonna give them to my parents so they don't go to waste.
On the other hand, she was very impressed with my daily "diet".
08-11-2003, 01:06 PM
I actually did contact WIC and told them my daughter was lactose intolerant...they said it looks like there will be an option for soy products in the near future and that she sent my letter onto the appropriate department. I felt satisfied...change takes a while to happen, even though I think it always should have been offered.
09-25-2003, 07:23 PM
I thought that you all might be interested in this; I got it via email today at work - I'm working pt in FNS now.
FNS CONTEMPLATES CHANGING WIC PACKAGE
The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) wants public input about changing the foods approved for the WIC package, which has not been altered since 1980. Specifically, FNS seeks input on how to improve the WIC food list to promote better nutritional intake, overall health, and development of program participants-as well as recommendations for specific foods to accomplish those goals.
"While WIC has been successful in many areas, obesity and inappropriate dietary patterns have become significant concerns for many in WIC's target population," the agency noted in the Federal Register. Go to http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/lawsandregulations/foodpkganprm.txt
to read the Federal Register notice and to learn how to submit suggestions. The deadline is December 15.
I did read the USDA proposed recommendations earlier this week for changes in WIC allowable foods, & they are recommending that soy milk be added as an alternative to cow's milk.
09-25-2003, 08:39 PM
Thank you so much for this info!! This is great!
09-30-2003, 12:49 AM
I wrote a quick letter to the Washington State director suggesting many healthy alternatives.
I have to say, some of the tradition in this country, is such a freaking downfall.
It's nice to see this being addressed, something I've heard about for years, and (the dysfunctional farming industry/government relationship) seemed insurmountable, until now. Change starts here, right?
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