RW / WW Day 9-11: Milk’s missing from many mealtimes

There’s soy milk, coconut milk and flax milk. There are all sorts of fancy juices and bottled waters. But good old milk — the moo cow kind — is losing its place at the kitchen table.

Fewer and fewer people are drinking milk. Interest in the white liquid has been falling for years. Last year and the year before saw the biggest drop in milk drinking in more than 10 years. Milk is especially missing during mealtime. A tall glass of milk with a sandwich or a burger is increasingly becoming a thing of the past.

“I was a milk lover and I grew up drinking it. You just kind of had milk with your dinner,” said Amy Bryant. Bryant lives in St. Paul, Minn. She has two daughters, ages 8 and 5.

Adults drinking milk for dinner seems kind of old fashioned, she said.

Off The Shopping List

People eat three times the amount of cheese than they did 40 years ago. But milk is fading from the nation’s grocery lists.

Kids used to be the biggest milk drinkers. But even they aren’t drinking as much of it as they once did.

One out of four preteens don’t drink milk on any given day, says the government.

Mary Hanson-Busch used to have milk at breakfast. She would drink it either with cereal, a muffin or toast. But last fall, Hanson-Busch decided she didn’t need as much milk. Milk was too fattening.

“Every night when we sit down for supper, I grab a big squeezy bottle of water,” said Hanson-Busch. She lives in New Prague, Minn.

One of her two daughters decided to stop drinking cow’s milk. She became a vegetarian and switched to coconut milk. “We go through about a gallon of milk a week for the family,” Hanson-Busch said. “We used to go through about two gallons.”

Soy, Almond And Coconut

Milk is one of the best sources of vitamin D and calcium, said Deb Sheats. She is a professor at St. Catherine University in St. Paul.

Cheese is also an excellent source of calcium. The body uses calcium to build bones. But cheese is often more fattening than milk. It also doesn’t have as much Vitamin D.

Enter the “plant” milks — soy, almond and so on. They’re not really milk. But they are called milk to sound healthier. Plant milks have just as much, if not more, calcium and vitamin D. But, they aren’t naturally in plant milks — they are added in the factory. Plant milks are also more expensive than milk.

The “plant” milk makers say they are as good as milk, said Marin Bozic. He is a professor at the University of Minnesota. He studies how dairy farmers sell products.

Some people are concerned about growth hormones in dairy cows, found IBISWorld, a company that collects information on businesses. Many farmers give cows drugs, called hormones. These increase how much milk they make. Some people are worried that the hormones will harm the people who drink the milk. Other people have questioned the idea of drinking cow’s milk altogether, said Antal Neville. She works for IBISWorld.

“Milk Life” Ads

The dairy farmers are fighting back. They began new advertising last month with “Milk life.” The new ads play up milk’s health benefits. They got rid of their old “Got milk?” ads.

But bringing people back to milk won’t be easy. Take the experience of Stacey Sundquist in Virginia, Minn. She and her husband have three kids under age 10. The children drink milk regularly at meals.

Until a few years ago, Sundquist herself drank milk three times a day. Now, she drinks more water and has developed a taste for almond milk. She even likes it in her morning oatmeal. Sundquist made the switch after reading about the hormones given to cows.

“I started questioning whether I needed cow’s milk in my diet,” she said. “I decided I really didn’t.”

Grade 5 RW + WW Day 4-8 Read Aloud Text Sets

“Vitamins and Minerals” from

“Learning About Calories” from

“Vitamins” from

“Minerals” from Kids 


Shed That Sweet Tooth

New health guidelines advise less sugar in our diets

Mar 04, 2015 | By Allee Manning with AP reporting


The World Health Organization is advising people around the world to cut down on the amount of sugar they consume each day.

While sweet treats can be hard to resist, the World Health Organization (WHO) has set new dietary guidelines for people around the world. The guidelines, released on Wednesday, advise that both adults and children cut back on their sugar intake to stay healthy.

In a statement, Francesco Branca, director of the WHO’s nutrition department, said there is “solid evidence” that reducing daily sugar intake “reduces the risk of overweight, obesity, and tooth decay.”

Keep it Fresh

The guidelines do not apply to the sugars in fresh fruits and vegetables or those that are naturally present in milk. According to the WHO, there is no reported evidence of negative effects of consuming those sugars. Instead, the new guidelines focus on “added” or “free” sugars. These include sugars that are added to processed foods and drinks such as donuts, cookies, candy, and soft drinks.

Added sugars are sometimes described as “hidden” sugars because they exist in foods we might not think of as sweets, such as honey and ketchup. Health experts advise that consumers look at ingredients on food packages to help make better-informed decisions.

A family enjoys a picnic meal of fresh fruits and vegetables.

A family enjoys a picnic meal of fresh fruits and vegetables.

A Worldwide Concern

The WHO recommends that people in the United States, Europe, and other Western societies should cut their average sugar intake by about two-thirds, or down to just 10% of their overall calories. For developing countries, where dental care is less advanced and cavities are more difficult to prevent, the WHO recommends that sugar intake be reduced to 5%.

In the U.S., adults currently get about 11 to 15% of their calories from added sugars. Children typically consume even more, as it can account for up to 16% of their diets. In Europe, sugar intake varies by country. For adults in Hungary and Norway, it is about 7%. In Spain and the United Kingdom, sugar makes up as much as 17% of adults’ diets. The WHO reports that for children in Europe, sugar intake can be much higher, ranging from about 12% in Denmark, Slovenia, and Sweden, to nearly 25% in Portugal.

“The trouble is, we really do like sugar in a lot of things,” said scientist Kieran Clarke, of the University of Oxford. “Even if you are not just eating lollies and candy, you are probably eating a fair amount of sugar.”

But Clarke also notes that for those people who can’t shake their love for sweets, getting more exercise is a good solution. “If you get enough exercise, you can eat almost anything,” she said. “But it’s very hard to avoid large amounts of sugar unless all you’re eating is fruits and vegetables.”

Writing Poems? Not so difficult after all

As the school year resumes we jumped right into the Poetry Unit. At this stage we are reading poems, observing their structure and pattern and collecting ideas. One of the activities I did with the students today was to collect one -ing word from them and I already had a pretty well-structured poem:

Jianyi is leaping.

Shaddha is exaggerating.

Jon is coming.

Uma is shining.

Sara is dancing.

Cy is aggravating.

Damia is questioning.

Tiger is listening.

Paulina is painting.

Haruka is starting.

Matthew is icing.

Inigo is flying.

Zoe is cunning.


Of course this is not the end of it. As a poet, I’ll probably have to polish it a bit more before publishing. Nevertheless, it’s a good start for my work.

Cross-text Synthesis = Same topic, different angles

Since yesterday we started learning about birds of paradise, they are from the Pacific archipelagos. Due to evolution, they have become beautiful birds with distinctive beautiful feathers and interesting mating rituals.

We used two texts to learn so far:
1. BBC Documentary by David Attenborough (available on Netflix)
2. TED Ed video about Speciation

We learned that different texts offer different angle of study of the same topic. The BBC documentary offers the history of research on the birds of paradise while the TED Ed video talks about the science of speciation and how these birds got to evolve from a single species of bird.

Reading Information Text – Envisioning and Using Teacher’s Voice

Since last week the students have been using websites such as National Geographic and iflscience  to learn about this weird creature called Hagfish and how it produces its slime. During the process they learn how to decipher tricky words, identify which one is a topic-related word, and which one is a “smarter word that teachers/scientists use”. Today they focused on reading texts, envisioning to facilitate understanding and teaching the information. They watched a TED Ed video  to see how videographers choose to use diagrams and graphic representations to help audience understand certain scientific concepts.

Some of them are able to draw detailed diagram with words to help explain the process.


You may be wondering why some of the students were in costumes. It’s because today’s the first day of Spirit Week and the theme is Hero vs. Villain.

More Information about Yokohama History

Yokohama Bluff History:

Nippon Maru:
English guidebook:
Official website:
Japan Visitor:
Japan Guide:
25-minute long YouTube video:
Yokohama Official Tourist Page:
Deep Japan:

City of Yokohama:
Historical picture: