Milk and Styrofoam

Styrofoam lunch tray, with special 'MILK' compartment

Jina is traveling and visiting a Jain temple in Atlanta. She there saw these plates for lunch (the same ones as in the Milpitas temple). The first thing is of course the environmental impact of using disposable styrofoam trays instead of washable plates, but what is also remarkable is that these trays have a specific section labeled “MILK”. Click on the image to see a larger version. I guess these are trays of school lunches. Just make sure you don’t forget to get your milk. Of course we can hope that someone meant Soy Milk or Almond Milk, but that might be wishful thinking.
Posted by Christian

2 responses to “Milk and Styrofoam

  1. The tray pictured here contains just the vegan items that were served. Rather unfortunately, on any given day, but especially on occasions such as Diwali, our Jain centers tend to serve a number of non-vegan sweets and special farsan items. In Atlanta, where Pramodaben Chitrabhanu had just been giving a number of talks on veganism during Paryushan, they served dahi wada and a non-vegan sweet at Diwali. This was clearly not an error because of lack of awareness. Someone made a choice to serve dairy products despite her teachings.

    I think that the temples buy these styrofoam trays because they must be very cheap, perhaps available as part of a school lunch subisdy, and the temple leaders have tried to mimimize cost in a non-profit organization run by donations. But one doesn’t have to look too deeply to see the violence to the environment done by the mega volumes of styrofoam that we generate at local temples and the multi-thousand attendee JAINA conventions. I wonder if the milk lobby scored the imprint of milk on these trays
    And why does this not offend us to serve a tray with the imprint of violence to cows?

    On my flight back from Atlanta , I read in the Delta magazine, just below a picture of Laxmi and mention of Diwali,that the top crop of the Number 2 crop producer in the world, India, was milk. (http://msp.imirus.com/Mpowered/imirus.jsp?volume=ds10&issue=11&page=1)
    I have to wonder how the vegetarian Indian’s belief in the healthfulness of milk is linked to the importance of milk in the Indian economy.

  2. What about zinc stearate that is present in most styrofoam products which usually comes from animal sources?

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