N.Y. Serves Up Yogurt as State Snack
October 19, 2014
Yogurt is now the official snack of New York State.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill that emphasized the state's status as the production leader of the dairy food. Estimates are that New York produced 741 million pounds of yogurt in 2013 alone, accounting for 16 percent of the nation's total. (California produced the second-most, at 591 million pounds.)
Cuomo signed the bill to coincide with the second New York State Yogurt Summit, in Ithaca. The first such summit took place in 2012.
New York business figures show that the state employed nearly 9,500 people in the dairy industry in 2013, an increase of 1,500 jobs over the number reflected in the last data collection, in 2010.
Yogurt's designation as New York's official snack has only symbolic effect. Yogurt is deemed a healthy snack, though, as is Jell-O, the state snack of Utah.
The idea of an official state snack is not too widespread in the U.S. Popcorn is the official snack of Illinois. Similarly, South Carolina has named boiled peanuts as its state snack. Not surprisingly, the state snack of Texas is tortilla chips and salsa.
The idea for the bill came from a fourth-grade class at Byron-Bergen Elementary School, in Bergen, N.Y. Students traveled to the state Capitol, in Albany, earlier this year to support the bill.