Got Milk? Milk Does a Body Good. We have all seen those slogans in the popular Milk Council ads, but is milk really the nutritious, super drink we are led to believe it is?
We can’t argue that milk has nutrition, but is this nutrition in harmony with the needs of the human body in the form of which milk is produced for the masses?
Should I mention that almost all the information the public is given about milk comes from The National Dairy Council who spent 175 million dollars for marketing in 2007 alone? Or, the fact that most scientific studies and papers have not reached the same positive health conclusions that the Dairy Council preaches through their witty and celebrity endorsed ads?
In the USA alone the dairy industry is worth 60 billion dollars and is huge for the economy. 75% of the food in supermarkets contains milk or milk derivatives, but is milk healthy and should it be such a large part of the western diet?
- Milk is a source of protein: Whey and casein make up about 3.3% of milk and contain all 9 amino acids essential for human development.
- Milk contains high levels of calcium: A cup of milk contains about 300mg of calcium.
- Milk Contains Vitamin A: 1 cup has about 249 IU.
- Milk is high in other minerals such as potassium and phosphorus.
- Milk is a source of carbohydrates from the sugar lactose.
- Calcium in milk is not readily absorbed because of milk’s high protein content and can even cause a negative calcium effect. In fact, the nations with the highest dairy consumption also have high rates of osteoporosis.
- 15% of Americans are lactose intolerant and 75% of the world population does not produce the enzyme lactase which is needed to digest the lactose in milk.
- Milk is high in saturated fat which can lead to heart disease in those susceptible to high cholesterol.
- In the USA, milk can contain growth hormones and antibiotics. Producers are not required to disclose this on the label nor has there been standards set for safe amounts.
- Out of the 2700 scientific articles written about milk between 1988-1993, none cited milk as being a healthy food choice. Instead, these articles linked milk’s properties to intestinal bleeding, arthritis, asthma, childhood diabetes, heart disease, allergies, and cancer.
- Milk production is putting a huge strain on the environment and is a major contributor to global warming.
Maybe we should reconsider the amount of dairy that’s incorporated into our diets and evaluate the messages that we have been sold on milk from an early age. If you can digest milk without problems, then it can provide nutrition as part of a healthy diet, but, perhaps it would be wise to make dairy a much smaller part. Personally, I won’t be giving up dairy, but I will look for ways to cut back on it and make dairy less of a dietary staple.
All the stats used in this article come from the documentary “Got The Facts on Milk?“. This film takes a close look at the dairy industry and the nutritional value of milk. Although the film demonizes milk a bit, it still raises some good questions and concerns regarding the mass production and consumption of milk by our society.