Pass the Water: 11 Reasons to skip Milk.
The below excerpts are from Mark Bittman. Skip this, go straight to his great article at the NY Times.
1. Americans were encouraged not only by the lobbying group called the American Dairy Association but by parents, doctors and teachers to drink four 8-ounce glasses of milk, “nature’s perfect food,” every day. That’s two pounds! We don’t consume two pounds a day of anything else…
2. Department of Agriculture’s recommendation for dairy is…three cups daily — still 1½ pounds by weight — for every man, woman and child over age 9.
3. 50 million people are lactose intolerant, including 90 percent of all Asian-Americans and 75 percent of all African-Americans, Mexican-Americans and Jews. The myplate.gov site helpfully suggests that those people drink lactose-free beverages.
4. Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine: “Sugar — in the form of lactose — contributes about 55 percent of skim milk’s calories, giving it ounce for ounce the same calorie load as soda.”
Let’s repeat that one: Skim Milk has the same calorie load as soda.
5. Nutrients…[are] far more easily digested as yogurt or cheese than as fluid milk.
6. …milk allergy — the second most common food allergy after peanuts, affecting an estimated 1.3 million children…can be life-threatening.
7. …Although treating heartburn is a business worth more than $10 billion a year, the solution may be as simple as laying off dairy. (Which, need I point out, is free.)
“It’s worth noting that milk and other dairy products are our biggest source of saturated fat, and there are very credible links between dairy consumption and both Type 1 diabetes and the most dangerous form of prostate cancer.”
9. ….9 million dairy cows, most of whom live tortured, miserable lives while making a significant contribution to greenhouse gases. …The bucolic cow and family farm barely exist:
“Given the Kafkaesque federal milk marketing order system, it’s impossible for anyone to make a living producing and selling milk,” says Anne Mendelson, author of “Milk.” “The exceptions are the very largest dairy farms, factory operations with anything from 10,000 to 30,000 cows, which can exploit the system…
…and the few small farmers who can opt out of it and sell directly to an assured market, and who can afford the luxury of treating the animals decently.”
10. Osteoporosis? You don’t need milk, or large amounts of calcium, for bone integrity. In fact, the rate of fractures is highest in milk-drinking countries, and it turns out that
…the keys to bone strength are lifelong exercise and vitamin D, which you can get from sunshine.
11. The federal government not only supports the milk industry by spending more money on dairy than any other item in the school lunch program, but by contributing free propaganda as well as subsidies amounting to well over $4 billion in the last 10 years.