It’s no secret that milk sales have fallen for decades. A wealth of nondairy milks are now available without dairy milk’s cholesterol, calories, antibiotics and even pus – and its astounding cruelty to calves, cows and workers. Dairy operations are also such polluters they are called “environmental crack houses.”
No Wonder The Milk Lobby Is Running Scared
Today, nondairy milks include soy, rice, oat, coconut, pea, hemp, flax, quinoa, garbanzo bean, sesame seed, tapioca, potato and at least seven nut milks. Countless foods can become “milks” most of which have better taste, superior nutrition, less calories and cholesterol, and less cruel and environmentally destructive production methods compared with dairy milk.
Some large milk producers have folded because of their superior competitors and others have begun to produce nondairy milks themselves – just as some meat producers have embraced meat alternatives. With both industries, many are asking why retain outdated practices that harm animals, workers, the environment, human consumers and even the economy when better options exist?
As milk marketers continue to lose market share, especially among the young, they have rolled out a youth-oriented campaign called “Gonna Need Milk” which embarrassingly plays into the “fat acceptance” movement with overweight models (or is that “models.”) Decades ago, milk marketers used the slogan, “Milk: It Does a Body Good.” Today the slogan is apparently “Milk: It Makes a Body Fat.”
A New Image For Fatty Milk Too
According to Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) news, milk marketers are trying to give fatty, cholesterol-laden whole milk an image makeover and they are starting with the schools. “Blame Congress for the absence of full-bodied, creamy whole milk from school cafeterias,” writes KFF, apparently eager to help the makeover effort themselves. “In 2010, lawmakers revamped the National School Lunch Program, which led to a whole-milk ban for participating schools two years later. The goal was to reduce childhood obesity.” Legislation is now pending in the US to reverse the ban.
Meat and Eggs Have Also Gotten a Makeover
The same image makeovers have occurred with the unhealthy and cruel egg and meat industries – courtesy of industry funding many critics allege. KFF admits that much of the research that challenges whole milk’s link to childhood obesity was funded by the dairy industry. No!
Currently industry boosters and friends are terming chicken eggs the “perfect food.” Actually the chicken egg has the highest cholesterol of any other foodstuff – approximately 275 milligrams. Just one egg a day increased heart failure risk in doctors who were studied said the American Heart Association in its journal Circulation. My new book, Big Food, Big Pharma, Big Lies, a paperback, explores the “money over health” paradigms of both of these unethical industries.
Get ‘Em Young
The fatty taste of whole milk is more pleasing to children than skim and more likely to convince them to become lifelong milk drinkers says one milk producer who KFF interviewed.
When the “Got Milk” campaign was hot, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) shipped posters to 60,000 US elementary schools and 45,000 middle and high schools in a brazen use of tax dollars/public money to prop up private industry. (Public money is also used to kill “pests” for private ranchers – another article.) US schools account for eight percent of milk consumed.
To stay on the “health message,” milk marketing usually casts sugary soft drinks as the beverage children will chose if they don’t drink their milk – omitting the soy, rice, oat, almond and other healthy competitors. But nondairy milks are “taking an increasing share of the beverage market from cow’s milk,” KFF admits.
Fighting Nondairy Milks
The new “Gonna Need Milk” campaign and fatty-milk-in-school legislation are not the only efforts to revive sales of dairy milk. This week a “research and review” site and many reflexive stenography news sites flashed headlines like this one: “Plant-based alternatives don’t measure up to nutrition of cow’s milk.”
The study the headlines refer to seeks to redeem dairy milk’s falling nutritional image by pointing out its protein and calcium (not so much its calories and cholesterol.) It was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition.
Yet according to the Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health Emerita at New York University, Dr. Marion Nestle and published research papers, the American Society for Nutrition is riddled with industry conflicts of interest. Who might have funded the recent commercial for dairy milk?
Probably milk marketers should just give it up. At least according to the tech and business news web site The Hustle which points out that milk producers plunder our environment and mislead people into believing that milk is “crucial for bones.”
“Big Milk” is a “big liar” The Hustler asserts and we shouldn’t fall for its deceptive marketing.