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Monday, August 9, 2010

Milk Mustaches

These days, Raw Milk is a hot topic that can polarize a community faster than any Republican vs. Democrat debate. Without debating the merits of pasteurization or genetically modified milk, let’s talk about just plain old milk. From the skim to the heavy, rice to soy; what is in the milk we drink? Clearly, it’s not just milk anymore.

In Michael Pollan’s latest book In Defense of Food, he writes: “To make dairy products low fat, it’s not enough to remove the fat. You then have to go to great lengths to preserve the body or creamy texture by working in all kinds of food additives. In the case of low fat or skim milk, that usually means adding powdered milk. But powdered milk contains oxidized cholesterol, which scientists believe is much worse for your arteries than ordinary cholesterol, so food makers sometimes compensate by adding antioxidants, further complicating what had been a simple one-ingredient whole food. Also, removing the fat makes it that much harder for your body to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins that are one of the reasons to drink milk in the first place.”

A walk down the dairy aisle reveals labels that look like this:

Skim Milk ingredients: Fat Free milk, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D3

1% Milk Ingredients: Low Fat Milk, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D3

2% Milk ingredients: Reduced Fat Milk, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D3

Whole Milk ingredients: Milk, Vitamin D3

Rice Milk: Filtered water, brown rice, expressed high oliec safflower oil, canola oil, tricalcium

phosphate, natural vanilla flavor, other natural flavors, sea salt, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D12 and Vitamin B12.

Soy Milk: Filtered water, soybeans, sugar, calcium carbonate, sea salt, vanilla extract, natural flavors, carrogeenan, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2, Riboflavin and Vitamin B12.

What happened to our one ingredient, very safe, very simple, good old fashioned milk? If that is what in our milk, one of the most basic drinks we drink, the nectar filling sippy cups, the ice cold froth we dunk our chocolate chip cookies in, what is in the rest of our food? Good grief, it’s enough to make a person consider the Raw Milk movement! Or at least switch to the more heavy, less fortified and altered whole milk, avoiding the soy and rice milk altogether.

What are your thoughts? What do you drink? Are you making the switch, or considering making the switch, to raw milk?

1 comment:

Kayla said...

I really enjoy what his book had to say about this! I'm thinking Jordan and I will be making a trip to the library soon to check it out! (There is a wait on The Omnivore's Dilemma here too). I don't understand how they can do this to our food...and us be so completely clueless! I have considered raw milk and if my husband was on board I may look into a supplier in the area but unfortunately he is completely against it so we just guzzle the whole milk in our home.