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by Jessica Vihvelin
Open a magazine. Take a walk. Ride the bus. Go to school. During the course of any of the previous activities a person is sure to be exposed to at least one of the National Dairy Council’s “Got Milk” ads. Featuring celebrities and other widely recognized faces, the “Got Milk” ads describe the wondrous components of cow’s milk. “You need milk to be healthy” is the message purveyed to the general public; give it up, or fail to meet the 4 glasses a day quota and you are just asking for disease… or worse to arrive on your doorstep.
Not only has the milk industry bombarded public space, aiming ads at children, teens, adults and seniors, it has also permeated public school systems. Upon cafeteria wall hang posters that depict a stream of ‘fresh, wholesome’ milk being poured into a tall glass. Cow’s milk propaganda in schools, whether in the form of posters or the health food guide, drills into young children the so-called benefits of drinking cow’s milk. These ads, also, of course, encourage the purchase of a carton at lunch every day to form a habit of drinking it, which, as it turns out, is quite profitable for the dairy industry.
The dairy industry has campaigned so successfully and has repeated so often the necessity of cow’s milk that even the suggestion of a diet without dairy is akin to blasphemy. The dairy industry would also have you believe that cow’s milk is the sole source of calcium, when in fact the human body absorbs only 30% of the calcium in milk. Osteoporosis, furthermore, is very common among milk drinkers. Calcium is an essential element to a healthy body but the healthiest sources for calcium are green leafy vegetables and legumes.
When presented with the ‘facts’ proving the benefits of milk it is a good idea to ask a few basic questions: Who is stating that milk is so healthy? Is it someone with a vested interest? Who, in other words, is going to profit from the consumption of milk? Who funded the studies ‘proving’ the ‘necessity’ of cow’s milk?
Some food for thought:
-Humans are the only species on earth that consume lactated milk from another species.
-Countries with the highest consumption of milk: Finland, England, Sweden and the USA. Countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis: Finland, England, Sweden and the USA