What is milk?
Milk is the first food we taste. It is therefore associated with comfort and strength. We live in a milk consuming society where infants, adolescents, and adults drink milk. Milk sales reach eleven billion dollars annually in the United States alone (McDougall). Incredible advertising campaigns, such as “got milk?” portray celebrities and beautiful, healthy people who ensure us that milk is essentially good for us. In 1999 alone, this campaign cost one hundred and thirty million dollars and raised sales by 0.7 percent (Nestle 79). Other forms of advertising for milk and its imperative importance in our daily lives, include page long ads constructed as articles on accredited magazines, such as The New York Times, claiming for a health crisis due to lack of calcium. Also, our nutritionist tell us it is the essential source for calcium and the FDA in its Pyramid Guide suggests at least two to three servings of dairy daily, while the Dairy Counsel suggests three to four.
An important factor in milk consumption is the United States is the Dairy Management Inc. Their sole purpose is to build a marketing plan for dairy, raising the consumer demand for all of their products. They count with a budget of over one hundred and sixty five million dollars a year, which enables them to target any major consumption group (McDougall). A great part of their budget is used for research that tries to demonstrate some benefits of dairy consumption. They are responsible to give the consumer confidence on the importance of milk to achieve maximum health. They do this by emphasizing the main reasons why people do drink milk. Other than a genuine liking, most Americans drink milk as a source of calcium and protein. Calcium is a concerning topic to most Americans because there is a cumulative desire for strong bones that can fight osteoporosis.
However, is milk really a good source of Calcium? Does it help fight osteoporosis?
Research shows that dairy actually disrupts the absorption of calcium. Also, the excessive amounts of protein present in milk are actually a major cause for osteoporosis. This was shown in a in a study that proves how Eskimos have an estimated protein intake of about 25 percent of their daily intake. This is exceptionally high. Also, they have a very high calcium ingestion of around 2,500 milligrams a day. The study revealed this is the reason why their osteoporosis is among the worst in the world (Kradjian). These are the results because protein causes bone loss and the calcium in dairy cannot be properly absorbed, it gives virtually no protection (Benschoten). One of the most important aspects of milk and its effects on the consumer is how osteoporosis became present in human beings. Most of us study in history class how our ancestors reflected great strength and muscularity. This is because studies on the bony remains of our ancestors indicate that there was a total absence of osteoporosis (Kradjian). Because we have the same gene programming of our ancestors, osteoporosis now found in our gene make up must be accredited to something external. Our ancestors used milk strictly as a nutrient for new-borns. It was given by lactating mothers to their children. This is because human milk is very different from a cow’s milk. It is not surprising to hear then that cow’s milk has three to four times more protein than human’s milk. Also, a mother’s milk has six to ten times more essential fatty acids, very much needed and lacking in cow’s milk (Kradjian). Therefore, the milk of each mammal varies immensely because it is designed specifically for them. In actuality, humans are the only mammals that continue to drink milk beyond that lactating stage (Nestle 79). Because it is considered a topic of public interest, many articles have been published in medical archives dealing with milk and its overwhelming consumption. However, these articles do anything but give a consumer confidence in drinking a glass of...
Cited: Benschoten, Van. “Ten Reasons for Zero Dairy.” NOTmilk 6 June 2007
Kradjian, Robert M. “The Milk Letter: a message to my patients.” NOTmilk 6 June 2007 .
MacDougall, John. “Marketing Milk and Disease.” Dr. McDougall Health and Medical Center May 2003. 6 June 2007
Nestle, Marion. Food Politics. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2003.
Willett, Walter C, Patrick J. Skerrett. Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: the Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating. New York: Free Press, 2005.
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