Grist recently published an interesting article about milk, touching upon the extensive processing modern milk goes through before it gets bottled and shipped to the grocery store shelves. The end product is almost nothing like the milk that originally came out of the cow.
The extensive processing obviously comes with risks, ranging from the negative effects of homogenization, the use of unsafe milk protein concentrates, to the presence of milk solids, which are sometimes added back into the milk and contain oxidized, or damaged, forms of fat and cholesterol.
The article has some interesting information about how the dairy industry has butchered milk into its parts and make more money because Americans are drinking more skim milk, while they’re consuming more milk fat, in the form of ice cream and half and half.
Unfortunately (and not surprisingly) the article falls apart while discussing the alternative and proposes “real” or “unadulterated” unhomogenized and milk pasteurized at low temperatures as the solution. It also suggests that what we really need is the re-localization of dairy farmers, which can be possible if a larger base of consumers are willing to pay more for milk produced on a smaller scale.
Considering that Americans consumed an average of 1.8 cups of dairy per person, per day (USDA statistics), how will producing milk on a smaller scale ever meet the present demand for dairy in America? Oh wait…perhaps all that matters is a a small population of health-conscious urban milk lovers get to satisfy their need for “safer” milk?
There’s a much simpler solution, that will work for people all over the country — choose plant-based milks!
Dairy Farm Image Source: Jo-Anne McArthur