Does milk *really* do a body good?

I’m darn curious to know how much real, actual scientific evidence is behind the American Dairy Council’s assertions that we need milk–or that milk is even a healthy food for humans.

I’ve always been a big milk drinker but one of my more milk-hating friends suggested I check out some of her propaganda before tanking my son up on milk.

A lot of it was more histrionics than the objective reporting of research, but I suspect it’s not all bunk. And of course we’d be fools to think the dairy farmers’ marketing coalition is gonna be laying out unbiased info on their end.

Anybody know what’s the true story on milk? I do find it curious that we’re the only species who drinks the milk of another mammal on a regular basis. Even mammals with some pretty hefty bones (which is what all that calcium is really supposed to help) get by without it…

well, there’s not that much to discuss as you can find most of the information you need on the label or on line. Whole milk is high in fat and so you should take that into account. The main thing people have against skim milk is that they don’t like it (there was a recent thread about this you might want to look up). I do not have that problem and so I drink a lot of milk just because it is a food that does not require preparation. I have it with cereal, with coffee etc. I drink about a quart a day and I seem to be in pretty good health.

Another issue is the PETA angle that it is cruel to cows to be handling their tits without asking them first but I guess you are asking strictly whether milk is good for you. The answer is yes, it is good for you if you consume it reasonably. Note that some people cannot digest lactose and that some cultures do not drink milk (like china).

I often find it strange that adult homo sapiens willingly breastfeed from cows. I don’t drink milk, as it seems a little too weird to me.

However, I do like cheese, which is even weirder.

I’ve been reading some pros and cons on milk and will see if I can find the most informative and email it to you or write an inept summary if you haven’t listed your email address.

The value is being brought into question but with a couple of hundred years of milk use I can’t see that anyone has come up with any real problems for drinking milk. (Yes to those unable to digest lactose after age five or allergies, but those are the exceptions.)

And if you give your child the lower fat milk, so much the better.

Well, PETA has printed several scientists’ claims that drinking milk actually increases your chances of osteoperosis. As anecdotal evidence they point out that countries where the population doesn’t drink much milk (China for example) has a much lower rate of osteoperosis than the U.S. I don’t subscribe to their point of view (I havent seen enough evidence and osteoperosis is a pretty poor reason to eat dry cereal:)) but just wanted to point that out.

And I like cheese too.

Hey Cranky, the study MOJO is referring to (the one cited by peta) is exaimined (along with its author) quite thoroughly in this month’s (August) Discover Magazine. It pretty much addressed all of MOJO’s and your concerns.

I like skim milk and I drink about a quart a day. But it has to be fresh. I sometimes get the Evil Eye from waitresses in restaurants when I order milk and ask “Oh, is it freshly squeezed?”

I like cheese too as long as I don’t think about how it’s made. I read a disgusting formula for goat cheese once. I suppose the gentle reader is lucky I can’t find it. However, you might want to peruse this:

“Hey, what ARE those lumps in cheese, anyhow?”

I don’t find drinking cow milk to be any stranger than eating cow flesh (which is something I do on a regular basis). While we may be the only animal to drink the milk of another as a dietary staple, we’re also the only animal to serve lobster cooked with butter or mash coffee beans, boil them in water and drink the resulting blend. I don’t really see what the difference is.

Anyway, milk is pretty much a necessity in early life (even the formula makers mention on the can that breastfeeding is better though I don’t think it brings them any joy to admit it) and is probably one of the more balanced single items you can pull out of nature and consume on sight. However, the milk of the moo-cow isn’t something we need as other cultures have shown. But it’s not bad for you either, provided you live a healthy lifestyle that burns off that fat or else get the 2%/Skim varieties. And the vitamins and calcium are definately good for you as well. Drink up.

The Chinese do not drink milk and cheese, yogurt etc are nothing more than spoiled milk. I learnt this when I gave a Chinese girl in China a chunk of cheese as a present. I already knew in Chinese manners you cannot accept a gift the first time as you would appear greedy, but she was very adamant and i was very insistent. Finally she took it and shortly after I learnt how the Chinese feel about cheese… she probably dumped it in the gutter and thought these foreigners are such barbarians.

It is interesting though that in my last visit I have seen yogurt sold on street stands as a foreign novelty item and many people were buying it, especially the younger ones.

BTW Another novelty I saw was some drinks like tea or flavored milk sold on a big cup with a straw through the cover. The unusual thing is that it has some “submarines” like tiny marshmallows and the strw is of large diameter so the things will come up through it. I thought they were cute.

Goat’s cheese is delicious and manchego which is one of my favorites is made with goat’s milk (although I am suspicious they may have the typical rules that you can call it goat’s cheese as long as it has some trace of goat milk…)

Milk is just the new evil food, as evidenced by PETA and the CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest…the same folks who jumped all over fettucini alfredo, movie popcorn and Chinese food).
I think it’s fine, unless of course you are lactose intolerant. My family of 5 goes through at least a gallon a day, easily. I buy it 3 gallons at a time. One percent, though, not skim.

Jophiel said:
I don’t find drinking cow milk to be any stranger than eating cow flesh (which is something I do on a regular basis). While we may be the only animal to drink the milk of another as a dietary staple, we’re also the only animal to serve lobster cooked with butter or mash coffee beans, boil them in water and drink the resulting blend. I don’t really see what the difference is.


I agree with this. Add also eggs. How weird is that, to be eating something that comes out of a chicken’s butt? Well, not exaclty it’s butt, but you know what I mean…

On the other hand, we are also the only species to develop written language, build suspension bridges, harness nuclear energy, and achieve space-flight. Maybe other species just aren’t worthy of cow’s milk. Maybe cow’s milk is the secret to limitless potential for knowledge! We’d better keep this a secret, so some lesser but more physically threatening species doesn’t drink it and take over the world from us!

Well actually every adult cat and dog I’ve ever had was extremely pleased to drink cows milk. Not to mention ive seem bears break into coolers that only contained a carton of milk. I’m pretty sure if Fluffy the cat was coordinated enough to manage it, she’d be more that happy to milk a cow herself.

I hear camel’s milk is pretty good too :slight_smile:

I drink milk because I enjoy the flavor. I need no more justification than that.

Yeah, and dog milk. But you don’t get much dog milk unless you have a whole herd of dogs.

Actually, eggs do come out the “butt.” Eggs are laid from the cloaca — the same hole from which urine and feces exit the body. Semen also exits and enters via the cloaca in many birds.

My brother-in-law eats a macrobiotic diet, and he swears milk is bad for you. He claims, anecdotally, that after about two weeks of avoiding milk and cheese his head feels clearer, he has fewer digestive problems, and he overall feels better. When he relapses (say, grabs a couple slices of pizza) he automatically feels pretty logy.

I personally don’t drink milk, but I like cheese way too much to give up dairy products. However, I’ve often kinda wondered whether, if I quit eating cheese, if I could tell the difference in my overall health.

A cursory search turned up this page, outlining the alleged side effects of drinking milk (scroll down a bit), and this page, which claims a link between milk and MS. Interesting read, but you’ll have to make up your own mind on the truth therein.

According to my father, people over the age of 12 shouldn’t get within 20 feet of milk. He has various theories on why, including that drinking milk could poison you with extra vitamins and minerals that adults get elsewhere in their diet. Also that it is too fatty (the man pretends like there’s nothing but whole milk) and causes mucus buildup.

Keep in mind that this is coming from a man who:
Eats soft butter plain, directly from the stick (using a knife to cut off a pat and place it directly on the tongue),
Firmly believes in aliens, crop circles and conspiracy theories,
Says with complete conviction and sincerity that drinking and smoking in moderation means not having more than one of each in your hand at at time.

So even if his milk theories might sound somewhat reasonable, he doesn’t have a whole lot socked away at the First Sunshine Bank of Credibility.

Plus, I love milk and enjoy a tall, cold 1% quite often. I don’t see any detrimental side effects from it.

I remember hearing somewhere that it was recently shown that the gene for lactose tolerance past childhood is actually a mutation, not the wild type. It just happens to be a very common mutation. Of course, this research could have since been refuted. Besides, I can drink milk, and it’s good to me…

>> dog milk

tcburnett, wouldn’t that be “bitch milk”? :slight_smile:

In any case… bitches are dangerous, especially when you want their tits… use a muzzle to be safe :wink: