Bad cows! Bad, bad cows!
March 31, 2003 7:19 PM   Subscribe

Milk is bad for you? Is nothing sacred? When I was growing up, milk was about the purest, cleanest and healthiest thing you could drink (except maybe for the warm carton that we were give at school every day). Now, it seems, we have been killing ourselves slowly by drinking the wrong kind of milk. The authorities and some vested interests are not convinced, but there certainly seems to be quite a bit of evidence to support the theories.
posted by dg (24 comments total)
I've always wondered about human cheese. Anyone?
posted by The Jesse Helms at 7:27 PM on March 31, 2003

I figure there should be the obligatory insane link as well. Enjoy!
posted by shepd at 8:06 PM on March 31, 2003

We talked about this last month didn't we?
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:11 PM on March 31, 2003

((( paging soyjoy, paging soyjoy, we have a thread just begging for your participation ... )))
posted by whatnot at 8:16 PM on March 31, 2003

but...but...but...I need my calcium!

*gives up, decides to live on vitamin supplements.*
posted by Salmonberry at 8:20 PM on March 31, 2003

I liek milk!!!
posted by madamjujujive at 8:39 PM on March 31, 2003

ok.. what the "authorities" link says is that Friesian cows produce the bad kind of milk and Guernsey's produce the good kind of milk. It should come as no suprise that the Friesian cow is a relativly new breed with high milk output favored by the factory farms where they stuff it full of growth hormones to maximize profits, while the Guernsey cow is an old breed with lower milk output (and higher butterfat content) and not favored by factory farms but rather small artisien family organic farms. So, once again, processed factory foods are bad for you. Organic natural foods are good for you.

However, no doubt certain members of MeFi and the other anti-milk lobbies will run with this article and say ALL milk is bad for you *sigh* when in fact its the milk produced by big corporate giants with no regard to consumer health who are at fault. Our health problems are caused by our meddling with the food, not by the food its self. 100 years ago eating healthy was easy. Today, its very difficult because we have been tricked into eating junk that looks healthy. So to sum up, yes the milk you buy in the store is bad for you, but if you can find a famer with raw organic old-breed cows its good for you.
posted by stbalbach at 8:41 PM on March 31, 2003 [1 favorite]

Cue person saying "No animals drink another animal's milk, and anything animals dont do is bad for you."
Which is wrong on several counts...
posted by Iax at 8:59 PM on March 31, 2003 [1 favorite]

Strange. What a weird post to double-post.
posted by Espoo2 at 9:01 PM on March 31, 2003

I've always wondered about human cheese. Anyone?


posted by eyeballkid at 9:22 PM on March 31, 2003

OK, y6y6y6 and Espoo2, how about linking where this was discussed previously instead of just being smartarses?
posted by dg at 9:22 PM on March 31, 2003

slightly different links, same general gist.

instructions: go to search, leave default options, enter 'milk'.
posted by complex at 9:57 PM on March 31, 2003

I missed the first time this was posted too, but for another perspective, (self link) we had a good cow vs. soy milk discussion, a couple weeks ago on brad lauster (dot com).
posted by bradlauster at 10:01 PM on March 31, 2003

Sigh. Triple Post.

For real amusement, check out shepd's comment in the first link and compare it with this one. Not only is it the same, but it's in the same position (3rd post) as well. Kudos!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:09 PM on March 31, 2003

Skallas, see my profile for some books that discount many of the myths about fat and cholesterol. We've been sold a bill of goods. Your right though, the milk in the store is dangerous and to be avoided. Not sure about diapers though. There was a case of a guy in the England in the 1600s who lived to over 140 years old who ate nothing but milk his whole life, mostly soured milk products. Milk is the perfect food it contains everything we need to live. Even today there are people who thats all they live on. Heck, northern European culture was built on milk. Raw milk of course. You don't need it, but sure makes life better having such a concentrated source of nutrition.
posted by stbalbach at 10:12 PM on March 31, 2003

Jesus christ; there's nothing wrong with fat, people. The line of reasoning (fat->cholesterol->heart disease) has been disproven by numerous studies over the last forty years. As it turns out, most kinds of fat that we injest also cause us to break down cholesterol at a rate similar to what the fat causes, so there is little or no effect on healthy people.

As for the protien argument, well, I'm a vegetarian, so I'm happy for the supplement!
posted by kaibutsu at 1:46 AM on April 1, 2003

posted by katy_ at 6:03 AM on April 1, 2003

Didn't we just go over all this? Well, now that I'm here (just for you, whatnot), a couple recent items seem relevant...

* "Neither milk nor a high-calcium diet appears to reduce risk" of osteoporosis fractures.

* "vegan volunteers formed new bone at a significantly faster rate than their omnivore equivalents."

* Too much protein damages kidneys - "On further analysis, the risk was only significant for animal proteins"

I'm with stbalbach as far as "the milk in the store is dangerous and to be avoided." I also agree raw milk is more nutritious than pasteurized, but also more dangerous... how to put this... in pasteurized milk, at least the fecal matter in it is heated to kill the bacteria. Remember worldwide tuberculosis before they figured that out?

As to fat, yes, some fats are good for you, others not so good. The kind in dairy is the not-so-good kind. And even skim milk has its share of problems.
posted by soyjoy at 10:36 AM on April 1, 2003

OK, I crafted this thread poorly, I see that now. The issue was regarding the two different types of milk, A1 and A2 and the concerns that type A1 milk, which is produced in most "modern" dairy farms, causes a range of medical conditions that type A2 milk does not. I guess expecting people to actually read the links was just aiming way too high.

For those who pop up with "double post" etc, I searched on the terms milk+a1 and milk+a2 with no results. This led to the conclusion that this topic had not been discussed or linked before. To say that milk can only be discussed once in the entire history of MetaFilter is just ridiculous.

*Gives up, goes away*
posted by dg at 2:55 PM on April 1, 2003

dg - never mind the post-patrol vocal minority. The subject of milk is very political and has many angles just like the war in Iraq. Anyone who says "double-post" is most likely not interested in the debate so they probably didnt actually read the FPP and just see "milk" and think double post. There will be many more milk posts in the future as this issue continues to be increasingly in the news. Along with lots of other nutrition issues.
posted by stbalbach at 5:03 PM on April 1, 2003

dg - Sorry if it sounded like I was among those saying "double post" - my "didn't we just go over all this?" was referring not to the FPP itself but to some of the comments to the thread before I got to it, which were strikingly similar to stuff on the vegan parents thread, and which I felt deserved addressing.

I'd love to talk about the New Zealand thing. I find it fascinating. The fact does remain, though, that even the "right" kind of milk still has some significant things "wrong" with it, especially as compared to the nostalgic "purest, cleanest and healthiest" vision presented in your post.
posted by soyjoy at 10:11 PM on April 1, 2003

True, soyjoy - my nostalgic view of milk, I am aware, is not quite accurate. *takes off rose-coloured glasses*

I found the A1/A2 milk thing intriguing - who knew that there were two distinct types of milk? There was a show on TV about it the night before I posted this, which prompted me to have a look around and I thought it would make an interesting thread here. The evidence presented was quite strong that the more commercially favoured A2 milk does, indeed, contribute to a range of conditions. As usual, commercial interests are doing their best to discredit the findings, despite having identified and published the risks themselves several years earlier.

Some of the test carried out were inconclusive and a lot of the statistical information seemed a little sketchy as it did not show a true causality due to the failure to eliminate other factors (although that could have just not been mentioned in the TV show). However, I saw enough to convince me that there is something to it and I am curious as to whether it will lead to anything.
posted by dg at 7:31 PM on April 2, 2003

dg - On the TV show, was the spin that A2 contributes to the same conditions as A1, or has its own unique set of problems? Wish I'd seen it. My position is that as problematic as cow's milk can be for humans, you're likely to just make it worse - though it may not be evident right away - by genetically engineering it.

In this case, though, it's hard to sort out the health motives from the profit motives. I'd love to cite this quote - "A2 Corporation chief executive Dr Corran McLachlan said A1 milk was probably the most powerful risk for heart disease yet identified" - but duh, yeah, the CEO of A2 would say that about A1, wouldn't he? Just like the National Dairy Council sincerely believes the only way to get enough calcium is for every man, woman and child in America to drink three glasses of milk every day.

The flip side, of course, is that possibly valuable information is being disseminated about milk proteins in general, but people will shrug it off specifically because it's tainted by this commercial battle.
posted by soyjoy at 8:24 PM on April 2, 2003

See, what's up with this? Exonerating tobacco companies for profit? It makes me seriously question the motives of these folks. And it could cause a backlash against the many legitimate criticisms of milk.
posted by soyjoy at 8:46 PM on April 3, 2003

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