I think it might be time to get my own cow - or goat.
February 20, 2007 3:43 PM   Subscribe

 
What does this have to do with Fox News?
posted by delmoi at 3:47 PM on February 20, 2007


What does this have to do with Fox?
posted by niles at 3:48 PM on February 20, 2007


*spits milk across room*
posted by nola at 3:55 PM on February 20, 2007


Perhaps you should watch the video before you comment?
posted by luckypozzo at 3:55 PM on February 20, 2007


Thank the agribusiness lobby for making ownership of fresh milk a serious crime unless you own the cow also.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:02 PM on February 20, 2007


I did watch the video. While Fox News is hardly defendable in their actions, the sentence should have read "IGF-1 is what Monsanto doesn't want you to know is in your milk."
posted by sbutler at 4:06 PM on February 20, 2007


Testoerone. That's the stuff that makes your toes grow gonads.
posted by fungible at 4:07 PM on February 20, 2007


If this were Venezula that Fox affiliate would be burnt to scorched Earth and that dickbag Dave would be hung from a lamp-post with his dismembered taint in his esophagus.

I think they'd be in the right too.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 4:08 PM on February 20, 2007


Good lord. I'm sure glad this isn't Venezuela.
posted by owhydididoit at 4:09 PM on February 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


And you should credit the movie this came from: "The Corporation", which came out in 2003.
posted by fungible at 4:09 PM on February 20, 2007


While looking up what the difference is between rBGH and IGF-1, I found this Wikipedia article. In it, unsourced, it says:

Several countries, including Canada and most of the European Union, have not approved rbST for use due to trade, economic, political and animal welfare concerns; however, dairy products from rbST-supplemented cows are imported and approved as safe by all countries.

If it's true, that greatly weakens the final claim of the video.

Also, your tag is wrong. It's IGF-1, not IGH-1.
posted by sbutler at 4:10 PM on February 20, 2007


in other news, dasani is tap water.
posted by phaedon at 4:11 PM on February 20, 2007


If this were Venezula that Fox affiliate would be burnt to scorched Earth and that dickbag Dave would be hung from a lamp-post with his dismembered taint in his esophagus.
Sadly, I fear actions like that may be about the only way shit like what is outlined in the film is ever going to stop.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:11 PM on February 20, 2007


While I love a good corporate conspiracy theory as much as anyone, it seems that this is part and parcel of milk, and not really something to do with Monsanto. (In the interest of disclosure, I also loved it when I worked for Searle and got to watch people drive their SUVs in from urban sprawl hell to protest what Monsanto was doing to the poor monarch butterfly. Mmmm. Irony.)

While IGF-1 levels are linked to certain types of cancer, the "live forever" crowd seems to think that regular injections of the stuff would be a good thing.

At the end of the day I'd tend to agree with the people who say
"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."
but I think they're going to get the same chilly reception that the "Eat less. Exercise more." crowd gets.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 4:14 PM on February 20, 2007


"In the interest of disclosure, I also loved it when I worked for Searle and got to watch people drive their SUVs in from urban sprawl hell to protest what Monsanto was doing to the poor monarch butterfly. Mmmm. Irony."

Come on though. Youre not really equating that with carcinogenic Quik are you?
posted by Senor Cardgage at 4:19 PM on February 20, 2007


Cowshare Programs.

I know of a few people who own cow shares and their fridges always have delicious raw, fresh milk. As long as the cows are looked after, given clean (vegetable only) food, given adequate space there's no real concern with drinking fresh milk. Pasteuriztion , while good at killing microorganisms, has been shown to weaken many vital protein strains in the milk.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:20 PM on February 20, 2007


Not to sound gross, but isnt fresh pure milk supposed to be chunky and oogy (clinical term)?
posted by Senor Cardgage at 4:22 PM on February 20, 2007


Senor Cardage, the fat floats to the top. You can skim it off to use for other purposes, or stir it up and drink it. It's the same fat that is in pasteurized whole milk.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:23 PM on February 20, 2007


Use it on my toboggan?
posted by Senor Cardgage at 4:25 PM on February 20, 2007


I hope that's not a euphemism.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:27 PM on February 20, 2007


No, you make the very bestest fresh ice cream with it. Unless, of course, your cow has been eating onions. Then your ice cream will taste like bad cow breath.
posted by LordSludge at 4:28 PM on February 20, 2007


Does that video in the last link even mention IGF-1?
posted by mr_roboto at 4:29 PM on February 20, 2007


Its a euphemism for "sled"

(And by "sled" I mean "weenis")
posted by Senor Cardgage at 4:31 PM on February 20, 2007


every thing you really don't want to know about milk
posted by hortense at 4:43 PM on February 20, 2007


I kind of suspect that if the environment goes all Blade Runneresque, the hormones I ingest from drinking milk are going to be the least of the cancer risks I'm exposed to.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 4:47 PM on February 20, 2007


Got MILF?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:48 PM on February 20, 2007


All I know is that I have a blast playing with this fifth titty I sprouted last week, it's really got something over the other four.
posted by The Straightener at 4:51 PM on February 20, 2007


*spits milk across room*

Though I'd like to make your acquaintance sometime, nola, I'm very happy I wasn't across the room from you on this particular occasion.

Of course, he'd be right to spit it across the room. It's hideous and disgusting, what's been done to milk. Horrible. I gave it up altogether some time ago: learned to enjoy my coffee black! One thing strikes me, too, about milk, and that is: it's baby food! No other species on the planet (that I'm aware of) drinks milk in their adulthood. Even if it's not full of hormones, additives, chemicals, whatever, it still seems like a rather odd thing to consume throughout one's life, unless (say, like a Tibetan yak-herder or something), you depend on it as one of the only staples of survival.

Oh, and as fungible mentioned upthread, the video link is an excerpt from The Corporation, which I highly recommend to any and all, in its entirety. A fine documentary.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:57 PM on February 20, 2007


This is why I only drink beer.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:04 PM on February 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


No other species on the planet (that I'm aware of) drinks milk in their adulthood.

Adult cats, dogs, and pigs seems to be okay with it.
posted by owhydididoit at 5:10 PM on February 20, 2007


Then again, one could argue that it isn't their fault.
posted by owhydididoit at 5:11 PM on February 20, 2007


according to the second link, in 236 grams (approx 8oz) of milk, you will find:

0.3 grams of Calcium,
0.000018 grams of IGF-1,
0.000000009 grams of testosterone, and
0.00000000033 grams of estrogen. (All of which are in your body anyway.)

If I were you, I would be more worried about the six trips to McDonalds each week than the milk in your cereal.
posted by ruwan at 5:16 PM on February 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Adult cats, dogs, and pigs seems to be okay with it.

You mean that humans give it to them, though, right? What I'm referring to is what happens "in the wild", that is, what animals do, um, naturally... Humans giving milk to domesticated animals doesn't count, exactly.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:28 PM on February 20, 2007


Aha. owhydididoit, just saw your "then again" comment, so, yeah, that's my point.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:30 PM on February 20, 2007


Adult cats, dogs, and pigs seems to be okay with it.

Cats and dogs both have problems with cow's milk. No idea about pigs, though.
posted by dilettante at 5:40 PM on February 20, 2007


European dairy products are so much better than USian it's not even funny. First time In Europe that I picked up a bottle of milk to have something to put in my coffee, it was so good that I simply guzzled the entire bottle before I could stop myself. And I don't drink milk.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:42 PM on February 20, 2007


Sorry flapjax, I was being flippant. You're right, of course. My "argument" was a bit like saying rats are okay with cocaine.
posted by owhydididoit at 6:17 PM on February 20, 2007


My "argument" was a bit like saying rats are okay with cocaine.

Wait a minute, you mean they're not?

*stops giving cocaine to pet rat*
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:32 PM on February 20, 2007


European dairy products are so much better than USian it's not even funny.

The guy who sells cheese and butter at the flea market here says that what the cows eat makes a big difference (grass/pasture vs. commercial feed).

Mmm, country butter...
posted by dilettante at 6:34 PM on February 20, 2007


I like milk. I drink milk. So far, I haven't seen any scientific evidence that convinces me it's unsafe when taken in moderation. And I know much more about dairy farming practices than the average consumer.
posted by zennie at 6:36 PM on February 20, 2007


If you do a taste test with a good organic brand versus a dairy factory brand, you might easily be able to taste all the excess pus in the factory milk.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:39 PM on February 20, 2007


The guy who sells cheese and butter at the flea market here says that what the cows eat makes a big difference (grass/pasture vs. commercial feed).

Unsurprisingly, "you are what you eat" applies to cows as well.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:42 PM on February 20, 2007


(it's also why Argentinian and Japanese beef taste better than supermarket stock)
posted by Burhanistan at 6:53 PM on February 20, 2007


*stops giving cocaine to pet rat*

Dude, you gotta cut him off slowly or he'll completely flip out.
posted by clockzero at 6:57 PM on February 20, 2007


I switched to rice milk a few years ago. I swear I've had fewer colds ever since.
posted by schoolgirl report at 7:15 PM on February 20, 2007


Oakhurst Dairy, in Portland, Maine, only buys milk from farmers that don't use bovine growth hormone. They put this simple fact on the label. They don't make any health claims. Monsanto sued them for saying on the label that they don't use growth hormones. Oakhurst won.

As a consumer, I want the ability to choose which food additives to freak out about or not. I think the antibiotics in meat are a much worse hazard than the person who doesn't finish his prescription. I'm concerned that the additional hormones in meat may have effects. I'm pretty sure that food safety in the US sucks. A Lot. What I really want is to be able to make choices, and to do that, I need information that Big Agribiz wants to withhold.

And Oakhurst milk tastes better.
posted by theora55 at 7:17 PM on February 20, 2007


Pasteurization [...] has been shown to weaken many vital protein strains in the milk.
Burhanistan, this phrase is meaningless and you might want to stop using it. All your other reasons for drinking fresh raw milk are good - tastes better, scare stories about it are mostly bullshit, not full of all the whack hormones and drugs and shit used by big agribusiness, etc. - but "vital protein strains", no.
posted by nowonmai at 7:38 PM on February 20, 2007


Yep, you're right though your delivery needs work. It actually has been shown to destroy B complex vitamins.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:55 PM on February 20, 2007


Just who the hell did grow up on a dairy farm?
posted by stavrogin at 9:35 PM on February 20, 2007


...know what is in your milk.

But Elsie says (contentedly), "Don't worry, be happy!"
posted by cenoxo at 10:04 PM on February 20, 2007


My father was a newly professional photographer about the time I was born and therefore I have documentation of my early life like I was followed by the paparazzi. As the first grandchild in a conservative Jewish family, perhaps this was to be expected in some respects. Add to the mix a deaf uncle who found a means of communicating with the world through photography, most of my memories have cameras in them and prints or negatives to prove it.

More than thirty years ago, on the day I came home from the hospital, there was a debilitating ice storm. It seems like everyone in town remembers it to this day. Yet when I look at the pictures of my arrival, what stands out to me is the strong, healthy farmland with fresh paint on all the newly patched or recently built barns. This is in stark contrast to the run down combination bar, miniature golf, driving range, function hall, and petting zoo that's there now. Not that these businesses aren't successful in their own right, but the once bustling farm economy that paid a $70,000 bonus to each of the farmers just years after I was born is gone. The barns have either burned down, fallen down, or strain to stay standing. The gravel pit that provided the town with it's fill of dirt stripped the fertile soil of more than ten years worth of farm land just to pay the taxes. The 500 head of cattle which used to wake me up at 3:00 am on their regular break from the fences are gone. The hundreds of acres of corn, alfalfa, and other crops are now worn grass, dirt, or in the way back corner almost completely out of a one mile by one mile stretch of land, a small patch of corn grown for feed grown by a renter.

Oh, sure, this generation of young farmers holds on to their dreams by growing the odd lot of hay here and there. There are a couple of old, but well loved horses in one of the old feeding barns. The milk parlor still stands, but has been stripped of every last bit of valuable material and now holds decades worth of junk just to repay some debts to friends. The failed residential development on one corner of of the land, where only three houses were built on tens of acres of partially developed land before the real estate market collapsed, is a sad memorial to the failure of the dreams of every generation of my fathers family since they came to this country.

It's a sad, almost sickening place that is as much home as any place has ever been in my first thirty years. The family that survives and live on the farm are on the wrong side of the poverty line. The financial arrangements that had once kept the farm running now have imprisoned the financial value of the farm in such a manner that no one alive today will ever live to see the millions and millions of dollars the real estate is worth.

But in the days when I would sell a truck load of corn by the side of the road during the late summer, we were dairy farmers. I drank fresh milk every day. The milk came straight from the holding tanks, before any real processing had happened. Milk was our life. We were proud enough of it to place our family name on the highest man made structure in town, right next to the American flag: our second silo. Given that we lived in a farm town, this wasn't a two story shack. It's a towering, immense structure that held enough food to get 500 head of cattle through the long New England winters, with enough left over to sell to local farmers and businesses.

Today, I can't drink milk or eat most products with milk in it without becoming very ill. I'm not lactose intolerant, despite the obvious symptoms. The water with white food coloring you all have long known as milk is one of the most vile and putrid substances I have ever put in my body. My family grew everything they needed to feed their cows, though they did use fertilizer and pesticides on occasion. They weren't organic farmers, but they could produce more milk per head of cattle than anyone around. Their contributions to the community and farm technology in the area were documented by news cameras and reporters for as long as I can remember. In fact, the only times I've been a major newspaper or on the news have been with cows.

The economics of agriculture have long been artificially manipulated by the government, whether it was subsidies or tax breaks. When the farm failed, it wasn't their own doing. American's produced such a surplus of milk that it drove the price of milk to a point that it was not profitable to produce and Ronald Reagan's government stepped in and offered the Whole Heard Buyout Program which effectively paid farmers not to produce milk. We had so much good milk in 1986 that the government paid people to stop producing it to solve problems that had been artificially created by its own meddling in the first place.

Today, we don't have enough milk producers to have that worry. Instead, we use hormones and unpleasant practices to produces as much milk in as little space as possible. The net result is that we've near perfected the artificial manipulation of our national heard to produce enough white water to keep the price stable enough to be profitable.

Maybe it's not the hormones or the insecticides or any of the artificial means of manipulating a cows output that's the problem. Ask anyone who's spent a serious amount of time on a dairy farm: when your cows are happy and healthy, they produce more milk and the produce better tasting milk. Perhaps this flavor doesn't survive the process through which cow milk becomes white water, but in 1986, years after my parents divorce forced me off the farm, I could still drink store bought milk. Today, the only thing store bought milk is good for is making me vomit, but milk from a holding tank still hits the spot.
posted by sequential at 10:18 PM on February 20, 2007 [37 favorites]


Flagged as fantastic. sequential, that was too good to be the 50th comment in a MeFi thread; it, or a longer piece based on it, belongs in a magazine. The paying kind.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:00 PM on February 20, 2007


This thread read well with some nice Swiss grueyere, non-pastueriszed, from grass-fed, Swiss cows.

This milk, you drink it? I only use it to make my cereal soggy, and the occasional latte.
posted by Goofyy at 11:18 PM on February 20, 2007


wow, sequential, thx for that epic.
posted by progosk at 11:42 PM on February 20, 2007


Its not only that we are the only species that drinks milk after infancy, but the only species that drinks the milk of ANOTHER species. cow milk is designed for calves, not humans. It's high protein/fat content is for the rapid growth of baby cows. What's sad is when cow milk is fed to baby humans. That's just illogical.

I gave up milk 16 years ago and thank god...its revolting. Milk may have been a nutritional option for us many years ago when we had no other source of calcium et al. available, but now its ridiculous. I think it's much better to drink milk from humans (why dont we have breast milk cheese and yogurt and icecream?) or at least goats (who's milk is far more similar to human milk than cow milk is.).

I dont mean to get all John Robbins or anything, but if we ignore how "tasty" milk products are and really look at this, we'd be amazed how absurd it is to drink this stuff.
posted by Dantien at 7:43 AM on February 21, 2007


You still consume meat and dairy products?

Why should I care about the openly suicidal?
posted by bshock at 7:44 AM on February 21, 2007


Where do you stop using that line of reasoning Dantien? If you look at what the other species are up to you can pretty much only justify wandering around the woods naked and immediatly eating whatever you can find.

I doubt most of us would make it to the end of the week.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 11:38 AM on February 21, 2007


Here's a link to an interesting radio program with a somewhat scientific discussion about the whole idea of adult humans "needing" to drink milk. Not so much about the additives, but about why the lifestyle doesn't make nutritional sense for adult critters. And why drinking milk might contribute to osteoporosis.

On the other hand, this program started a huge arguement between my wife and I over how much milk our kids should be drinking. We just found out that the oldest is lactose intolerant (right on schedule, dude!), so I guess I was right all along.
posted by sneebler at 11:41 AM on February 21, 2007


sequential, holy shit man. Fantastic.

Grocery store milk is disgusting. I schlep to Union Square to get myself some nice Ronnybrook Creamline, and it's a whole other thing. Yep, costs four times as much and it's worth every penny.
posted by Skorgu at 11:46 AM on February 21, 2007


bshock writes "You still consume meat and dairy products?

"Why should I care about the openly suicidal?"


You must be tons of fun at parties.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:08 PM on February 21, 2007


Realmilk.com have a good overview of this, including the controversy over Homogenization and Heart Disease
posted by Lanark at 12:20 PM on February 21, 2007


It's Raining Florence Henderson - Got MILF?

Some vegans in Berkley are advertising free rent in exchange for a a steady supply of human milk.
posted by porpoise at 3:44 PM on February 21, 2007


Its not only that we are the only species that drinks milk after infancy, but the only species that drinks the milk of ANOTHER species.

This is a patently silly and ill-thought-out argument to me - other animals don't generally drink milk past infancy simply because they have trouble getting it (if you have paws, it's hard to milk a cow), not because of some magical mystical "mother nature like totally disapproves of drinking milk" reason. Offer milk to most species and they are more than happy to partake. It's not anything other than lack of opportunity that leads to not drinking milk in other species.

And what Kid Charlemagne said.
posted by biscotti at 4:32 PM on February 21, 2007


There is a species of ants that keeps farms of aphids (i think) in their ant nests, and the ants dont eat them. They milk them and then consume the milk.
So suck on that vegans.
posted by Iax at 7:22 PM on February 21, 2007


So suck on that vegans.

On aphid teets?
posted by Burhanistan at 8:25 PM on February 21, 2007


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