The thought of milk always brings back this childhood memory. Or trauma really. I was eight years old, back in Holland after having lived in France for four years and my new Dutch school had a milk programme. For an extra yearly fee, the children would get a small, light blue carton of milk during lunch break. School milk they called it. And of course, you HAD to drink it. Because it was paid for. And because it was healthy.
It was the 80’s and milk was and had been the “engine” of society forever. Healthy children, full of energy, drinking large glasses of milk for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Big strong men, coming home all sweaty after a run, opening the fridge, grabbing a liter pack of milk and drinking it straight from the carton, showing off biceps and abs while swigging it down until the last drop. Whole families having picnics in the park, with brown bread, Dutch cheese and of course, never forget, milk! Full cream milk, skimmed milk and later non-fat milk. Milk with your cereals, milk when you came home from school, milk with honey to make you sleep better, milk, milk, milk…
And all it made me do, was retch. I have a school milk trauma and the little comic strip about a rabbit on the packaging did not ease the pain in any way. Since there was no way around it, I would suck the milk out of the carton as fast as I could, straight from the straw into my throat, trying to get as little milk in my mouth as possible. When the milk was still cold, it would be just about bearable. Much worse would be my suffering when the milk man had come to the school early that day and the milk would be at room temperature. I have to heave just thinking about it. No matter how often I begged my parents to stop paying the milk contribution, for three long years I drank 250 ml of milk every day of the week. Deliverance day came when we moved to Argentina. No school milk programme at the Lycée Français in Buenos Aires. Imagine having to move to the other side of the world to escape this revolting white liquid poison.
Yes, poison. Turns out my revulsion was not unfounded. I was a visionary, already at the age of eight. Milk is yuk.
Published studies nowadays show more and more that milk is in fact UNhealthy. It’s acidic, depletes your body from its natural calcium, its fats are cause for diabetes and heart diseases, low fat milk is even worse than full fat milk and so forth. Don’t take my word for it, just google “milk unhealthy” and you’ll have reading material for the next quarter.
I give you a few quotes and links:
- “Milk depletes the calcium from your bones“
- “Prostate and breast cancers have been linked to consumption of dairy products, presumably related to increases in a compound called insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I)…” (IGF-1 = doping for cows to produce more milk)
- “Some of the “experts” who helped create the [food] pyramid actually work for the dairy industry, which makes the US Department of agriculture’s recommendations reflect industry interests, not science or our best interests. In fact, Walter Willet, M.D., Ph.D — the second-most-cited scientist in all of clinical medicine and the head of nutrition at Harvard’s School of Public Health — is one of the pyramid’s most vocal critics. He’s even called its guidelines “udderly ridiculous.” That’s not something a Harvard scientist says lightly.” Mark Hyman, MD
Reading this makes me want to do more than retch. It makes me want to puke up all the hundreds of cartons of milk I had to drink. Cow milk is for calves, not for humans. We don’t feed our breast milk to other animals, now do we?
Still, you’ll find just as much reading material on why milk is healthy for you. The US and EU agricultural lobby will make sure of that. In the end it’s up to you anyway to decide what to believe.
I choose to forget about milk. Except perhaps for a little drop of white foam to make my espresso macchiato… 🙂