Sunday, July 08, 2012

Drink milk? By the glass? You're joking, right?

Lactose intolerance is a good place for the writer Bittman to begin refuting the hegemony of milk, as well as noting that no other animals insist on drinking milk taken from other animals following the period immediately after birth.

To me, it's always been aesthetic. Milk is little more than liquid snot, and to drink it by the glass has struck me as revolting for over thirty years. It's just a bonus to be "un-American" by rejecting milk in liquid form, although I've returned to eating cereal with soy milk as moistening agent.

I adore cheese, cream-based sauces, dairy-laden desserts and Milk Stout; obviously, I can tolerate lactose, but drink it from a glass?

That's just wrong. Yuck.

Got Milk? You Don’t Need It, by Mark Bittman (Opinionator; New York Times)

... Today the Department of Agriculture’s recommendation for dairy is a mere three cups daily — still 1½ pounds by weight — for every man, woman and child over age 9. This in a country where as many as 50 million people are lactose intolerant, including 90 percent of all Asian-Americans and 75 percent of all African-Americans, Mexican-Americans and Jews. The site helpfully suggests that those people drink lactose-free beverages. (To its credit, it now counts soy milk as “dairy.”)

There’s no mention of water, which is truly nature’s perfect beverage; the site simply encourages us to switch to low-fat milk. But, says Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, “Sugar — in the form of lactose — contributes about 55 percent of skim milk’s calories, giving it ounce for ounce the same calorie load as soda” ...

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