Donald Trump says Muslim’s in New Jersey cheered when the 911 towers went down. Despite the lack of evidence, he continues to say it with great conviction. Some people believe if you tell a lie often enough, it becomes true in some people’s minds. Certainly, the dairy industry believes in the virtue of repetition. They’ve been selling the idea milk is good for adults for years. To that end, they have developed large circles of influence among community leaders, participated in federal food programs like WIC (supplementary food program for women and children) and, as a result, the USDA accepts the dairy industry’s claim that 3 glasses of milk should be included in the daily diet. The number of celebrities who have worn a milk mustache above the caption, “Got milk?” are legion.
Though the Union of Concerned Scientists has attempted to counter this campaign with facts, convincing Americans to give up their milk is more difficult than convincing ISIS that black is an unflattering color. Josh Harkinson, in his recent article for Mother Jones (“Cowed” Nov/Dec 2015 pgs. 43-45, 58-59) provides multiple reason why gown-ups should avoid drinking milk. (Ibid, pg. 44.) Walter Willett, head of the nutrition dept at Harvard, for example, has found drinking more than two glasses of milk a day greatly increases the likelihood of prostate cancer in men. This study has been confirmed by others. (Ibid 44).
Women can’t be complacent, either. A paper released last year showed adult females who “drank two and a half or more glasses of milk a day had a higher fracture risk than their counterparts who drank less than one glass a day.” (Ibid pg. 45)
Why milk has a negative effect on adult bodies, no one knows for sure. But D-galactose might be implicated. This component of lactose “seems to trigger inflammation and the formation of free radicals – conditions other research has linked to aging, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.” (Ibid pg. 44) True, these studies are preliminary and the dairy industry uses this fact to deflect negative reports. The “Got Milk?” campaign continues without much challenge.
Soon the USDA will issue new recommendations about foods for daily consumption. A safe bet is that dairy will be high on the dietary list. As Harkinson points out, many of the advisory members to the group have strong ties to that industry. (Ibid, pg. 45).