January 11, 2013

National Milk Day

"Get off your horse and drink your milk." - John Wayne

It's National Milk Day!

Milk is an important source of nutrition for baby mammals. It contains calcium for bone strength, protein for muscle development, potassium for blood pressure,and zinc for a healthy immune system just to name a few of it's nutrients.

But is it really all that good for us?

There’s been a surge of publicity about milk over the past couple of decades trying to enforce its health benefits and encourage people to drink more of it. For example: the milk mustache ad campaign was very effective on me when I was younger – all those cool celebrities proudly rocking milk stains on their upper lip? As were the commercials about how milk helps reduce belly fat – in college, I went on a huge protein bar and whole milk kick (it was my lunch every day for one semester). Now that I know more about the industry, I can’t say that I’m a huge milk fan. Animals create milk – like humans do – to nourish their babies when they’re first born. Eventually, the milk stops flowing as the child grows older. It is a common misconception to think, then, that cows just naturally produce milk every second of their lives. They create it when they’re pregnant and immediately after. Which means, to satiate the growing demand of global consumption, dairy cows are forced to be pregnant most of their lives. They are even injected/drugged with something called recombinant bovine growth hormones (rBGH) to help them produce more milk than they ever naturally should.

Doesn’t really make me see milk the way PR companies would want me to, does it?

So today, if you’re looking to celebrate - but aren’t into drinking the juice from other mammal’s mammary glands - try a milk alternative. Soy, almond, coconut, and hemp all great and vary in taste, meaning there really is an option for everyone (personally, I love them all). Try one of them today for something different!

Happy National Milk Day!