I’m pro-dairy products like skim milk and Greek yogurt and have a ridiculous fondness for cheese. Unfortunately for me, I’m slightly lactose intolerant and have a whey sensitivity, so I have to avoid milk, yogurt and soft cheeses (like ricotta) though I can tolerate other forms of cheese pretty well. So when I sat down to watch the documentary, Got the Facts on Milk?, I really didn’t want to like it. However, I found it entertaining, funny and well done.
Stretching the truth?
Yet there were things about the documentary that bothered me. For example, Got the Facts on Milk? uses inflammatory statements about what’s in milk to, in my opinion, unnecessarily alarm audiences. For example, several of the experts interviewed explain that there are white (somatic) cells in milk, which they start calling “pus,” implying that milk is dirty or has infection in it.
All mammalian milk, including human breast milk, naturally contains white cells. They’re present in milk because the mom is passing them to the baby to build their immune systems to help them fight infection. Now, if you want to argue that people don’t need cow white cells, I’m fine with that. But don’t call it pus to upset viewers. After all, you wouldn’t tell a human mom who’s breast feeding that she’s giving her baby pus, would you?
Another example is the Vitamin D that is added to milk, which has pretty much eliminated conditions like rickets in this country. Got the Facts on Milk? points out that it comes from lanolin that is removed from sheep’s wool. An interesting fact, but who cares? After all, lanolin is what nursing (human) moms put on their cracked nipples when they’re breast feeding. And we put it on our babies’ bottoms when they have diaper rash. However, if you have a lanolin allergy, you should probably avoid drinking milk with Vitamin D in it.
Still, Got the Facts on Milk? does point out some facts about milk advertising (the “Got milk?” campaign) that you should pay attention to. The dairy industry is in the business of selling their products, and they do it whether they’re pressuring the schools to offered sugary flavored milk products or trying to convince you that milk helps with PMS. You should question all advertising whether it comes from a commodity board, a brand, the government, or here on my blog.
Face it, most people are lactose intolerant and can’t drink milk or consume dairy products without side affects like gastric distress. So to hear that schools are forcing milk on kids who come from populations that didn’t grow up with dairy products - Native Americans, Asians and African Americans – is very disturbing.
Also, I did like how Got the Facts on Milk? discussed the use of recombinant bovine growth hormone, which has many people concerned, myself included. The best way to avoid rBGH is to buy organic milk or from a dairy that doesn’t use it. However, the documentary never points this out as it seems to go against their “milk is bad, so you’re either with us or against us” philosophy.
Make an informed decision
It’s a biased film, but then I’m biased as well. So if you’re interested in viewing the film, check their facts, read what the dairy industry has to say, and what independent researchers have found about milk. Then make an educated decision on what’s best for you and your family.
You can learn more about Got the Facts on Milk? at www.milkdocumentary.com.