Blinded by milk science

When I was a kid living in Tokyo, I almost started an international incident by asking for a glass of milk at a traditional Japanese dinner. Several of my hosts quickly left the table and were gone for a long time. You would have thought I asked for a glass of blood. Now I understand that most Japanese think cows milk is revolting.

People are really touchy about what they eat. I just got off the boingboing blog where 200 morons were arguing whether raw milk was good or bad (OK, I put in my 2 cents). A number of people were getting all hot about it. On one side they were saying that the value of pasteurization far outweighed the drawbacks and therefore raw milk was bad. The other side was saying raw milk was good because processing destroyed the benefits. The most zealous arguments invoked Science (yes, capitalized) as proof they were right. These science types were very secure in their factoids and this clouded their ability to appreciate different viewpoints.

I was raised in the 50s at a time when science said mother’s milk was bad for you and instant formula was good.

After about half an hour of being gone from the table on a desperate search through the neighborhood, one of my Japanese hosts returned with a can of condensed milk, which was poured into a glass just for me. Yes, I drank it. Yes, I managed a smile and proclaimed it to be delicious.

Those who invoke the Canons of Science to prove their point are such a bunch of know it alls.

I live in the rural US and have access to a wide range of milk products. I only use milk for cutting the tannin in my tea and try to get goat milk, which has less fat. Priorities for selecting milk go this way here: Organic > goat > locally raised > low price > no ergosterol (don’t get me going on that) > pasteurized. If I was in the city, pasteurization would be higher on the list. You really should know the farmer before trusting anything you stick in your oral hole. I don’t advocate distributing raw milk, but I also don’t advocate drinking milk by the full glass. I feel sorry for all the kids who have to drink milk from cows fed hormones and antibiotics.

Cows milk doesn’t really belong in kids. That is why we have mothers. Now the latest science says some mother’s milk has enough chemical byproducts to make it qualify as toxic waste. So I asked them, why don’t one of you science types just waltz on over to the nearest breastfeeding mom and tell her that?

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