Milk Scam

Milk+Scam

Monique Shifflette, Cactus Writer

Have you ever given much thought to milk, such as where it comes from, how we obtain it, or what it is? Basically, it’s a nutrient-packed liquid that comes from cows to feed their young, but to humans, it is essential to drink throughout our lifetimes to grow big and strong, or so we’ve been told.
Only a small portion of the world’s population drank it before World War I, and it was primarily drunk in cold climates where it was difficult to grow crops. During World War I, loads of powdered and canned milk were produced and shipped to troops overseas to combat malnutrition, and after the war, the country was left with an abundance of milk and milk products. The milk industry and the government had spent a great amount of time and energy into making the products, so instead of disposing of them, they decided to mass distribute them.
The government started making public service announcements and commercials advertising the “health benefits” of drinking milk, suggesting that it aids in bone-growth. In the 40’s, a law was passed that public schools were required to have cartons of milk served with all school lunches. There was such a surplus of milk that the government was buying out the milk and also sending it to the military and around the world to help fight hunger, but there was still too much milk sitting in storage. President Reagan’s Administration ended up putting the milk buy-out to a halt in a way to cut government spending. The government then created something called the Dairy Checkoff, where dairy producers would pay a fee that would go into advertising for milk, such as commercials like the “got milk?” campaign.
The kicker is that our bodies don’t need milk at all. There are numerous vegetables that have just as much calcium, if not more. After being weaned off of milk during infancy, our body has no other dietary need for milk. That being said, milk isn’t unhealthy, but it is not needed to lead a healthy lifestyle. If you feel like your whole life is a lie and want to boycott the milk industry, next time try mineral water or unsweetened tea instead of milk for your lunch.