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    Big Dairy’s Latest Smear Tactic

    There was a time, not too long ago, when one’s milk options were relegated to different varieties of cow’s milk (i.e.: full-fat, reduced-fat, skim, lactose-free).

    Times have changed. Soy was the first plant milk to “go mainstream” in the mid 1990s, and now multiple varieties are on supermarket shelves, including almond, coconut, hazelnut, hemp, oat, rice, and sunflower seed.

    Much like an only child who is the center of attention until a sibling comes along, Big Dairy has started to lash out. “Alternative milks” are no longer relegated to the vegan world; vegetarians and omnivores also purchase and consume plant-based milks. Bad news for Big Dairy (AKA The California Milk Processor Board).

    Behold their latest campaign — “Real Milk Comes From Cows” (tagline: “many imitations, still no equal”). The idea, apparently, is to point out all the ways in which plant milks have cooties. The inane comments can be seen in the screenshot below (you can see a larger version here):

    Coconut milk is described as “spooky” for looking so “real” to cow’s milk. Hazelnut milk is supposed to creep us out because of “stuff on the bottom”. Almond milk is dissed for having a “phony” color. Soymilk is “unveiled” as not coming from a cow (when did it ever claim to?).

    This campaign wants to sell the idea that only dairy milk is “real”. Other milks, we are supposed to believe, are “not natural” and have long ingredient lists with questionable ingredients. Now, for the fun part: pointing out how misguided, inaccurate, and illogical this is.

    • Carrageenan — a seaweed extract used to impart a creamy mouthfeel to some commercial plant milks– is highlighted in this campaign as a sketchy ingredient. Its safety was called into question after a 2001 literature review in Environmental Health Perspectives. In 2003, the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives, which had declared carrageenan safe in 1998, but reopened the case after that 2001 literature review, reaffirmed that carrageenan was safe for consumption. Regardless, carrageenan is not present in all commercial plant milks. Update: As reader Brent points out, carrageenan is sometimes in dairy products, too (i.e.: heavy cream).
    • Carob bean gum, guar gum, and xanthan gum are also pointed out, seemingly to show how “artificial” these plant milks are. The first two gums are made by simply dehusking and milling respective beans into a powder. Xanthan gum, meanwhile, is the end result of sugar fermentation. They are worlds apart from chemical additives, artificial sweeteners, or artificial dyes. And, as with carrageenan, not all plants milk contain these gums.
    • The bottle of “real milk” in this campaign contains skim milk. Come again? “Real milk” is what comes straight from the cow — and it ain’t skim.
    • It’s also quite hypocritical to point out the “weirdness” of hazelnut milk’s “stuff at the bottom”. Talk to any dairy purist and they will tell you that “real milk” is non-homogenized (AKA: “the cream rises to the top”). So, if anything, real milk doesn’t have a uniform look. But, remember, this is Big Dairy. This is not about a small farmer who produces non-homogenized organic milk from pastured cows. This is CAFO-made, corn and grain-fed milk from cows that, very likely, are treated with hormones and antibiotics.

    Big Dairy is clearly afraid. Once the lone shining star, it now has no option but to co-exist among others that are rising in popularity. It’s worthy of a screenplay; one that showcases the plummeting fall from grace of a once-renowned A-lister. It may be time to start penning Dairy Dearest



    1. Barry said on February 16th, 2012

      Andy – You really are my hero. Keep up the good fight!

    2. Brent said on February 16th, 2012

      I might also point out that heavy cream sometimes includes carrageenan, including the Horizon Organic product I happen to have in the refrigerator:

      (from the ingredient list) Organic Grade A Cream (Milk), Sodium Citrate, Carrageenan

    3. Renee said on February 16th, 2012

      Maybe someone needs to teach Big Dairy what my toddler already knows-“Real milk comes from Mommies!” My son will be three soon, and has still never had cow’s milk. He refers to all milk in relation to its source, be it “mommy milk,” a almond milk,” or “cow’s milk” (which he has seen at the store, and we’ve talked about it so he knows what it is. But he still tells me that cow’s milk is for baby cows.).

      We aren’t vegan (he loves his cheese!), but I feel no need to buy in to the ridiculous idea that humans (even growing children) *need* cow’s milk to grow/thrive/survive.

    4. Charles B said on February 16th, 2012

      Be sure to click the Legal Disclaimer link at the bottom center of the page. They don’t want to bore us with any more facts.

    5. Andy Bellatti said on February 16th, 2012

      Excellent point, Brent.

    6. Dairugger XV said on February 16th, 2012

      I don’t mind dairy industry’s propaganda. I wish my tax dollars didn’t go towards funding them when they seem to have such a large advertising budget. Oh, the poor dairy farmers can’t afford million dollar ad campaigns on the taxpayer’s dole, boo-hoo. But that’s a separate issue. Aside from that, they are free to boast about their product and point toward perceived deficiencies in their competitors. I prefer this over their usual attempts to legislate away their competition.

      This goes back much further than the 1990s. Michael Pollan likes to advocate that margarine should be dyed pink like in the “good ol’ days” and labeled as imitation so as not to confuse consumers with butter. He describes it as some sort of helpful legislation meant to protect consumers that we ought to return too.

      But that’s not why those sorts of measures came about. Before I begin, we have to suspend our current knowledge about hydrogenated oils. Remember, back then no one had any idea whatsoever, and by “back then” I mean from the 1800s onwards.

      Butter was expensive, if you couldn’t afford it, you did without. Maybe you used lard if you had access to it. When vegetable margarine came to the scene it was a cheaper alternative. Less well off people had an option to put something yellow and fatty on their bread. But the dairy cartels pushed legislation banning margarine outright. If bans didn’t work, or were lifted, taxes on margarine were levied, expensive licenses were required to manufacture it, laws banning margarine from being dyed yellow (it’s generally white) were implemented, or laws necessitating that it be dyed pink and have terminology like “imitation” on it’s labeling.

      Bootleg yellow margarines turned up, or margarine manufactures found ways around the dye legislation by having the dye accompany the margarine so consumers could mix it in themselves since the manufacturer was forbidden to. Minnesota and Wisconsin (dairy country) had active bans on selling margarine until the 1960s.

      With plant milks, the dairy industry has always pushed against the use of the word milk and has pushed legislation that plant milks be called drinks or beverages. Parts of Europe have these sorts of laws and you will only find soy drink or soy beverage on the shelves.

      To a certain extend I can appreciate the perspective that margarine or plant milks are “fake” and dubious labeling shouldn’t confuse consumers. However, margarines and plant milks have been around for a long time and are their own thing at this point. There was never a monopoly on the word milk and people aren’t confused over the difference between different uses of the same word. If people really are confused, that’s why we mandate ingredient lists on all packaged foods. The use of the word milk for other things than cows’ milk has always existed. Even the word butter is applicable to spreads made from peanuts or apples. This extends to yogurts, creams, and cheeses as well since there are plant-based varieties on the market. The dairy industry pushing against alternatives has more to do with power and control than what’s best for the consumer.

      If anything, the dairy industry should just label their items “cows’ milk.” Plural possessive because what you get in a carton belonged to multiple cows, it’s not like one cow fills each container. Maybe cows’ lactations or cow’s mammary fluids would be even more appropriately specific, certainly can’t confuse lactating with plant sources. Good luck with marketing on that those.

      The dairy industry should be mindful in their attack marketing, because if plant-milk vendors ever want to disparage the dairy industry, it would be all to easy to engage in similar scaremongering and emotional appeals.

      Here’s my bean juice of choice:

      Unsweetened Edensoy, Organic Soymilk
      Ingredients: Purified Water, Organic Soybeans

      I don’t shy away from anything with carrageenan or xanthan gum because I’m not scared of big words if I know what they mean. I’ll admit that I’m not crazy about commercial almond milk though because if you make it yourself it tastes entirely different and I don’t understand the discrepancy.

      Anyway, no odd ingredients in this cows’ milk.

      Organic Valley Omega-3 Milk
      Ingredients: Organic Grade A Milk, Refined Fish Oil (Sardine, Anchovy), Fish Gelatin (Tilapia), Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D3.

      Mmm, fish oil and fish geletin. Just like grandma used to drink!

      Hey, remember back when cows’ milk was a whole food group? One substance, processed into a bunch of different forms and the dairy industry was powerful enough to have their product be deemed a group. Yes, I know sheep and goat milk exists, but how often do average Americans consumer them, if ever.

      Anyway, we’re making progress, now dairy only has that ridiculous glass beside the plate in the latest USDA guidelines.

    7. Rebecca said on February 16th, 2012

      Gotta laugh at the milk graphic! Why isn’t the cows’ milk bottle labeled to include “pus, mucus, skin cells and iodine disinfectant”? And as for the ridiculous “Shake” commercial, the plant-based milks should band together and do an anti-dairy “Sniff” commercial! I mean, didn’t you ALWAYS sniff your cows’ milk to be sure it hadn’t putrified? (And gagged when it so often did!) LOL!

    8. Rebecca said on February 16th, 2012

      And they could use a more honest tagline – may I suggest, “Real misery comes from cows”?

    9. Lorraine Lewandrowski said on February 16th, 2012

      Dairy advertising is paid for by dairy farmers who have a deduction taken from each milk check every week. Here in the Northeast US(Federal Milk Marketing Order One), we have about 13,000 dairy farms, averaging 100 cows apiece. The natural resource that is plentiful in the Northeast is grass, millions and millions of acres of well-watered grasslands in close proximity to the Northeast Corridor, perfect for sustaining dairy cows.
      Roughly 42% of the milk produced on the dairy farms of NY goes directly into fluid milk sold in the Northeast Corridor. Milk sales are vitally important to rural NY. Even minor changes in fluid milk use have the potential to work financial havoc on the farm families. And, yes, that is what we have seen to the point of farmer suicides here in Upstate NY. The small farmers are the ones most impacted by price volatility.
      Andy, if you would look at the statistics on rbgh usage, you will find that most of the farmers of the northeast (the area I am most familiar with)are not into it. Most of the farmers I know simply never got into out out of concern as to what consumers might think and because they were worried about the impact on their cows. Milk is highly tested for antibiotics. Every load of milk is tested every time. If a farmer were caught shipping milk with antibiotics in it, the farmer would be forced to pay for an entire 1/2 tractor trailer load of milk, a penalty of several thousand dollars. Dairy farmers are allowed to treat a sick cow with antibiotics, as you would your child or pet. But…the milk must be thrown away until a laboratory tests it as free of antibiotics. If you don’t believe me, go on twitter and talk to some of the professional animal scientists and cow nutritionists who offer to talk with people.
      I can remember dairy farmers being told to just roll over since the mid-1980’s when the government was telling people to eat margarine as a supposedly more healthy alternative to butter. I distinctly remember being at a dairy meeting in the mid-1980’s when at ad paid for by the dairy farmers to counter margarine was nixed because they were worried what soybean farmers might think.
      As far as dairy farmers are concerned, milk comes from cows as it has for millenia. You can laugh at us as being “Big Dairy” all you wish, but I know and love the many family farmers who sincerely work to put a good product on the table. Personally, I feel that the plant based milks are the product of big industry. We watch as Dean Foods, with its powerful grip on dairy farmers, is covering its bases by also producing soy milk. Many dairy farmers have pushed for keeping milk and dairy products as pure and for enforcements of standards of identity. It is my hope that the public will become increasingly able to discern pure dairy products. Witness the growth of Chobani and Fage yogurts, both of which are relatively pure without fillers. Or, I see Irish butter gaining in popularity here in the US based upon their grassland, high dairy fat image.
      Looking around, I see a rural NY in shambles, empty farms, rundown towns, and now, 3,000,000 acres of abandoned grassland farms. I see that Mark Bittman in NYC pumped your article out for his readers, too. As he lives in one of the most beautiful milksheds in the world, the NY milkshed, I was sorry to see that. We all have different perspectives depending on where we sit. My heart is with the farm families and pure milk as a good food.

    10. McKel said on February 17th, 2012

      Hey Andy
      Great post! When I saw this ad from Big Dairy the other day the first word that came to mind was, ridiculous. So thanks for putting up great information for those who may be swayed by marketing tactics and from lack of knowledge on plant-based/ dairy alternative milks.

      Poor Big Dairy- they tried? ha

      McKel 🙂

    11. Stephanie said on February 17th, 2012

      That’s exactly what I was going to point out, Rebecca! That should list the pus, mucus, etc that is in dairy milk. Of course they fail to mention that milk comes from all mammals. Dairy farmers don’t have the market cornered for using the term “milk” since technically we could consume milk from any mammal that exists if we had the bug wigs in Washington backing us up. My boyfriend actually posted a YouTube video making fun of the “milk shaking” ad they posted recently. Because it sooo difficult to turn a container upside down and move it a little! I would rather do that then have many of the medical procedures from the health issues dairy can cause…

    12. Hunter said on February 17th, 2012

      Out of all the “cow milk” altenatives, can you tell us which one is the healthiest? I have heard some negative stuff about Soy Milk recently.

      I have been drinking Almond Milk with no sugar added.

      P.S. I don’t think I will be getting my act together to make my own milk at home any time soon either! 🙂

    13. Andy Bellatti said on February 17th, 2012


      I always say the healthiest one is the unsweetened kind. I would go with whichever one you like best based on flavor.

      With soy, always look for organic and non-GMO.

    14. mish said on February 17th, 2012

      That’s the most fucktarded corporate BS *ever*. I have diverticulitis and cwn’t have much dairy. I choose yogurt and also goat’s milk. what, do goats have “creepy eyes” so avoid??? Fucking please, that’s pathetic. I am a proud Rice Dream user. I guess we’ll hear next how rice makes your eyes slanty…..

    15. Lidia said on February 17th, 2012

      Real milk comes from giraffes, rats, pigs, dogs, dolphins, etc, etc. how conveniently they left out what is found in milk – antibiotics, hormones, white blood cells, pain and suffering of dairy cows that are artificially inseminated to keep them pregnant and lactating while their babies become veal chops. Big fail!

    16. Lorraine Lewandrowski said on February 17th, 2012

      Dairy farms, cows, grasslands, cheeses, milk are all part of the beautiful landscape of my part of the country, the northeast. As a traditional food, real dairy products are a part of a long food tradition in my Eastern European culture going back into millenia. We have been proud of our cattle for hundreds of years now in my family. The family dairy farms of the northeast provide buffer zones from developing urban areas, wildlife habitat, unfragmented chunks of land sheltering some of the grassland bird species whose populations are plummeting in the northeast as urban sprawl smashes habitat further. Dairy: its a beautiful thing.

    17. Emily Catherine said on February 17th, 2012

      I have always loved coconut and hazelnuts. I will take xanthan gum and vanilla flavoring ANY DAY over pus, blood, bleach, and suffering.

    18. Diana Field said on February 17th, 2012

      To Lorraine Lewandrowski,

      Even though you have always lived in dairy country and owned dairy cows-even you have to admit that having always done something does not make it right.

      Just because you see a dairy farm as an idyllic oasis of beauty and joy-most people don’t buy into that picture anymore. We know what goes on “behind” the scenes. We’ve evolved and no longer believe what someone tells us without questioning it.

      We know that cows are kept pregnant to produce milk for humans who shouldn’t be drinking it anyway.

      We know that their babies are torn from them at birth and fattened up for veal or allowed to grow into more sad dairy cows.

      We know that the only being that should rightfully be drinking cows milk is a baby cow.

      We know that what’s added to milk nowadays is toxic to humans and is making us sick in record numbers.

      We aren’t stupid and we can read the research that proves that continuing to produce and use cows milk is wrong on every, single level.

      Most importantly, we know that people like you who stand behind the practice are doing it for ONE reason only-the almighty dollar. That’s your real bottom line.

      You don’t care how unhealthy it is, nor how cruel it is to the cows who are abused in the production process. You only care how much money you can make off it.

      Continuing a “tradition” just because it’s been done for a long time is a poor excuse, especially when you know there is so much pain and horror involved in it.

      I am curious how you can be “proud of your cattle”, when they suffer so much. Are you proud of them for bucking up and taking one for the team when they lose their babies at birth, or when they are so weak from years of milk production that they are slaughtered for meat or dog food?

    19. Mama Jo said on February 18th, 2012

      Andy have checked out Meghan the Veghan utube…. she is comical. Less sugar/wine in her bites and she would be Kale. Perfecto for a great person of Small Bites.

    20. Lauren Slayton said on February 18th, 2012

      Outrageous, take cow feed it corn, give it antibitiocs and some hormones, skim it to concentrate the androgens (yum), that’s “real”? OK I’ll have fake in this case.

    21. Dairugger XV said on February 18th, 2012

      Replying to Lorraine Lewandrowski,

      Diana Field and a few other have already covered the animal ethics reasons as to why some people are shifting away from dairy. I don’t think these reasons are all the convincing to you, and as that aspect has been covered I won’t dwell on it further. I will address your empasisoned defense of dairy farmers directly.

      “Dairy advertising is paid for by dairy farmers who have a deduction taken from each milk check every week.”

      Diary farmers should stop agreeing to pay for advertising. Diary farmers should raise the price of their product if they can’t make ends meet. Sorry, the dairy industry is directly subsidized by taxpayers and bolstered by government entitlement programs. The dairy industry is often indirectly subsidized because feed is directly subsidized (unless organic feed I presume).

      “I know and love the many family farmers who sincerely work to put a good product on the table.”

      I love farmers too, no one is saying that they hate farmers. Want to be a farmer, change your product to meet changing demands. No one is entitled to a career niche especially if the market changes. Print publishers are having a hard time. Times change, no one is suggesting that we buy newspapers or hardcover books that we don’t want to support an industry for the sake of supporting it.

      My guess is that most of those upstate dairy farmers are conservatives, they probably believe in the market forces of capitalism. Perhaps a few generation ago, dairy was too big to fail and that’s why subsidies exist, but those days are over for dairy farmers. Yes, it’s difficult to be made obsolete, but that’s what happens. I face it in my own career as well; no one is going to support my dying profession out of the goodness of their heart. I need to adapt.

      “I can remember dairy farmers being told to just roll over since the mid-1980′s when the government was telling people to eat margarine as a supposedly more healthy alternative to butter.”

      According to the best information at the time, it was understood as a healthier alternative to butter. There was nothing sinister at work. Even today, non-hydrogenated margarine is still perceived by some nutritionists to be a healthier alternative to butter. Butter brands have butter prodcuts healthier alternative to butter: light versions, butter oil blends, etc. Milk is fragmented into a variety of health options ranging in fat content. From 1956 until 1992, dairy was included in government guidelines as its very own food group out of four suggesting 3-4 servings of dairy be consumed every day for good health. On one hand the United States has had a strong dairy culture and there were nutritional reasons to promote dairy appropriate to our knowledge back then. But we do know that strong and influential dairy lobbing was significant in creating this grouping.

      What is of importance here is that even with government guidelines declaring dairy as an entire food group, the industry was still apparently battling to maintain its enormous market share. I suspect, that even back then, that the dairy industry was already too large, and the contraction that has been happening over the years, is to be expected.

      “Looking around, I see a rural NY in shambles, empty farms, rundown towns, and now, 3,000,000 acres of abandoned grassland farms.”

      Times change. Sorry that we don’t all live in small farms anymore, but that’s just how the world went. It’s not like farms in Update New York have been there forever. If farmers can appreciate life and death among their animals, they can appreciate the ebb and flow of cultures and communities. Nothing lasts forever. Most of it wasn’t natural grasslands anyway, before European settlers arrived, the Northeast United States was a mostly forested area.

      I can appreciate the issue that as these farms disappear, poor suburban development pours in, but the solution isn’t to keep cows around a buffers, the solution is to come up with sensible land management and conservation strategies.

      “As a traditional food, real dairy products are a part of a long food tradition in my Eastern European culture going back into millenia.”

      But there were no cows in update New York or in North America a millennia ago. This isn’t Europe, It’s “New” York of the New World, and this idea that our countryside should be European, or demands the same cultural imperative to maintain it as such, just isn’t there. I can appreciate a British or French community keeping its very old countryside intact. There certainly is a legacy there, some of those farms have been there for centuries almost unchanged. Upstate New York? Not so much.

      “I see that Mark Bittman in NYC pumped your article out for his readers, too. As he lives in one of the most beautiful milksheds in the world, the NY milkshed, I was sorry to see that. We all have different perspectives depending on where we sit. My heart is with the farm families and pure milk as a good food.”

      If the dairy industry didn’t collectively abuse its power for so many years, perhaps I and others could muster a bit more sympathy. The mighty has fallen, that’s going to draw some jeers. Yes, I guess when a company or organization some people don’t care for has difficulty or goes under, it’s really the “little guys” just doing their job, trying to eek a paycheck, that get hurt the most. I dislike cigarettes, — and I’m not comparing cigarettes to dairy, that’s not my point — I’m not particularly fond of cigarettes and wish they would go away, but somewhere there’s an old tobacco farmer with a family to support who would have to find another way to make a living.

      And so it goes.

    22. Lorraine Lewandrowski said on February 18th, 2012

      OK, Diana, since you took the time to give your views, I will take the time to tell you a little more of our lives as dairy farmers. First of all, we farm on the grasslands of NY. These are the millions and millions of acres of grasslands north of NYC. Grasslands are a huge natural resource capable of feeding people in the nearby Northeast Corridor. From an ecological point of view, it is not a good idea to plow up perennial grasslands to grow crops, hence, grazing is the wisest use of these lands. There are studies linking increased biodiversity to grazing of the lands, as cows pass over, grass is used and biodiversity actually increases. Take a look at http://www.SavoryInstitute.com or .org I forget which one it is. Here in NY, as the grazing dairy farms have been going out of business, ecologists are alarmed because it means grassland bird species are in big trouble here with their populations plummeting. Read “Plan for Conserving Grassland Bird Species” by Audubon NY.
      The farms in my part of the state act as buffers against subdivision. For every dairy farm that falls in my neighborhood, it is replaced with large lot subdivision of people who mow out and destroy the natural habitat required to keep birds and other species who rely on large open lands. Farms also act as watershed buffers and flood prevention. During Hurricane Irene, the huge wetland bowls on my farm acted as big holding basins protecting the village located in the valley below us.
      Some comments on cruelty to animals. I would appreciate it if you did not call me an animal abuser. We do our best to provide our cows with a good life. You accuse me of being controlled by the almighty dollar. OK, making enough money to pay the land taxes is a good thing, but if I wanted a career that makes a ton of money, I would have to move to the city. My main goal is to safeguard the land in my lifetime, keeping it wild and pretty. Cows are part of the landscape here in rural NY.
      About keeping cows pregnant. In nature, cows would be non-stop pregnant. Farmers actually slow that down with good animal husbandry, re-breeding a cow when she is ready. About taking calves away from cows. Yes, our little heifers live in their own areas with the age group. Most of them are fed their mother’s milk, or as they get older a milk replacer. We have found this to be the safest way to raise little calves. We have seen numerous little calves trampled by the larger cows. Also, a newborn calf’s naval is an open pathway to germs. It has worked out best for us to put the new little calves into nursery areas bedded with fresh sawdust.
      I can write more about all of this, but who knows if you are interested or not. Are you?

    23. Lori Lieberman, RD, CDE, MPH, LDN said on February 18th, 2012

      The issue I have with many of the milk alternatives is that they fail as substitutes for milk nutritionally, particularly regarding protein content), if that is the intent of the consumer. With the exception of soy milk, “milks” like almond, rice, hemp and others genereally have only 1 gram of protein, significantly fewer calories (not a positive for many including growing kids) and variable amounts of calcium and vitamin D fortification. Perhaps I’d have no issue if they didn’t refer to them as milks. Then the consumer wouldn’t see them as fair equivalents.

    24. Andy Bellatti said on February 19th, 2012


      I don’t see how these milk alternatives fail in any way, shape, or form. Most are fortified with calcium and vitamin D (and offer a much better magnesium-to-calcium ratio than dairy).

      The protein issue is a moot point. Protein is found in every food group, and Americans already get plenty. Besides, soy milk offers just as much protein as dairy milk.

      Americans shouldn’t be concerned about protein (which they get plenty of); they should instead be more mindful about getting enough fiber and magnesium (two things the average American does not consume enough of) by eating more plant-based foods.

      Fewer calories than dairy? Not always true, and no need for that to be a concern. Non-dairy milks can easily be used for smoothies. If it’s more calories one seeks, blend them with a banana and some almond butter and you’re good to go.

      Back to the vitamin D issue: thee amount of vitamin D fortified in foods is paltry compared to what people should be supplementing. As I have explained in other posts (http://smallbites.andybellatti.com/3-little-known-vitamin-d-facts-you-must-know/), the 600 IU recommendation is way too low, so supplementation is needed by most people.

      The notion that plant milks are “inferior” to cow’s milk is inaccurate and does not take into account the totality of a person’s diet.

    25. Diana Field said on February 19th, 2012

      To Dairugger XV, I was really interested in your ideas about huge industries that need to change or reinvent themselves with the change in times. You gave good examples and it gave me a lot to think about.

      To Lorraine Lewandrowski, I appreciate your giving more info. I would like to ask if you really don’t use any calves as veal? With so many new calves born, you can’t possibly keep all of them. I understand that female calves will usually be allowed to live so as to become milk cows themselves. But the reverse is that male calves are sent off to become beef or veal. Slaughterhouses at the ready.

      Also, I think with proper land conservation, we will be able to provide for all wildlife needs as well as ecosystem needs, flood buffers, etc., in our country. I don’t believe that saving birds and other wildlife is contingent on raising cattle. Quite the reverse, raising cattle contributes to greenhouse gasses that ultimately harm all animals, including humans.

      “A 400-page United Nations report from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) states that the livestock sector is “responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions”. The production of cattle to feed and clothe humans stresses ecosystems around the world, and is assessed to be one of the top three environmental problems in the world on a local to global scale.”

      “The report, entitled Livestock’s Long Shadow, also surveys the environmental damage from sheep, chickens, pigs and goats. But in almost every case, the world’s 1.5 billion cattle are cited as the greatest adverse impact with respect to climate change as well as species extinction.”

      Also, we have allotted so much feed grain to the meat and dairy industries that we’ve shorted the human population of food sources. People go hungry because much of our arable land is used to grow feed grain for animals rather than people. As a result, we have starving people in a world that is rich in plant food sources. That is wrong.

      I am saddened by a world that thinks it is fine to feed copious grains to poor animals who then become meat for the masses. If we fed most of those grains to humans there would be no starvation in our world. And no animals suffering in slaughter houses, veal crates, battery cages, etc.

      I didn’t call you an animal abuser per se, but you do contribute to the death and abuse of animals by your profession-there is no way around that.

      I want a world that all people are fed well, and all animals live a life free of terror, torture, fear and pain. I’d like to think that’s not asking too much if everyone works together….

    26. Diana Field said on February 19th, 2012

      To Lori,

      Most people read labels nowadays and can easily see that plant “milks” do not have as much protein, except for soy milk.

      We are a country that gets too much protein to begin with. We don’t need dairy milk to provide it. There are many great plant sources for protein.

      Interestingly, almond milk has been noted and used since the middle ages and before, and it was called “almond milk” even back then. Dairy does not own the monopoly for the term “milk”.

      As an RD, I am surprised that you jump on the dairy milk bandwagon-have you read the China Study? I think it needs to be required reading for all health professionals.

      We are an obese, lazy nation who sits contentedly gorging on huge amounts of animal protein, dairy and fats and doing very little to no exercise. Americans are the heaviest they have ever been, and as our western diets move into other countries, those people are also encountering the same health problems. It is the fatty meat based, milk based food that is the problem. Plus, of course, all the hormones, additives, preservatives and chemicals added to those foods.

      That health problems are claiming millions of lives a year are no surprise. Plant based diets for health, and compassion towards animals is the way to go, and can be our future if we only wise up to the benefits.

      Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a huge help in understanding how a plant based diet will reverse health problems or prevent them in the first place:


    27. Andy Bellatti said on February 19th, 2012


      I highly recommend you read this article: “Protein Propaganda: It’s What’s For Dinner” — http://grist.org/food/protein-propaganda-its-whats-for-dinner/

    28. Dairugger XV said on February 20th, 2012

      Andy Bellatti said,
      “With soy, always look for organic and non-GMO.”

      Is there a GMO brand of soymilk on the market? I ask in earnest because I’ve checked most of the brands that I know, and even the ubiquitous ones like Silk and 8th Continent claim to use non-GMO soybeans.

      There’s always this attached warning with soymilk and tofu to eschew GMO, but it may be adding a layer of unwarranted concern since at least in my area, there is no GMO soymilk or tofu.

      As for organic, most every brand of soymilk and tofu either has an organic line or the entire line is organic.

      I get the feeling that GMO soybeans are for feeding livestock and making soybean oil. If anyone knows of a GMO soymilk or tofu brand, post a comment, because I’m really curious if there is one out there.

    29. Andy Bellatti said on February 20th, 2012


      Keep in mind that this blog is read in many countries, not just the USA.

    30. Dairugger XV said on February 20th, 2012

      I was actually thinking of brands outside of the US too though I didn’t mention it.

      GMO is an American product; outright banned in other regions.

      When I’ve been in Europe, I haven’t seen GMO soymilk or tofu either. I’ve been to the Caribbean and Central America, and the brands are non-GMO as well. I have a rough idea of what brands are available in places like Australia. Asia, I’m clueless, although, from checking out Korean markets near me with some imported brands of soy drinks, I seem to remember them being non-GMO, though I’m not that sure.

      It may be simpler to say, “avoid such and such brand due to concerns of GMO,” than to offer general warnings of GMO soymilk as if it is a widespread issue.

      If people outside of the United States know of a GMO soymilk or tofu brand, I welcome their input.

    31. Andy Bellatti said on February 20th, 2012

      It is much easier to make a general recommendation that people look for organic and non-GMO varieties than to identify brands from 196 different countries.

    32. sahara saige said on February 20th, 2012

      I like milk both plant and animal-based and I think that cows’ milk is being targeted unfairly. I think that the problem is not with the milk itself but rather the harmful practices of “industrialized” farming. I have a feeling that as soon as these plant-based milk are being “industrialized”, we are going to see the same king of articles targeted at these Vegan milks.

    33. Diana Field said on February 21st, 2012

      Sahara-are you actually comparing plant milk that harms NO living being-with cows milk that contributes to the horrible treatment and ultimate death of cows and their babies every single day?


    34. Ken said on February 21st, 2012

      Has anyone taken a freshly place carton of milk and gone to the expense and had it tested, one should do that and then do a refresh of the same ad, using their ingredients of what’s been analyzed in side.

    35. neha said on February 23rd, 2012

      i think we have to look not just at the ads (which are pretty dumb if you ask me) but at the people who sell real milk so they are not affected, not by the ´giants´who not only cut into their income but make them look bad and what constitutes milk in the first place.

    36. Shreela said on March 17th, 2012

      “Analgesics is tested with Lambda carrageenan as dilute carrageenan solution when injected subcutaneously leads to swelling and pain.”

      Although having had 2 colonoscopies, there were no reports of lesions, so maybe “leaky gut” allows carrageenan to pass into my gut tissues, causing bad pain and swelling.

      IMO, Brent is correct in that almost all bigger commercial creams now contain carrageenan. The few that don’t are the ultra-pasturized.

      About 1/2 of the Half and Half’s now have carrageenan, some yogurts (I don’t buy commercial yogurts, so I don’t keep on on it), almost all bigger commercial ice creams, Walmart’s Tyson and Kroger Brand’s commercial raw chicken has in injected, many commercial deli packaged-sliced chickens and a few deli sliced hams, most
      vegan “milks”, and quite a few frozen lunch entrees.

      At this time (early 2012), sour cream and cheeses are safe from carrageenan. It’s what’s forcing me to change to a traditional, whole foods diet, for almost half of commercial foods cause me bad pain and swelling!

      Goats are legal where I live, with a permit. I’ll be looking into what’s required, and commercial dairies and alt-milk companies can kiss my $ bye bye!

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    1. Big Dairy’s Latest Smear Tactic on Ecocentric Blog | Food, Water and Energy Issues
    2. Andy Bellatti on the Dairy Industry’s Attack on Vegan Milks
    3. Look Who’s Afraid! Dairy Industry Launches Ad Campaign Dissing Plant-based Milks | One Green Planet