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  • If you've opened a magazine in the past 20 years, this is probably a familiar image.

  • It's easy to flip past these ads and think, “Hey, great. Stars promoting a healthy

  • alternative to sugary sodas and sports drinks,” awesome

  • There's this idea that we have to drink milk to be healthy.

  • But where did that idea come from? There are

  • plenty of foods with just as much calcium, potassium and protein

  • Willet: Individuals can be very healthy with no dairy consumption at all.

  • In fact, a quarter of Americans can't even digest milk!

  • and researchers have found that people who drink lots of milk aren't any less likely

  • to get fractures. milk was a bad choice

  • And yetthe federal dietary guidelines recommend three servings of dairy a day. Why!?

  • Willet: Our dairy industry has become a very powerful economic force

  • For most of human history, milk was a small part of the lives of a small number of people.

  • Willet: Milk was really a survival technology for living in cold places where the long winters

  • made it difficult to grow fruits and vegetables. Then, around World War I, The US government

  • sent huge amounts of canned and powdered milk overseas, to fight malnutrition among soldiers.

  • And farmers made huge changes in response. Many got rid of their other crops to focus

  • exclusively on dairy. But when the war ended, demand dried up, and

  • the country was left with a whole bunch of milk it didn't need.

  • At this point, farmers and milk processors had invested too much to shift away from large-scale,

  • year-round milk production So instead of making less milk, they convinced

  • people to drink more. “Milk educationcampaigns in public schools

  • encouraged students to drink four glasses a day.

  • And milk producers got a boost from legislation that created the national school lunch program

  • in 1946, and required those lunches to include a glass of whole milk.

  • Even with all this promotion, the U.S. still saw huge milk surpluses in the 1940s and 50s.

  • So the federal government started buying up the extra. It sent some to schools, the military,

  • and to other countries as food aid. But much of the surplus sat unused in vast, underground

  • storage caves. By 1980s, the government was spending $2 billion

  • a year on surplus milk. The Reagan Administration, in its quest to cut government spending, put

  • a stop to the buying program. That didn't sit well with dairy producers.

  • They convinced Congress to change the rules so that they could create something called a dairy checkoff.

  • Dairy farmers would into the checkoff with a mandatory fee. That fee would

  • go toward advertising campaigns aimed at making people buy more milk. And the U.S. Department

  • of Agriculture would approve those campaigns. TheGot Milk?” Ads are one example. The

  • fees also pay for partnerships with restaurants like Domino's, Taco Bell and Starbucks to develop dairy-heavy menu

  • items, like a pizza with 40% more cheese. This means the USDA, the same federal agency

  • writes our dietary guidelines, is also in charge of a multi-million dollar campaign

  • to get us to eat a cheese pizza where one piece has two-thirds of a day's maximum

  • recommended amount of saturated fat. So, if we know milk isn't necessary, then

  • why not change the recommendation? Instead of milk with every meal, why not tell people

  • to drink water? Willet:...I think it's impossible at this

  • point in time...because the political forces would not allow the dietary guidelines to say antying about limiting

  • red meat or dairy consumption. The dairy industry gives millions to politicians,

  • who protect their interests whenever the nutrition guidelines come up for review

  • Susan Del Bene: how do we continue to make sure students have access to appealing and

  • nutritious dairy products? Glenn Thompson: what can we do to remove policies

  • that are hindering milk consumption or promote policies that enhance milk consumption?

  • Milk and other dairy products can be a part of a healthy diet, but the idea that they're

  • essential? That's just marketing. And it's not like there's broccoli trade groups giving

  • money to politicians and running multi-million dollar ad campaigns. If there were, our dinner

  • tables might look a little different.

If you've opened a magazine in the past 20 years, this is probably a familiar image.

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B1 US Vox milk dairy consumption dietary drink

How big government helps big dairy sell milk

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    joey joey posted on 2021/04/21
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