Tuesday, January 8


Like meat, cows' milk can be unhealthy - deadly, even - for humans either in a long-term way or more immediately. Here are two stories reflecting those tendencies, making the case pretty definitively that anyone who considers milk a "health food" needs to wake up and smell the data.

Long-term: Nonfat milk linked to prostate cancer, announces Reuters, referring to two studies that found "the amount of calcium and vitamin D in the diet appears to have little or no impact on the risk of prostate cancer, but the consumption of low-fat or nonfat milk may increase the risk."

The buried lede here is that prostate cancer has long been pegged as tied to dietary fat, but here it's the lower-fat varieties of this substance that are the more dangerous - just as many vegan doctors and researchers have predicted for years. "Skim milk was linked with advanced prostate cancer," the story reports, citing a result common to both studies. "Calcium from non-dairy food, by contrast, was tied to a reduced risk of non-advanced prostate cancer."

Immediate: Third person dies from bad milk is the head for this report on a listeria outbreak tied to a dairy in Massachusetts, a reminder that milk is a product that eminates from an animal's hind end, and as with meat, this can cause problems.

Let's be clear: These three deaths, while tragic, are pretty extreme cases for milk; they're outliers in the overall context. But look at the kind of coverage they've gotten (virtually nill, outside Massachusetts) and compare it to the apocalyptic national hysteria generated by every death that can be taken to have anything to do with veganism. By the standards of Nina Planck and her ilk, these three deaths prove that all cow's milk should be withdrawn from the market immediately, if not before!

UPDATE 1/9: Add to the casualty total a woman who contracted listeriosis from milk and recovered but suffered a miscarriage. And enjoy the standard of fine journalism practiced by the Associated Press in the opening paragraph: "Customers like [Whittier Farms milk] products because they are a hormone-free taste of old New England." Amazing! Alone in the world, this one dairy has somehow figured out how to produce cows' milk for sale that contains no hormones! Someone should look into this - maybe it was that new, secret process that somehow introduced the listeria.

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