Monday, June 22, 2009

Whats in my milk ?



Definitely an odd question I would say and if you had asked me this question a couple of years back I would have innocently and perhaps naively answered that it was just milk. Of course that would have been before I read about rbst, rbgh and palmitate. What are all these things, well rbst and rbgh are terms interchangeably used to refer to a growth hormone administered to cows to increase the output of milk. There is some controversy with regard to the effect of this rbst and rbgh on the human body with some studies showing that it may have a negative impact on our bodies and may make humans more vulnerable to some types of diseases. For a detailed article on rbst and rbgh click here

Milk 4



Since I read about this I have switched to rbst free milk and actually drive extra miles to go into a grocery that I would not otherwise frequent just to get this type of milk. Then a week back I read about palmitate. What is palmitate and what is it doing in my milk, the explanation I found online for this is that palmitate is a oral form of vitamin A that is added to fat free and low fat milk to add back some of the vitamins that are removed from the milk along with the fat. So if it is vitamin A then it should be good for us right?...... there should be not problem in having that right?...... how I wish that were the case!

Unfortunately WHO has some concerns that this form of vitamin A when taken in our diet may make us more susceptible to cardiovascular diseases. Of course wiki also mentions that there are not enough studies to back this concern raised by WHO. If you want to read the explanation given in wiki for palmitate click here

Frankly all these artificial enhancements to milk make me very wary and now in addition to looking for rbst/ rbgh milk I have also switched to using whole milk instead of low fat or fat free. I would much rather workout the extra calories from the milk I consume than have to worry about the side effects of artificial additives in my milk. There is a side benefit I get since I switched from low fat to regular milk.....the milk tastes markedly better than the low fat version. How do you feel about such additives, please share your thoughts in this matter, I would love to hear how you feel on this topic!

29 comments :

A2Z Vegetarian Cuisine said...

Thanks Usha...for such a informative post...keep it up..

Happy cook said...

i didn't evneknow there were artifcial substance in milk.
I dodn't drink milk , unless in summer when i make milkshakes.
Or when i make desserts etc.......
A educative post this is for all of us.
Wil check out the link.

Smitha said...

I use rBst free milk too. I too plan on buying the whole fat version from now on. Thanks.

Varsha Vipins said...

I am using Organic whole milk since sometime..a few extra bucks,but always worth it I feel..:)

Shama Nagarajan said...

Nice post dear...enjoyed reading...

Vidya said...

Thanks for the informative post. I've always used whole milk - didn't like the taste of low fat milk. I use organic milk for drinking, chai etc. For making curd, I use the milk without growth hormones. I am so glad Publix has it.

Superchef said...

i generally use whole milk only..but never actually looked out for rbst free milk..maybe i should.

kittymatti said...

I hate the milk here.. It is just powder milk, not like the fresh milk u get in India.I use rbst free milk only..but i drink 2%..i find whole fat very rich and heavy...it is hard to have it reguarly..Ofcourse i just need to get used to it.. anyways, this is something I still have to change...

Pavithra said...

Usha this is really informative.. well i am happy that i am using Free rbst treated milk..Only i went and read the thing after seeing ur post.. so useful post,

Girl Japan: April Marie Claire said...

What? I had no idea? Wake up call....

sowmya said...

very informative..something which i never imagined..

Chitra said...

Thanks usha,this post is very useful..all the info u have given r new to me..Nice :)

Parita said...

Very informative post, i knew people add water to the milk but never knew about the other artificial substances, i think i'll swtitch back to full fat milk...

Gita said...

Very informative post Usha...nice to know these facts about milk...organic milk is the best choice but sadly they do cost much higher than the regular milk.

Vaishali said...

Hi Usha, Milk has long had a reputation for being infested with all sorts of growth hormones and additives, as are any other animal products that, I guess, are not specifically labeled otherwise. In fact, dairy and meat cows are fed so many growth hormones, some of them can barely walk and there are stories of animals that become so heavy, they can't carry their weight on their legs.

Anu said...

Informative post Usha! I have always been using whole/2% and never use skim milk!! Its a pity that the milk bottles carry the pledge that they do not contain any growth hormones :D Who knows the truth?!!

Kumudha said...

Great post!

After seeing the condition of diary milk and the poor cows, I decided to go vegan.

People these days are using organic milk. But, even these organic diaries produce veal. Veal is the meat from a calf or young beef animal. A veal calf is raised until about 16 to 18 weeks of age, weighing up to 450 pounds.

The condition of cows is not only cruel in u.s.a, but also in India, where cows are considered sacred. COWS are give oxytocin harmones so that they produce more milk. No wonder India is the largest producer of milk.
http://www.care2.com/c2c/share/detail/827822

Going vegan is a great way to protect our health and stop the suffering of countless animals.

Thanks for reading this long note...

Bharti said...

I haven't bought regular milk since a while now, usually get hormone free or organic milk. Recently I have been ordering my milk from a local farm that provides organic, grass fed non homogenized milk.
I hate the whole complication surrounding milk.

Preety said...

by default i go for whole milk as i can't even think of drinking low fat or no fat :)...but there are so many facts that i was not aware of ..will keep all this is mind from now..thanks for sharing

Ana Powell said...

Thanks for the information x

jayasri said...

hi usha, thanks for the information, well, i don't use low fat or fat free milk and use whole milk..., i do not know if they do anything to it too...., i am really not happy, somewhere in the back of the mind i keep worrying about all these things... sometimes..., i give my children and i do drink 1/2 glass of whole milk with 1/2 glass of soya milk !, my children hate me for that !, but that is the only way i can make my children drink soya milk..., yes..., there are so many facts we do not know..., love to see these kind of blogs.., keep it up ! thanks for sharing

Red Chillies said...

We buy milk that does not contain any artificial harmones in it. Sometimes we also get the organic ones. Good information.

Purva Desai said...

Very informative and eye opening post....thanks for sharing it with us

aquadaze said...

hmmm..sometimes, i think i should go buy a cow! Didnt know about the additive in Low fat milk, but I cant stand the taste of whole milk!!

dejamo said...

This is a coincidence, Usha. I have also been thinking about milk (and dairy)and the difference between fat-free, low-fat and whole.

I saw Michael Pollan on Bill Mahr's Real Time, and he said if you take the fat out of cheese, then it is no longer cheese. I would never buy fat- or low-fat cheese, but I buy fat-free milk and yogurt almost exclusively.

I just started buying whole fat yogurt, and had decided to start buying whole milk again the next time I buy it. Your post just made me more convinced I'm making the right choice.

sangeeta said...

nice information and right questions you have raised....
real food n whole food is the answer...you get all your answers in ayurveda.

roma said...

Geez! No wonder these milk varieties remain 'fresh' for longer.

I definitely dont want anything to be added to the milk. I just want it homogenized and pasteurized so I know its clean. Thats about it...

cuisle west said...

Since I've taken it upon myself to inform everyone I know, about the serious debate over 100% Canola oil's suspect health benefits, (there is no such thing as a Canola plant (hence the made up name, a combination of Canada and oil) as it is a gen./engn'd Canadian product made from rapeseed, a plant toxic to humans, and used mostly, in the past, as an industrial lubricant ... after this discovery I went on a rampage, emptying my cupboards of all offending products containing canola oil, and everything else containing high-fructose CS/additives. Needless to say I entirely emptied my house of edible foodstuffs. So, went to a local chain (know for health-based products) on a buying rampage, trying my best to read every label carefully, but two items escaped my eagle-eyed attempt, fat-free milk and hummus, both store brands. The milk has palmitate added, and the hummus, canola oil ... go figure! Guess I'll just have to drive the 12 miles into town to the only good health food store (read tres cher) in the area, and 12 miles back again. Thank God for our local, organic Farmer's Market.

Footnote ... how many parents know that when they "PROCESS" most major brands of peanut-butter they remove all the peanut oil, and replace it with canola! PEANUT-BUTTER! ... a staple in the diet of most American kids from the time they're babies ... what in the world are we doing to the future of humanity! Is nothing sacred anymore?

Ralyn said...

wow - guess this answers my question of what in the world they are putting in my milk. 2nd gallon in a row that got a real funky smell and nasty mediciney taste a couple days before the expiration date. This was not a spoiled milk smell or taste, but almost equally nasty. The milk came from 2 different stores and were also different brands.

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