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
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!