What caught my attention When I read USA Today over breakfast one morning when I was in New York was a full page ad with a picture of a family - a mother and her three daughters. All of them have a slash of white across their upper lips, which is easily explained by the glasses of white liquid two of the daughters are holding in their hands, and these lines at the bottom of the page:
My favorite fans always want to do what I'm doing. So when it comes to getting essential nutrients, I set the example by pouring one more serving of milk a day. One more for me. One more for them. There, everybody's happy.
I went to that website and understood that the ad was part of a campaign to promote milk drinking called, as the ad said, "Got Milk". The campaign has a component called "Milk Moustache Celebrities" in which there are photos and videos showing some American celebrities, like Angie Harmon in the newspaper ad and NBA star Shaquille O'Neal, and their families enjoying milk drinking and leaving those "milk moustaches" on their upper lips. Classic advertising tactic of associating the product with big names and happiness.
Is milk drinking good for us? Even without falling into the trap of thinking that if we drink milk, we will be like those famous, strong and happy families, most of us have, since childhood, been educated to believe that drinking milk brings good health, which is another theme that the www.whymilk.com website tries to fortify. But that belief has, increasingly, come under challenge in recent years. There is a growing body of evidence showing that milk is not as healthy as it is claimed to be.
A couple of days after that front page advertisement, CBS aired a short programme called "The Milk Backlash", stating that certain milk proteins are hard to digest, and that milk proteins have been linked to health problems such as eczema, hay fever, ear infections, bronchitis, colds, allergies, breathing difficulties, arthritis, prostate cancer, asthema, etc.
This is something I am well aware of, having read books such as John Robbins's Diet for a New America and Dr Colin Campbell's The China Study. The big challenge is how to shatter the untarnished reputation milk has been enjoying.
Try telling a mother that her baby is better of without milk powder.