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Milk in American Society

Archeological researches showed that humans have started to consume milk many centuries ago. Migratory groups followed their herds in search of fresh, green pastures for grazing. Cattle and goats were highly prized in biblical times; and mentioning about the milk products can be found more than 50 times in the Bible. History shows that ancient Greece and Roma demonstrated the value of cows, and the extensive consumption of milk. The main recommendation from Hippocrates is to supply milk and butter in order to stay healthy. The early settlers of North America had a gust of cattle that saved early colonies from starvation and became a source of well-being for their families (Langford). All these evidences show the prominent role of milk and milk-based products for human-beings.

Nowadays, milk is known as a very rich source of different minerals, calcium and phosphorus that are necessary for our body to create and maintain strong and healthy bones, teeth and assist in proper operation of our muscles. Milk is also popular as a source of proteins, vitamins as A, and D that are essential for the growth of a human. In addition, cow’s milk is rich in iodine, being essential for thyroid function; and a very good source of riboflavin, vitamin B12, two B vitamins that are necessary for cardiovascular health and energy production (Szalok). In the United States cow’s milk is everywhere so no one needs an explanation of what it is. According to Whfoods.com, milk is supplied with cereal for breakfast or enjoyed alone; this beverage has earned a prominent role in the American diet and it is drunk all year-long.

Milk is presented in a various forms and types at to-days dairy market. Such products as low-fat milk, whole milk, flavored milk, milkshakes, yogurt, cheese, ice cream, frozen yogurt are all based on a cow’s milk (Winnersdrinkmilk.com). This variety of dairy products reflects high popularity of milk products among regular people as well as grate interest of American food industry. In support of this idea, in the source ProCon.org the following Fluid Milk Promotion Act of 1990, passed in 1990 by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), states:(3) the dairy industry plays a significant role in the economy of the United States, in that milk is produced by thousands of milk producers and dairy products (including fluid milk products) are consumed every day by millions of people in the United States;
(5) the maintenance and expansion of markets for fluid milk products are vital to the Nation’s fluid milk processors and milk producers, as well as to the general economy of the United States.

Still and all, there is a strong view that the cow’s milk is inappropriate diet for human as it is designated for calf feeding. According to Lee and Wei, many dairy producers use recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (further – rBGH) in order to increase milk production in their cows up to 20%. This hormone causes udder inflammation which can lead to the contamination of milk. And antibiotics used to treat cows against inflammation can be discovered in the milk. In addition, tests show that milk of rBGH-treated cows has high concentrations of insulin-like growth-factor-1 (IGF-1) which is a potential factor of prostate cancer development. As Rietz writes, cow’s milk, whether it is regular or “whole milk”, has 59 active hormones, variety of allergens, fat and cholesterol. In milk produced by modern farms tests reveal pesticides, herbicides, dioxins (up to 200 times the safe levels), antibiotics, blood, pus, feces, bacteria and viruses. According to Reitz, in milk supplied by modern human there are traces of anything the cow ate, including radioactive fallout from nuke testing or power plants.

In any case, a glass of milk is a daily portion of calcium and other useful minerals almost for everyone in the United States. Contrary to popular opinion, milk does not cause formation of urinary stones or mineral formations in kidneys. As Lee and Wei write, at the University of Chicago, D.R. Webb proved that consumption of milk or calcium-fortified orange juice by calcium-sensitive patients does not lead to stones formation.Eventually, the role of milk is significant in many modern diets. We all tasted milk-based products, such as cheese pizza, cheesecakes, yogurt, etc. We got used to consume milk products without thinking of its positive and negative effects. Nevertheless, milk is useful for us and is recommended, especially for children. According to a policy statement of American Academy of Pediatrics, infants, children and adolescents are recommended to consume nutritious products including low-fat or fat-free flavored milk (American Academy of Pediatrics). To avoid negative effects of milk, people obviously can limit its consumption up to 3 8-oz glasses. In any case, everyone should be aware of both pluses and minuses of drinking milk. Only when we are acknowledged in full about the product we are able to make proper decision whether to drink and how much to drink milk.

Works Cited

American Academy of Pediatrics. Policy Statement: Soft Drinks in Schools. Pediatrics 2004; 113: 152-154
Langford, Stephanie (2011). What’s So Great About Raw Milk? Keeper of the Home.
Retrieved from: http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2011/04/whats-so-great-about-raw-milk.html
Lee, Jean and Wei, Randy (2002). Milk, Doing Your Body Good? Journal of Young Investigators
Retrieved from: http://www.jyi.org/volumes/volume6/issue3/features/lee_and_wei.html
ProCon.org. How important is the milk and dairy industry to the US economy?
Retrieved from: http://milk.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=000843
Rietz, Dave. Dangers Of Milk And Dairy Products – The Facts. Rense.com
Retrieved from: http://www.rense.com/general26/milk.htm
Szalok, Daniel (2010). Why is it So Important to Drink Milk? Ezinearticles.com
Retrieved from: http://ezinearticles.com/?Why-is-it-So-Important-to-Drink-Milk?&id=3722783
Whfoods.com. Milk, 2%, cow’s.
Retrieved from: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=130
Winnersdrinkmilk.com. Promoting Healthy Bones.
Retrieved from: http://www.winnersdrinkmilk.com/schools_news.html