Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Milky Milky

I remember school milk. In winter it had lumps of ice in it and in summer it was warm and revolting. There were a few weeks in spring and autumn when it was okay, but these were few. It wasn't 'a gift', it was compulsory. We were ordered to down the tepid proto-cheese or the white ice, no matter what.

Well, Maggie the Thatch took a lot of stick for getting rid of it over age 11 (I think) but I bet she didn't get many complaints from the poor sods who were expected to drink it. She wasn't the first milk cutter, there was one before her but that's going too far back for my ageing brain cells.

So it's not too surprising that the Cameroid didn't want to gain the reputation of The Milk Reaper or whatever Labour had in line for him. Even so, what's the big thing with milk?

The Telegraph has an article that debunks most of the 'milk is the wonder food' crap. It's cow juice, nothing more. It is not an essential part of the human diet and can't possibly be because it's produced by an entirely unrelated species. For an entirely non-human-related purpose.

I don't drink much milk. Once in a while in tea or coffee but I don't drink much of either of those. I like butter, sometimes cheese. So I'm not anti-milk and the following applies to me too. Yes, like most of you, I am a perv.

How else could you describe drinking the bodily secretions of another animal? When you get right down to it, it's no different to licking the slime off a fish or fellating a goat. I expect it tastes different though.

When you force children, by law, to drink the bodily secretions of another species, that's not just unnatural. That's really, really twisted. "Swallow it all, it's good for you" takes on a rather more sinister note when you think of it that way.

We have compulsory calorie labelling on lots of things now, but not on 'natural' foods. Apples and pears are natural foods. They are actually intended to be eaten. In the wild, we'd eat the whole thing, pips and all (some of us still do). The pips pass through and get deposited somewhere else in a pile of fertiliser, then grow into another tree and produce more food. It's a good system. It doesn't work so well with sewage processing but that's why we have garden centres to produce new trees.

It's natural for an animal (such as humans) to eat other animals if they are equipped to do it. Chimpanzees hunt smaller monkeys and eat them. Tigers will eat a chimpanzee if they can catch one. Is it unnatural for a human to eat a much larger animal, like a cow? Only if it's also unnatural for a hyena or a piranha fish to do that. We aren't the only species capable of co-ordinated hunting in groups.

However, sucking a cow's tits is just not natural, no matter which way you look at it. Since milk isn't natural, why then doesn't it have calories on it?

It contains a hell of a lot of calories. Watch a calf grow up fast, on nothing but milk. It contains a tremendous amount of energy. If humans were to take in that much energy, they'd... get fat.

While we hear all the lamenting over childhood obesity and allergies and diabetes, we simultaneously hear that children must be given milk every single day. A suspension of fat globules with dissolved sugars and a selection of proteins from a different species - that's good for children?

I don't drink enough milk to get the required amount of calcium. I get most of mine from red meat and black pudding.

Yes, humans do things that could be considered 'unnatural' all the time, like speaking and typing on keyboards and drilling holes in the sea bed and building funny-shaped places to live, miles above the surface of the planet. I'm sure all those woodland creatures, when they first saw a man with a plough, thought to themselves 'What the hell is that weirdo species up to now?' They must shake their heads in despair at those massive propellers all over the countryside. How windy do we want it to get?

Drinking milk is pretty low down the scale of human weirdness, really. Even so, it certainly can't be considered 'natural' and I suspect that if all those children were shown where it comes from, many of them would never touch it again.

There is nothing essential about cow's milk unless your child has four legs and says 'moo'. It's nice, it can be turned into a fantastic array of cheeses, it can be made into butter, frothed up to make cappuccino or flavoured with all sorts of weirdness but it is not an essential dietary component. Not like, say, whisky.

Now there's an idea. Free school whisky.

That would get the attendance figures up. Hell, I'd go back too.


timbone said...

The 1944 Education Act included a 1/3 pint of free milk every day. It was a different world then. Up until post war Britain, education was until the age of 14, there was no NHS, and children from working class families still got rickets. Rickets? Lack of calcium. Milk? Provider of calcium.

The abolition of free school milk by Thatcher (actually. it was already in the pipeline before she became Ed Sec) was quite a legitimate money saving exercise, as it was no longer necessary. It only remains for Nursery school now. The trouble with British people is, they receive a benefit (that is what free school milk was), then, when it is no longer needed, they don't look at the history of it, why it was introduced, and why it is no longer needed, they complain that something free is being stolen from them!

Leg-iron said...

I can see why, in a time of rationing, it would be essential to make sure children were getting their share of calcium as well as lots of energy.

Now, however, the milk is too much energy. It contributes to making them overweight because they aren't on rations at home.

They're on Doritos and burgers.

Bill Sticker said...

Licking slime off a fish or fellating a goat? I was going to put cream in my coffee. Don't think I'll bother now.

JuliaM said...

"Since milk isn't natural, why then doesn't it have calories on it?

It contains a hell of a lot of calories. Watch a calf grow up fast, on nothing but milk. It contains a tremendous amount of energy."

We should switch to whale's milk. It's 99.99% fat. The Righteous would have heart attacks.

Second-hand heart attacks... ;)

Anonymous said...

As a physiologist I feel it is my duty to inform you that the three essential food groups are caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. Don't let anyone try and convince you otherwise.

Furor Teutonicus said...

I will say it again MILK IS DANGEROUS!

99% of people that die have drunk milk, or eaten a milk product, in the 24 hours previous to onset of "snuffed".

THAT is how many thousand times more dangerous than even...SMOKING, lets say. It make Russian roulette look like a sport for poofters and H&S nutters. And at LEAST the statistics on milk can be PROVED. Just spend three weeks in ANY old peoples home, or geriatric ward and watch the milk drinkers just DROP of the perch.

Snakey said...

Don't you think the Telegraph article is simply following the dietary police line? - more rubbish about fat and cholesterol based on studies that have been comprehensively debunked themselves.

On cholesterol and fat:

The statin market alone is worth more than £20billion each year.

paul said...

99.9% of people have drunk water, or eaten a water filled product, in the 24 hours previous to dying also. (except death by dehydration)
That doesnt make water dangerous, correlation is not causation.

Anonymous said...

Like timbone says, the reason milk was provided free initially was because working class families at that time were really, seriously poor. Not poor as in "We don't have a 50" plasma TV in each room", but poor as in "We cannot earn enough money to feed all our children properly". Milk just happened to be an easily-available product which could be produced and distributed easily in bulk, which didn't use valuable crop-growing land to produce, and which gave seriously impoverished, malnourished kids a vital extra source of food.

Back then, that was the problem being solved: the next generation of children were in danger of not growing and not developing their brains as much as possible, simply because they didn't get enough to eat. This sort of thing was common with medieval peasants; those in the village of Wharram Percy seemed not to stop growing until around age 28 (we cease growing a decade earlier, and grow much, much bigger than they did) and usually only lived into their mid thirties thereafter.

That level of malnourishment doesn't happen in Britain any more, save in extremely unusual cases where the parents have a lot of other things wrong with them. So, the case for free milk has gone now; the only reason to carry on is that the political cost is much greater than it really should be; Cameron et al is prepared to back down on small stuff and only fight battles where he has to.

Little Black Sambo said...

That doesnt make water dangerous, correlation is not causation.
Thanks so much for pointing that out. Der.

Furor Teutonicus said...

paul said...

99.9% of people have drunk water, or eaten a water filled product, in the 24 hours previous to dying also. (except death by dehydration)
That doesnt make water dangerous, correlation is not causation.

There is only ONE way to discribe you;

You fucking dip shit.

And I thought us Germans were supposed to be the ones with a sense of humour by-pass!!!

And the figures are JUST as relevant as those used by anti smokers.

richard said...

Milk has nowhere near the same calories since they took the cream out. Remember the birds that used to peck the tops off? They don't do it now, because it's not worth the effort. There aren't enough calories in it to pay for the effort. As for cow's milk not being a natural food for human beings, that's true. Whether that fact automatically makes milk a bad thing is questionable. Probably aphid secretions aren't a natural food for ants, but they've somehow managed to farm it. Also, the Masai staple is milk mixed with blood (ie thin black pudding!) and they're strong. As for apples and pears, no-one normally eats more than one or two pieces of fruit at a time. We aren't chimpanzees.

Anonymous said...

I think I remember more than one study concluding that dairy products have a stronger association with lung cancer than passive smoking. However, I actually agree with, if not free milk, but free food to be given out at school. Many children are not cared for properly and both they and their teachers would benefit from their not being hungry during school hours. I find subsidising families with children, in this way, preferable to handing out family tax credits which are subject to massive fraud and don't necessarily benefit the children.

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