Monday, July 16, 2012

Cow Color Commentary

I'm just flabbergasted by what I read!
The Farmer has been watching the rain come down and water his crops and hay fields and has been happy. That makes us happy, too. Nothing like seeing crops growing when you thought you were going to have none.

In the meantime I had been investigating other farms when I came across this definitely opinionated editorial that was labeled the Opinionator: Got Milk? You don't need it.

Let me start by saying that the secret agents here tell nothing but the facts, ma'am. So when Mr. Bittman starts writing in his article it is his opinion.

"O.K., dairy products contain nutrients, and for those who like them, a serving or two daily is probably fine" 

This quote is really funny when you think about it. He admits milk does contain nutrients and for those who like those nutrients they can have some. Pray tell what nutrients does my milk contain? How about calcium, potassium, phosphorous, protein, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, riboflavin, and niacin! Amazingly, this is pretty powerful stuff in a small glass. "No thank you, I don't want any of those nutrients, I'm just drinking water all day long," as he implies you should do would keep children and adults from an easy and tasty way to get these nutrients.

The same can be said with his comparison of calorie counts of soda vs milk. Soda, or coke as we say, contains empty calories. It tastes good and that is all. Milk, on the other hand, tastes great and is packed with nutrition. Not much of a comparison is it? I would refer Mr. Bittman back to his own arguments on nutrient packed foods and calorie counts in foods on why there is simply no comparison between dairy products and soda.

Mr. Bittman then describes how he might, and I say might because we only have his anecdotal evidence, have problems digesting milk and how he feels better not consuming it. I understand there are some people with lactose intolerance like Meg Ryan in French Kiss, and for those folks there are digestive aids and lactose free dairy products available. But he basically goes on to encourage others to stop eating dairy products because, and I'll paraphrase here, "if I think it's bad for me I think it's probably bad for you, and my personal anecdotal evidence proves it." Right, sure it does.

"But the bucolic cow and family farm barely exist"

Okay, look at me. Do I look bucolic? Now onto some more facts. Did you know that over 97%, wait this is really important so I'll repeat it, over 97% of farms are family farms? Really, I'm friends with cows on lots of them and we know. Now for those of you who have not fallen asleep yet I'll report some 2011 statistics from the June 2012 issue of Eastern Dairy Business:

  • The average U.S. dairy herd was only 179 cows.
  • There were a whopping 19,400 dairy farms with 29 or less cows
  • There were almost 25,000 dairy farms with 30-100 cows.
Now my math skills are not great, but that sounds like an awful lot of little farms out there that he claims don't exist. There are small and large dairy farms out there and we have agents on both kinds. The reports I read from the cows are good regardless of size unless they are complaining about who doesn't have cable TV or good cell phone coverage.

"Most humans never tasted fresh milk from any source other than their mother for almost all of human history"

When I hear that people don't teach kids enough about history this quote must be the kind of thing they are talking about. The Dairy Farmers of Canada, who know their history well, have some great facts I'll share:

"Milk has been a part of our nutrition since time immemorial. Rich in nutrients, milk in its various forms has a long, long history...
  • Around 10 000 BC, the “agricultural revolution” occurred changing societies from nomadic tribes to those who settled in communities. With this came domesticated animals and the ingenuity for people to use by-products such as milk.
  • In ancient Egypt, milk and other dairy products were reserved for royalty, priests and the very wealthy.
  • By the 5th century AD, cows and sheep in Europe were prized for their milk.
  • By the 14th century, cow’s milk became more popular than sheep’s milk."
So I could go on about the opinions in the article and replace them with facts, but it is time for my evening milking. Got milk? I do and plenty of it for anyone who wants to enjoy it!

Agent 465, reporting from the Udder Side.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you very much. It is hard for a cow to stand on a soapbox, but I felt I had no choice. -Agent 465

  2. There you go, messing up his argument with FACTS!

    1. I can only hope more people will recognize the facts! -Agent 465

  3. I read this article a week ago or so ,just ridiculous.. That line about dairy containing some nutrients if you liked it made me laugh too. It's not hard to find facts!

    Great blog though!!

    1. Thanks for commenting! Unfortunately I don't believe he actually cares about facts, but instead wishes to push an agenda. It seems to me that a food critic and cook would recognize the value of all foods and put them to their best use whether it be for nutrition or taste. And this is especially so with a food with as many benefits as dairy!
      -Agent 465

  4. Nice job, Ryan! And thanks for posting on my blog, too!


  5. I think cow's milk has every nutrient present in them like these above mentioned vitamins like b12. They say milk is considered a complete meal but I think you must support it with other source of nutritious meals.

    1. I agree. Dairy is just one part of a well balanced diet!