Sunday, March 24, 2013

Milk - is it really perfect food for all ages and life stages?

As if it weren’t enough that infants around the globe are now being fed on something infinitely less suitable than their mother’s breastmilk, the dairy attack on health and wellbeing continues.

Milky drinks are everywhere, and have enjoyed exponential growth in recent years, most notably in the developing world. There, a newly affluent middle class perceives them as Westernised, progressive, nutritious and of course, easy to prepare and always readily-available. In the West, they’re a big feature of subsidised lunches (USA), of weight management or meal replacement offerings and bone-building and regenerative options for the elderly. Then there’s the massive sports nutrition market. Trust marketers to find some more niche markets very soon - milk drinks for specific health outcomes are just around the corner!

Which brings me to the question of additives. In the US, there’s a strong likelihood that sugar as a sweetening agent will be replaced with the chemical sweetener “aspartame” with no listing on labels. Dr. Mercola suggests that aspartame is one of the most toxic chemical additives in the US food supply today - the differing metabolic pathway for aspartame in humans means that animal studies fail to demonstrate its toxicity. 

Which brings me to a simple conclusion - mother’s milk until your toddler weans himself, then purified water. Nothing more in the way of drinks is really ever required! 

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