• No fake milk products
    June 17,2014

    Recently, several articles have been written by knowledgeable people concerning the value of milk versus the imitation dairy products (or as one writer describes the imitation products, fake dairy products).

    I have concerns regarding the new guidelines for our school lunch programs.

    We must continue to push forward and recommend the USDA allow an adequate amount of dairy products (including whole milk) to be served to all our students.

    In the recent edition of the American Agriculturalist, the editor has done a commendable job in explaining the contents of the fake dairy products and the exorbitant cost of these products. It is very evident that real dairy products are cheaper and certainly more nutritious for all consumers.

    Recently, I was in Canada. I was consuming some very tasty pizza. At my request, the waitress showed me the block of cheese they were using. The next day, I visited the cheese plant that made the cheese I was consuming on the pizza.

    I said to the manager, “What are the ingredients in your cheese?”

    He said, “We start with raw, whole milk as it comes to us. We add some skim milk in the vat, and we add the bacteria to the milk.”

    I said, “That’s it?” He said, “Yes.”

    I said, “It is obvious that you are not adding milk protein concentrate to the milk.”

    He said, “Absolutely not. Milk protein concentrate harms the taste of the cheese as well as adversely harming the texture of the cheese.”

    He further stated, “The companies that use milk protein concentrate are using the product mainly because it is cheaper.” He stated, “We don’t use powdered milk either.”

    I said, “No wonder the pizza tasted so good last night!”

    During a trip to Lake Placid, New York, I was told by training officials there that after the athletes finished their daily training, “We always give them milk to drink (real milk). We have found that milk is the best way to restore our athletes’ electrolyte balance.”

    The May 19 issue of the Country Folks East paper carried a story with the headline “Banning chocolate milk backfires.” According to Andrew Hanks, lead author and research associate at Cornell’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, “When schools ban chocolate milk, we found it usually backfires. On average, milk sales drop by 10 percent. Twenty-nine percent of white milk gets thrown out, and participation in the school lunch program may also decrease.”

    At the end of a recent Grange dinner in Pennsylvania, a representative of Schneider’s Dairy of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, passed out pint containers of chocolate and white milk. Of the 100 people in attendance, I would say that nearly 75 percent of the adults chose the delicious chocolate milk, which, by the way, was real whole milk, not the low-fat milk.

    I don’t know about you, but I am tired of seeing advertisers claiming that this fake milk is better than whole milk. It is about time that everyone connected with the dairy industry take on the fake people with their fake milk and give the consumers what they want, and that includes removing milk protein concentrate from cheese vats, etc.

    Arden Tewksbury is manager of the Progressive Agriculture Organization, based in Meshoppen, Pennsylvania, and a longtime Pennsylvania dairy farmer.

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