LETTERS from READERS
I want to congratulate you on your fine and informative editorial that appeared in the Farmshine on February 15. Your words were very concise and right to the point.
Actually, your words paralleled what we have been saying for many years. It is purely disgusting to observe in many supermarkets how milk and milk products are being displaced by imitation products in the dairy case.
Webster’s dictionary says that pure milk comes from mammals, not from a conglomerate of ingredients that, when manufactured and produced, try to claim to be milk or milk products.
It’s time that the hard earned money that all dairy farmers are forced to contribute to advertising agencies be used to more aggressively promote the value of wholesome, pure and top quality milk that is produced on dairy farms.
No longer should dairy products be pushed aside in a dairy case, to permit these other beverages to take their place.
While we agree anyone should be allowed to produce a “legal” beverage or food product (Is milk protein concentrate really legal?) however, these inferior products should not be displacing the nutrition of dairy products.
Dieter, you did an excellent job of questioning UHT (ultra-high temperature pasteurized) milk, and the validity of selling this milk.
There is one more important topic to expose which are the school lunch programs that are being forced on schools all cross the United States. I have the privilege of serving on a school board for 52 consecutive years. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine some of the guidelines that are being forced onto the school cafeterias across the United States. I’m just as concerned as anyone regarding good, nutritional food being served to our students. To me it appears that Washington thinks they have a better perception regarding the types of food to feed our students than local school districts.
Of course my pet peeve is the fat content served in milk to our students. My opinion is that growing children (as well as adults) need whole milk to drink, not a product that virtually resembles colored water.
Whoever came up with the idea that growing children need low fat or nonfat milk? Preposterous!
A recent study done in Europe regarding the validity of providing whole milk to students should be examined by everyone.
But, the real clincher that defends the validity of using whole milk in our schools comes from our farm kids.
In most states even so-called whole milk contains 3.25% fat. In most milk plants, the milk that is delivered to them contains around 3.7% fat.
When I was in Eastern Milk Producers Co-op, we opposed standardizing milk; and we were the main ones that testified against standardizing milk. However, we finally agreed to standardize milk, but the fat content should not be lower than the average fat content of milk being delivered to plants within any federal or state orders. Now you can see where the industry has gone since those earlier days.
Let’s look at our farm kids as well as many of our rural kids.
The farm kids who became our students grow up on dairy farms drinking real whole milk as it comes from the dairy cows on their own farm. How many of these students are overweight and or suffering from obesity? I also refereed high school basketball games for 30 years. It would be very unusual to see a male basketball player to be overweight. These players were mainly farm and rural students, and they were mainly drinking farm fresh whole milk.
In 1969 and 1977 our boys team at Elk Lake were state champions and runner-ups in 1982.
I remember back in 1946 our baseball team in Meshoppen was the baseball champions of District 12 (Northeast Pennsylvania). At that time, inter-district play-off games did not exist. However, not one of the starting nine players were overweight, and guess what, all nine players were from dairy farms drinking the whole milk from their dairy cows and consuming meat that was grown on their farms. Of course one must remember these nine boys worked on the farms.
Dieter, again I want to thank you for your editorial. I hope your words are well-received by everyone, and hopefully we can change the direction we are going in with the milk advertising and promotion work being done to help promote the need of whole milk.
In the meantime everyone should protest to their school districts, all elected officials and the USDA regarding some of the guidelines of our school lunch programs. Remember your local school officials’ hands are tied regarding the school lunch guidelines.
It’s time that local school officials have more to say about the type of meals they serve without losing state or federal reimbursement.
Thank you, Dieter, and thanks to everyone who drinks milk, one of the most wholesome foods we have. And by the way, I drink one quart of chocolate milk every day, and I’m no longer a young rooster.