Recently I was made aware of the presence of artificial growth hormones in much of America's milk. Thanks to friends who post interesting links and articles on Facebook, I found out something that most of you probably already knew: large dairy producers give chemicals to their milk cows that make them produce more milk. These chemical hormones, however are not good for the cows. And they're not good for us milk-drinkers.
A friend shared with me a list of 100 major dairy producers in the USA that do NOT use growth hormone in their products. Here's a link to that list. Now, some of the dairies are completely hormone-free; others are partially hormone-free.
The hormone used, called rBGH or rBST, is prohibited in Canada and all the countries of the European Union. Why does the FDA allow its use in America? More important, who was in charge of the FDA when this hormone-use was approved? Michael Taylor -- who before this post worked for Monsanto's legal arm, and after this post returned to Monsanto as a VP and lobbyist. Yes, THAT Monsanto -- the food giant that controls so much of what we eat, and makes a mint doing so.
If you want more about this topic, here's an article. I can hardly BELIEVE I'm linking to an article from the Huffington Post, but credit where credit is due.
So, you know me -- I've started looking for products in my stores, from dairies on that list. I was happy to find that the ice cream we normally buy at WalMart is made by Dean Foods. However, Dean is only "partially-hormone free." Wish I knew about the actual ice cream we're eating this week!
But what about milk? I was pleased to discover that the store-brand milk at both Food Lion and WalMart has this notice, right on the label: "Our farmers have pledged to not treat any of their cows with any artificial growth hormones." YAY!!!
The label continues: "According to the FDA, no significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST treated and non-rBST treated cows."
Yeah. Thanks, Mr. Taylor for that consideration of my health. Ha.
But ... I haven't been buying my milk at WalMart or Food Lion. I've been buying my milk at Aldi, and saving about 7¢ a gallon. That's 28¢ a week. $14.56 per year. Sidewalk change, considering that rBGH & rBST can cause breast and prostrate cancer.
I asked at Aldi, because some Aldi stores do post on their milk coolers that their milk is hormone-free, but not our local Aldi. Our Aldi gets their milk from Maola Milk, which is on that lovely list as Maryland/Virginia Milk Co-op. Partially hormone-free.
Sorry Aldi. Food Lion and WalMart sell milk that IS hormone-free. Bummer. And since I won't be buying my 4 gallons each week at Aldi anymore, it's almost not worth it to drive to their store for the other things I've been buying there.
Seriously, friends, I'm tired of these food producers thinking ONLY of their bottom lines, and NEVER of our health. I understand they must make good profits, BUT -- within reason. And that means they must take into account the health of their consumers.
Honestly, I'd prefer good, clean raw milk, but I don't have ANYWHERE locally to get it. And the gov't scares raw milk producers to death with threats of lawsuits and jailtime, so they're afraid to advertise it.
It's time for ordinary grocery shoppers like you and me to communicate effectively to our food providers that we want food that is good and healthy for us and our families. This is not unreasonable. So, go check. What's in your milk?