There's Nothing Wrong with Dairy Milk

By Alex Berezow, PhD — Dec 26, 2018
In a world of food fads, dairy milk is old news. Even though it's not currently considered a "superfood" the farm-based beverage is just as healthy as it always was. So drink up!
Credit: Storyblocks

All across America, households prepared for Santa Claus by setting out a dish of his favorite late-night snack: Cookies and milk. But an increasing share of households probably set out a glass of soy, almond, or oat milk instead of dairy. Why?

When I was a kid, milk was considered a superfood. Television commercials and other ads featured celebrities sporting milk mustaches -- Harrison Ford, Heidi Klum, Shaquille O'Neal. If you were cool, you drank milk. If you ate a bowl of cereal, you weren't finished until you drank the milk. Did you want a chocolate chip cookie? That's fine, but you're going to drink some milk with it.

But now, people are turning away from milk. According to the Financial Times, dairy milk sales fell 3.5% from 2012 to 2017. What's going on?

In a World of Food Fads, Dairy Milk Is Old News

Because milk is a source of protein, fat, carbohydrates, calcium, and (if fortified) vitamin D, milk is definitely a healthy food, though it was never quite the miracle food that it was portrayed to be in commercials. Ingenious marketing turned milk into a superfood. Alas, as is usually the case, the food fad got old, and now milk is on its way out. In fact, the pendulum has swung so far in the other direction that some people (often foodies or animal rights activists) believe that dairy milk is actually bad for you. (It's not.)

The first beneficiary of this shift away from dairy was soy milk. Some people drank it due to lactose intolerance, but others thought that soy milk was the new superfood. (It's not.) But that fad is ending, too. Just like with dairy milk, some foodies are raising the alarm over soy milk, accusing it of being bad for your health. (It's not.) As you probably guessed, the fact that soybeans are genetically modified has helped doom the soy food fad.

So, now, consumers are going crazy over oat milk. But don't worry about missing out. In a year or so, foodies will find a reason to scare people over it. To be safe, you could try cockroach milk. Be forewarned that not just any run-of-the-mill cockroach will do. It needs to be specifically the Pacific Beetle cockroach -- because those cockroaches are magical.

Or, you could just do the sane thing and stick with boring cow's milk.


Alex Berezow, PhD

Former Vice President of Scientific Communications

Dr. Alex Berezow is a PhD microbiologist, science writer, and public speaker who specializes in the debunking of junk science for the American Council on Science and Health. He is also a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors and a featured speaker for The Insight Bureau. Formerly, he was the founding editor of RealClearScience.

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