COLUMNISTS

It is time to tell the truth about whole milk

Arden Tewksbury

I recently had a conversation with one of our member dairy farmers who has been a patient in at least two different hospitals. At one of those hospital, he asked for whole milk with his lunch. He was told that milk “ is not good for you.” He asked to see the dietician who met with him and told him milk is not good for you.

Several weeks later, this farmer was admitted into a second hospital and again, at lunch, he asked for whole milk. He got the same reply, “I am sorry, milk is not good for you.”

So this time he asked to speak to the hospital’s top dietician who claimed that milk was not good because “it is 100% fat!" He told her that you would need a knife and fork to eat it because it would be hard cheese.

Most hospitals and their personnel provide good service to their patients, but their dieticians know very little regarding the value of milk. The whole milk we buy in the store has only a 3.25% fat content. 

The facts are that whole milk has clear nutritional advantages over skim and low-fat milk including providing the necessary fat to process vitamins A and D in addition to the  calcium, phosphorus, potassium we need. Drinking milk and dairy products may prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures and even help you maintain a healthy weight.

It is just not dieticians in our hospitals that spread this misinformation. Diet experts provide the same misinformation to the USDA and other public officials who are keeping whole milk from our students in public schools.  

To counter this practice, we should support H.R. 1861 – Whole Milk for Health Kids Act,  Congressman G.T. Thompson’s legislation to get whole milk back into public schools. All Congressman must be educated about the benefits of whole milk and encouraged to get it back in our schools through H.R. 1861.

H.R. 1861 may be our last opportunity to get whole milk back in our schools.

Arden Tewksbury

Arden Tewksbury is manager of Pro-Ag