Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Udder nonsense

(An ice cream shop in London started selling ice cream made from human milk in February for about $23 per serving; a couple of days ago, British authorities stepped in, responding to complaints, presumably about the milk, not the price. I wrote this a couple of years ago. This gives me an excuse to run it again.)

"Beer is living proof that God loves us
and wants us to be happy."
Ben Franklin

I do a lot of things that may not be good for me--I sit in front of this monitor too many hours a day, I like to go fast on motorcycles, and I use the top step on ladders. One high risk activity I refrain from, however, is drinking milk.

Cow's milk is for calves. Breast milk is for young humans until they sprout a few teeth. Aside from some sort of fetish practiced in moderation, adults should never drink milk.

In the cafeteria, Josephine serves me lunch. I love her. She calls me "Pumpkin," and she knows exactly what I like.

Still, I suspect she might be trying to kill me. She can't resist pushing the milk. People love to be in line behind me because I give my milk away. (I can actually get veggies and a fruit for only 15 more cents if I also take a half-pint of milk.)

Beer in moderation, on the other hand, prolongs life. It lowers blood pressure, reduces my chances of developing Alzheimer's, and, well, tastes good. Really good.

Really, really good. (Did I mention that I like beer?)

Guess which beverage gets the huge color poster on the cafeteria wall?

Now obviously I don't think the cafeteria walls should be covered with Guinness ads, nor do I condone drinking among the young (except maybe for those in my immediate clan during wakes).

Our love affair with cow's milk shows what a good PR campaign can do. We are willing to drink the milk from a four-legged critter while simultaneously repulsed by the idea of making ice cream from breast milk.

I'm not going to jump all over anyone for a bad milk habit--live and let live. But on St. Paddy's Day, when I carefully pour the cream over a spoon into my Irish coffee, it's not the whiskey I fear.

It's the cream.

Particularly the cream from the milk of another species.

My students continue to drink milk and Coke and Snapple and all kinds of other things that harm them, truly harm them. Diabetes is no joke.

In D.A.R.E., they learn that beer is a gateway drug. Too much of anything can be dangerous. Thankfully, too much thinking is not one of them anymore. Uncontrolled thinking could lead to all kinds of ruinous activities.

I'll drink to that.

I lifted the image of the beer in a carboy from Homebrew Underground
--at least until they complain or I find my own photo. Addendum: it's cool--thanks, Homebrew Underground!

The udder shot is from Genus Breeding.

Leslie points out, rightly, that cow's milk has not been linked to adult onset diabetes.
Milk has been associated with Type 1 diabetes, but correlation,
of course, does not mean causation.

Leslie also says stay away from BGH (bovine growth hormone).

To be fair, I'm a bit lactose intolerant, so I may be biased.


Shawn Cornally said...

This is just a fantastic blog post. Blogs are magical places for opinions and explaining yourself, and you've done it so well without sounding preachy or silly. Love it. I'm going to use this in my bioethics class, especially your line about being grossed out by human milk, but eating from a hormone fueled heifer. Thanks!

doyle said...

Dear Shawn,

Thank you for your warm words. I may steal your "hormone fueled heifer" line next time I jabber on about milk in class.

For those who do not know Shawn, he is a physics/calculus/geology teacher who also teaches bioethics; he has a phenomenal blog, Think Thank Thunk, wildly popular in the teacher world, well worth a read.