Got Milk?

Note: This entry has been restored from old archives.

I think I’ve found the best supermarket milk in the UK: Duchy originals organic freshly pasteurised Ayreshire milk. It tastes brilliant and, as it isn’t homogenised, comes with a little dollop of creamy goodness under the cap (probably containing 10% of the calories in the bottle!) Even the semi-skimmed product is pretty decent. All thanks to good old prince Charles.

Mentioning semi-skimmed brings another thing to mind: public health awareness as a function of corporate marketing[1]. Low fat anyone? Low salt? Low GI? Maybe it’ll be low pumpernickel next? Before you reach for the semi-skimmed take note that typically the Calorie difference is only about 25%. There really isn’t any point unless you drink litres of the stuff per day. A cup of the full-cream milk I have in front of me contains 160 calories, the semi-skimmed alternative would contain no more than 40 Calories less. That’s right, just forty. Taken in the context of a standard male adult intake of 2500 Calories the difference is a mere 1.6% (2.0 for the adult females.) Of course, for many, the “standards” are usually way off the mark (exactly how average are you?), in the context of my current calorie intake at 15% below BMR (~1650 Cals) this is still only a 2.5% difference! If I can fit normal milk into my diet then anyone should be able to!

The conclusion? Dump the bloody skim milk, it doesn’t taste good and makes stuff all difference anyway.

What about the fully skim-milk you ask? Well, you may as well stick to water in my opinion. But that aside, skim milk is typically 50% lower calorie than the full-fat cow juice, yet even then for a whole 250ml of the stuff we’re talking less then 5% of your daily Calorie intake. A quarter litre is a fair bit of milk too and, unless you guzzle glasses of the stuff straight, you probably have less than that per day taking into account normal sized servings of cereal and tea/coffee (I shudder to mention having milk in either though.)

Want some advice? Keep a closer eye on the sugar and other carbs in your breakfast and drinks. That low-fat chocolate milk drink from the inconvenience store would be fine if it didn’t have twice as many Calories in sugar than it has left out in fat.

Anyway, the point was: HRH Prince Charles sells good cow-juice.

[1] Something I’m not going to delve into in great depth. One of the wake-up moments for me, that made me take a closer look at just about every piece of “accepted knowledge” I came across, was coming to the UK and finding “non-bio” prominently displayed on many laundry detergent products. I had no idea at all what this meant! It turns out that at some point in the distant past there was some big scare about “biological” (containing enzymes) detergents causing drastic eczema and even toxic-shock, so everybody avoids the stuff. Meanwhile, back in Oz, companies market “enzymes” as a great thing for your washing powder (and I hear things are much the same in the US.) In the end it is all a function of marketing, this “fact” came up, some company pushed it into their marketing campaign, and everyone jumped on the bandwagon. Fat? Think of the billions made on marked up low-fat (usually high sugar) products, the English-speaking-worldwide anti-fat campaign has been around for decades yet this world gets more and more obese by the day. Eggs? Salt? Red meat? So many “evil” foods of this day and age have their original evilness based on flawed studies (some as long ago as the 1960s!) The great news is that more recent research is countering many of the earlier studies. Not enough salt will kill you, no saturated fat stuffs with your hormonal system, cholesterol from eggs is good for you. It’s all terribly frustrating, how do we know what to believe? I wish I knew. My best guess is keep things balanced. Almost always eat “rough” foods (i.e. stay away from things with more than three flow-chart states between their origin and your table: killed->packaged->cooked), and get a good share of calories from protein and fat (about 40% and 30% in my case). I’d say it is pretty clear that the government and industry backed low-fat-high-carb diet has failed. My, that turned into a rant didn’t it?