Live Real. Eat Real.

Moo Juice

MilkBecause I don’t think you can call it “milk” any more, especially if the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) have their way.  You see, these two organizations are petitioning the FDA to allow aspartame and other artificial sweeteners to be added to milk and other dairy products without a label.

Without going into the debacle that is food labeling (that’s a whole ‘nother post), why on earth would anyone want to add artificial sweeteners, especially aspartame, to milk?  Well, according to IDFA and NMPF, “aspartame and other artificial sweeteners would promote healthy eating and is good for school children.”

Just let that sink in for a minute.

Aspartame.

Healthy.

Good for school children.

Despite the claims of both the manufacturer of aspartame (would it surprise you to learn that between 1985 and 2000, that honor went to Monsanto?) and the Food and Drug Administration that the “non-nutritive sweetener” is harmless, there is a huge body of anecdotal evidence that says otherwise (something the FDA doesn’t deny).

There are over 92 different side effects associated with aspartame consumption, which can lead to a number of health problems.  Among these are:

– Blindness

– Loss of hearing

– Seizures

– Migraines

– Numbness of the extremeties

– Anxiety

– Insomnia

– Heart palpitations

– Nausea

– Diarrhea

– Hives

– Hair Loss

Those are just the mild effects; there have been claims of brain damage, birth defects, and even death.  And now these organizations are petitioning the government “to amend the standard of identification for milk, cream, and 17 other dairy products like yogurt, sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, and others to provide for the use of any ‘safe and suitable sweetener’ on the market” because it “would promote healthy eating and is good for school children.”

Did you know the European Common Market has banned aspartame in children’s product due to concerns about it’s safety?  But here industrial dairy producers and distributors are lobbying to have it added to all milk and milk-based products, without any sort of label indicating it’s there, because by golly, if you make something sweet enough, Americans will swill it down without question.

Normally, I wouldn’t be upset about this; I don’t necessarily agree with labeling, but even if I did I rarely consume anything that has a label.  What really peeves me about this is that if this is passed, all the milk kids are served outside of their home, including day care facilities and schools (even private schools often have to adhere to government regulations regarding the food that is served), will contain an ingredient that is A) toxic and B) potentially addictive.  School children that are already suffering from attention disorders and autism in rapidly increasing numbers every year.

I’ve got an idea for you, International Dairy Foods Association and the National Milk Producers Federation:  if you want to encourage the consumption of your products, especially by children, stop taking the fat out of it.  You’d be amazed at what it does for the palatability:

Me to The Young One’s Friend:  Want some milk?

Friend:  Nah, I don’t really like milk.

Me:  What kind of milk does your mother buy?  Skim?

Friend:  Yeah.

Me (pouring a glass of non-homogenized, vat-pasteurized, full fat milk):  Well, here – try this.  If you don’t like it, you don’t have to finish it.

Friend (tasting, then gulping down the entire glass):  That was wonderful!  What have I been missing?

Me:  Real food.

Fight Back Friday

Posted in participation of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday

Edited to add:  This appears to only apply to sweetened milk products, such as flavored milks and yogurts (for now).  Nor does it mean that aspartame would not be included on the ingredient label, just not prominently.  However, it’s still a push to include something that is A) toxic and B) potentially addictive to products marketed to, and consumed in large quantities by, children.  And it’s still a bad idea.


9 comments

VandyJ says:

I’m not usually very hyper about foods and labels and such, but this one bothers me. I think we and the consumers should know if they are adding something to the milk. Especially something like artificial sweeteners.

chuck says:

pardon my french but HOLY SHIT! if people did’t already have enough evidence that food manufacturers shouldn’t be trusted….

Jan says:

I think the operative words here are “food manufacturers.” Food isn’t manufactured – it’s raised and grown.

Carolyn Curielli says:

I heard about this when I picked up some milk from my local farmer; its the most asinine thing I’ve ever heard.

Sean says:

Pretty sure human milk has even more fat than moo milk. But hey, what’s a few million years of natural selection when artificial flavor enhancers can be brought to bear?

Gretchen says:

This is absolutely nasty. Aspartame freaks me out. And you’ve given me an idea. When Jude was a tyke, he loved his milk. But then it was Mama’s milk, full of good old human fat. When I weaned him to cow milk, he continued to love it. But at some point, he decided he didn’t like milk any more, and for the last 6 years or so has only consumed water. Which isn’t a bad thing. He gets plenty of calcium from other places. But now I’m wondering if he stopped liking milk about the time I switched from whole to non-fat milk? I think this might be true! I’m gonna have to buy some fatty milk just to find out.

I hadn’t heard that. I can’t IMAGINE anyone thinking it’s a good idea. Ugh!

This is why I like to grow/harvest my own foods and buy from our local farmers. Looks like I’ll be looking for a milk man! – Found you over at Gretchen’s through The Spin Cycle. :) I’ve got you book marked now!

Jenn says:

It’s going to make someone money, so it must be healthy for children. Right? HA!

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