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Here is how much milk that the US Government recommends that you and your children consume every day:


Aside from the fact that the US Government doesn’t exactly have a great history of getting the recommended daily allowances correct (go check out what was on the 1950s “choosemyplate” plate and compare it to what scientists know), I don’t actually know many people who drink 3 cups of milk per day. That’s 24 ounces – well more than a pint of milk.

  1. These recommendations are out now, but milk consumption in the US has been in a decline over the entire course of my life.
  2. I find charts like this incredibly insensitive, borderline creepy, but totally incoherent. No longer are we to be thought of as individuals, but merely hunks of meat that can be blandly represented by what “group” we are in. Are people of all physical characteristics supposed to drink the same amount of milk? If you are 6′ 8″ and 280 lbs? If you are 5’4″ and 160 lbs? If you are lactose intolerant? So much for celebrating the individual. Now don’t go telling me there is a tiny disclaimer somewhere on the site or on the charts, the chart gets the play, that CYA stuff just doesn’t fly.
  3. I love the “Key Consumer Message” …

    Well, “everyone just knows” fat is bad for you. Ummm, really? That doesn’t exactly seem to be the case.

  4. Here’s the real point of today’s post. Go check out how much sugar is in a single cup of milk. That would be 13g. This means that the Government is recommended you drink 39 grams of sugar in the recommended dose of milk. Guess what folks, that’s far more sugar than is to be found in a glass of soda. I love how the linked calculator defaults people to a small 8oz glass of milk but a 21oz. glass of soda to do the comparison. But a 12 ounce can of regular soda (does anyone drink regular anymore anyway?) contains 33 grams of sugar. So while school cafeterias and government food nannies everywhere make it harder to obtain soda and even ban soda outright, they are not only recommended but in many cases SUBSIDIZING and providing for FREE an amount of milk to people that has 18% more sugar than a can of soda. Now it would be stupid of me to ask, “how the heck do they get away with this?” Or “why would they do this?” The answers should be obvious. Of course there is no reason whatsoever to believe that any of this has to do with concern for the health of people. That gets nominal air-play, but that is meaningless.
  5. If you want to tell me that the milk is recommended because despite the huge amounts of sugar in milk there are other things in there that the know-it-alls find valuable, I can buy that. But why then milk? Orange juice is fortified with calcium. There are easy to make and take multi-vitamins that can replicate everything that a glass of milk gives you, and they can be given to you with water – so you get ALL of the benefits of milk without the sugar, and without the “environmental impact” that cows have and without having to worry about hormones and any such things in your milk. If we are oh so concerned about people’s health and the health of the planet, how on earth could the government be recommending so much milk consumption? Finally, we can make energy drinks that have less sugar than that, we can make sodas (indeed they are VERY popular) that have less sugar than that, that taste better than that, that are better for the planet, and that replicate the nutritional features that folks want in milk … so why are those not provided freely or subsidized? Again, we know the answers to these questions. I’d love to see folks who, knowing this, still insist we ought to subsidize and promote milk consumption. They’d be akin to … modern climate deniers, no?

7 Responses to “Four Legs Bad, Two Legs Good: The Land of Milk and H(M)oney Edition”

  1. Doug M says:

    math check:
    44 grams of sugar / 21 oz — we are mixing our measuring systems…
    44*12/21 = 25 g/ 12 oz… how do they get 33?
    There must be an allowance for ice in the 21 oz cup.

    13 g / 8 oz = 19.5 g / 12 oz
    For an equivalent volume of milk, milk has less sugar. You are only getting 18% more sugar from milk if you compare 24 oz of milk to 12 oz of cola.

    Interesting that the USDA is recommending 3 cups of milk for ALL demographics other than 8. I suppose from a messaging point of view they are trying to suggest that everyone should be drinking milk. But for its informational value the table is pretty meaningless.

  2. Harry says:

    Another inspirational message from the demand-side nannies (figuratively speaking, not the nannies that are milked) at the USDA, promoting generic milk. How come the corn lobby, having found success with getting moonshine in our gasoline, has not gotten the USDA to promote generic bourbon?

    Several years ago our county commissioners did a tour where they got photographed with milk mustaches, hoping to endear themselves to the hicks, as if the role of the county government were to be worried about how much calcium everybody gets, as opposed to administering the courts and repairing the county roads and bridges. Thank you for your concern.

    For the record, I prefer whole milk on my cereal and berries. Also, there is nothing better for lunch than a chocolate/vanilla malted milk shake; to lower the carb intake, I add no sugar Nestle’s Quik and add in a capful of real vanilla extract. I do this not in response to any USDA program.

  3. Harry says:

    By the way, milk does contain lactose, a sugar. My understanding is that the body metabolizes lactose more slowly than fructose. So if you drink a case of Pepsi a day, or six big milkshakes a day, along with whole pies and cakes, pretty soon you will look like Diamond Jim Brady. At that point, the quantity of generic bourbon you consume is meaningless.

  4. stan says:

    The protein found in milk is the best protein available for building the muscle which is so critical to healthy living.

    • wintercow20 says:

      Surely it is, but one sees no reason why that particular delivery mechanism is the “recommended” one, especially with all of that sugar. Are there not protein supplements and other ways to get access to the important nutrients in milk? Why not have a recommendation say something like, “Adults need XYZ of this particular protein, and the ways you might obtain it include supplements, milk, etc.?”

  5. Harry says:

    To answer Professor WC’s last question, not all milk promoters are climate deniers, but many milkshake lovers are climate deniers, and some milkshake lovers/deniers are not invited to fancy university faculty cocktail parties. Some dairy farmers think the USDA is a gift. All farmers wish there were shale gas under their farm, and some people in New York State wish that the drillers would come to their back yard to drill, and resent Governor Cuomo. There is a 100 percent difference between two percent milk and one percent milk. All people who say they would not like a milkshake are liars. No man can do “no milkshake” voluntarily, nor can he credibly deny the climate is changing.

  6. […] The consensus on milk consumption […]

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