Got Milked? by Alissa Hamilton – Book Review
What you don’t know about dairy, the truth about calcium, and why you’ll thrive without milk.
In Got Milked, dairy’s answer to Wheat Belly and Grain Brain, Alissa Hamilton breaks down the science to illustrate how the milk kick is making us sick-and what we can do about it.
About the book: In 1993, the “Got Milk?” campaign launched in California to help reverse declining milk sales across the U.S. With a 90 per cent recognition rate, it is considered one of the most successful advertising campaigns of all time. Ever since, we’ve come to believe that cow’s milk is an essential part of our (and our children’s) diets, and that milk does not have an equal when it comes to the calcium, protein and myriad other nutrients and vitamins it provides. And yet the ability to digest milk as an adult is not normal; roughly 60 per cent of adults are lactose intolerant. So why do we keep buying and drinking milk, and is it really necessary?
Alissa Hamilton takes us inside the dairy industry’s powerful agenda (to convince us that milk is essential to a healthy diet) and breaks down the real science behind the claims that milk is the panacea for all of our dietary problems.
My Rating: 4/5
My Review: You’re probably wondering why I chose to review a health book on my business blog today. The answer is simply because, its not only a great book relating to our health and environment, but it was an interesting read that details what the “milk business” is all about these days – from false claims from our government to deceptive marketing efforts by big industry players – it references so many accredited professionals and documents within the last 20+ years that it is almost scary to see where we are headed.
I reached for this book mainly because I recently discovered that I am lactose intolerant. My 30’s proved to be more challenging in digesting certain foods but milk really took over my body and it has been a struggling time. I began to read dozens of books on the issue but this book by Alissa Hamilton really stood out. Not only did she break down why people have troubles digesting milk, but she discusses in great detail how we are manipulated (by government and big corporate players) into thinking that milk is the best choice for healthy bones and teeth, and the only choice for our calcium intake for a healthy lifestyle, while other parts of the world doesn’t even consume cow’s milk and are known to have the least amount of cases of cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and other ailments.
If you’re looking for interesting perspective on the dairy industry and how marketing can affect our health and food purchasing decisions, starting way back from the 1950’s where milk was first advertised, then Alissa’s book is worth the read. Especially if you’re a marketer by heart.
One spoiler to mention. After reading this you will feel duped by the government, health administrations, FDA, dairy farmers, etc. and disappointed knowing that no one on that side of the fence is working hard to make any changes. If it affects their wallet it won’t happen. Only we can continue to educate ourselves and make informed decisions to promote this change in the long run.
It’s hard for me to speak intelligently about her book without infringing on all the facts listed so I would love nothing more than to provide you some quotes from her book. Enjoy!
“Modern Mass-Produced Milk” “Milk Marketing”
– big brand advertising budgets, deceptive packaging, agricultural policies that effectively subsidize unhealthy foods, and the politics of the government-approved process for new substances.
“The government’s sponsorship of milk with more sugar and less fat doesn’t mesh with what doctors are saying about the dietary fat/body fat connection. Many studies have not supported the idea that far in the diet is specifically related to greater far in our bodies. But the dairy industry’s fix isn’t any better. The situation it is creating in school cafeterias couldn’t be more convoluted. First it delivered up vast quantities of whole milk. Than it took out the fat. Then it added sugar and flavour. Now it wants to take out the sugar and add a non-nutritive sweeter.
“Looking at the numbers, there are almost 75 grams, or 18 teaspoons of sugar in one daily does of day in the form of low-fat flavoured milk. That approaches the 78 grams of sugar in three 8-ounce glasses of Coca-Cola.”
“True, milk is high in calcium. But it’s also high in sugar, cholesterol, calories, and saturated fat. Just because milk is readily available, just because you can get it anywhere, doesn’t mean you should. What we don’t hear so much about it that milk is one of the most allergenic food; the majority of Americans can’t digest it.”
“Milk is a poor source of iron and that ingesting too much cow’s milk can lead to iron deficiency. Too much calcium may actually increase the likelihood of fractures. This may be opening the door to modifying our recommendations for calcium intake – that was back in 2011. There is no sign of change”
“California is America’s Dairy Heartland. It produces the most milk of any state in the nation. Being the largest milk supplier, it is also a heavy polluter. Dairy and other high input agriculture is uniquely impacting the ground water in the Central Valley of California, which is heavily contaminated with nitrates. Water is critical. Milk is not and worse, the kick to get us to drink more of if it degrading what is.”
“The dairy sector is accountable for about 4% of the greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans in 2007. They methane emissions from cows are so high that it has caught the attention of the Obama Administration to make radical changes to reduce this by 25% by 2020.”
Jennifer Boyce Richardson
Have you read a good business book lately? Have you read this one?
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