Letters to the Editor

School milk does nobody any good

A man comments at our state’s Farm Show: “I’ve never seen a soybean nurse its young. It’s not milk and it’s serious.” Well I’ve never seen a cow nurse a human, and that’s serious. Milk is perfect for a 60-pound baby calf growing into a 1,500-pound adult, but given to children, it grows stuff that isn’t good, adding risk for diabetes, acne, ear infections and artery-clogging fat for Alzheimer’s disease and cancers. That’s serious.

Milk is the No. 1 source of saturated fat in the American diet and doesn’t build strong bones. A 2014 JAMA study showed that the more milk teenagers consume, the more bone fractures they later experienced. A 2012 study showed that kids consuming lots of milk have the same risk for broken bones as those consuming little. It’s not milk that makes bones strong it’s calcium from beans and greens plus weight-bearing exercise. I suggest serving spinach with school lunch followed by a mandatory run around the school yard afterward.

Dairy is not our future; alternatives are. Rep. Glenn Thompson, please help farmers to diversify their business for a cleaner, sustainable tomorrow. Offer them subsidies to develop milk alternatives — how about from all those soybeans feed to dairy cows?

Consider that producing antibiotic- and hormone-filled milk is a leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions and water contamination. Let’s use subsidies to prop up sustainable solutions for our farmers, so that they can survive as they help our kids get healthy, and be good stewards of our planet.

Kathy Pollard, State College