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Thursday, April 8, 2010

I read it in my Parent’s Magazine…

Walking through the aisles of an Overland Park grocery store, I was helping my older sister make the grocery run a little quicker. We were in the dairy aisle and I had seen, “milk” on her list and grabbed a gallon of 2%. She said, “Oh no, I don’t buy that kind.”

Hmmm…I thought to myself. Mom bought 2% because her mom bought 2% and I’m pretty sure that is why we buy 2%. What kind of milk do you buy, whole?

Well, she had read in her Parent’s Magazine that milk in the grocery store has an added protein referred to as recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST) in it and that it is bad for her kids. At first I was mad, she was raised in the exact farm family I was raised in. How could she make uninformed food choices like this?  After I thought about it some more, she wasn’t so wrong:

-       My sister subscribes to a well-known magazine that prints articles to help her learn more about healthy choices for her family.

-       Even though rBST that is used in dairy production is identical to the natural protein produced in a cow’s body, it is only used to help the cows efficiently produce more milk for us to drink.

-       She, along with millions of other moms, made the decision without reviewing an article written by a dairy farmer, a reputable University’s dairy department or the USDA. Maybe the baby crying in the next room took precedence over time available to research milk.  

I think this is a lesson to agriculturists in accessibility. Our information needs to be more accessible to consumers. Our entities need to be the source for sound food choices for moms, but they need to be able to find it.

If you are a consumer who wants to learn more about the milk you drink and what the scoop is on rBST, I thought this website has an abundance of facts that are even printed in real English rather than scientific jargon!


  1. Tera - Agreed! I'm so fed up w/ Parents mag. I still get a subscription - but haven't paid for one in a long time. Pg. 36 of the May 2010 issues has incomplete information about organic fruit. And, they use "pesticides" as a dirty word to scare moms away from conventionally produced fruit. The magazine is going green, going organic, and going straight to my recycling bin! I'm hoping my new blog project can start to get the "whole story" out there! Thanks for the good work - keep it up!

  2. So you are saying you want your children to eat pesticides? Why wouldn't you avoid that stuff if you can/choose to? I don't think pesticide is a dirty word but it would seem logical to avoid pesticide ingestion if you can. And why wouldn't I also want to buy milk that did not have 'extra' stuff added to it. I like to choose things that don't have extra stuff added to them if i can avoid them.

  3. Scott and Sarah - we appreciate your comments on the blog!

    To clear up some stuff, I take it you gathered from my post that milk from cows that are treated with rBST has something 'extra' added to it. This is not a correct statement. The milk itself is unaltered. The cows are treated with the rBST to help them produce more, and it is the same protein that is produced naturally in a cow's system. What is positive about this production practice is that it has allowed United States dairy farmers to produce enough milk for our country to consume and enough milk to export to other countries. We have a huge population to feed and I think something that we can all agree on is that people need to eat.

    We appreciate you reading the blog and enjoy the comments. Keep the coming!



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