The Milk Conspiracy That I Wish I Knew When I was Seven

So much milk, so little cookies.

The Milk Conspiracy That I Wish I Knew When I was SevenRaise your hand if your mother made you drink a glass of milk every damn day of your childhood. If you put a cookie in my hand, sure, I have no problem dipping that into milk. But drinking an entire glass? That’s as much torture as eating all my veggies. And much to my seven year-old dismay, when I complained I didn’t want to finish my milk, I was told I had to because I needed strong bones and calcium and protein and a ton of other things that didn’t quite make my list of wants at age seven.

Imagine how I felt when I found out it was a lie. All the “Got Milk” ads, the school posters, and everything your mom said weren’t actually true, and even the government was in on it! Now that I’ve basically lost faith in anyone telling me the truth ever, I figured it was time to see what was really going on here.

How It All Began
cereal, milk, pouring milk, bowl of cereal, Cheerios, breakfast
Jocelyn Hsu
The milk conspiracy probably cuts deeper than most white lies solely because they got my momma in on it. I’m sure it wasn’t intentional, her mom probably told her, and her mom’s mom probably told her and thus began the vicious cycle that has left me betrayed and resentful of all the milk seven-year-old me had to consume. The milk facade dates all the way back to World War I when the government needed massive amounts of canned and powdered milk to send over to troops. The sudden demand caused farmers to abandon most of their other crops and livestock so that they could solely focus all their resources to meet the milk demand. Well when WWI ended, as most wars eventually do (a fact that was overlooked when all of these large investments went into the milk industry), farmers had spent way too much time and energy investing into milk that they simply had to keep producing it. And so it all began…

Big Brother Steps In
coffee, tea, espresso, chocolate, beer, milk, Chocolate milk, dairy, beverage
Caroline Ingalls
So now it is post WWI, there is a ton of milk everywhere— what are we going to do with it!? The answer is simple: get Americans to drink more of It. After the government had to buy up almost $2 billion worth of surpluses in milk and cheese, they got rid of it by sending it to schools and the military. All of a sudden schools are encouraging four glasses a day and the government creates food campaigns featuring milk as an essential part of every kid’s diet. Hold up… First of all, four glasses? I could barely get down one, and even then I always tried to accidentally knock my glass to splash some out. Four sounds like a force. Sounds like something fishy is going on here…

The Plot Thickens
milk, cream, dairy, ice, yogurt
Kristine Mahan
Eventually the government ends the payouts to the dairy farmers, because I mean c’mon, $2 billion is a little steep to sustain. Alas, dairy farmers cannot do it all on their own so a new system takes place where the farmers now pay a fee to have milk advertisements created and approved by the US Department of Agriculture. So is there really no one in who wasn’t in on this scandal? And the pay-offs didn’t stop at advertisements, in recent years dairy farmers offer large pay-outs to congress to keep dairy in nutrition guidelines. Also, are we just choosing to neglect the fact that 60% of Americans can’t even drink milk by the time they are an adult?

Myths Debunked
water, tea, milk
Alex Frank
To top it all off… milk isn’t even that good for you. All that stuff you’ve heard about milk being good for your bones — guess what — studies have been done that show drinking lots of milk doesn’t even protect your bones as much as we all had thought. What about calcium, protein, potassium, and vitamin D? All of these can be found in a variety of different foods in greater amounts than milk has, and from the sun (Vitamin D).

So there you have. This is not to say that dairy is necessarily bad for you, just a little to PSA to all the moms, mine in particular, you don’t need to make us drink milk especially when it is unaccompanied by Frosted Flakes or cookies.