A guy I hang around with is convinced that milk is about the worst thing a person can ingest, save for red meat, which he sees as a virtual guarantee of colon cancer (there is probably an association, but he takes the issue to an extreme). Of course, this same fellow is a “truther” (thinks the U.S. government was behind the 9/11 terror attacks) and has paranoid tendencies across the board. And when he says milk is bad, he’s not referring to the hormones people are concerned about; he means milk per se, at least cow’s milk and other milk derived from animals.
Many years ago, I read in USA Today or some other lay rag that a significant number of people — and I’m not sure how many were medical types — were confident that drinking milk could lead to Type I diabetes. I never followed up on this idea because I assumed it was a bunch of bullshit, much like the notion that artificial sweeteners will poison and kill you. (This idea is all over the Web, no doubt the result of propaganda cranked out by the sugar industry, but you won’t find and formal research supporting this claim.)
So here is a brief quiz for those who believe that milk, a rich source of various essential nutrients, is categorically unhealthy:
1. When infant mammals suckle at the teat of their mothers, what substance do they ingest?
a) Mountain Dew
c) Absolut vodka
e) lighter fluid
Really, this should put the issue to rest. But common sense and strong evidence have never been sufficient to disabuse cranks of their noisy convictions.