October 30, 2008

Dear Whole Milk

Dear Whole Milk,

What happened to you? When I was growing up you were the only game in town. You dominated the mornings and you owned alone time with a sleeve of Chips Ahoy! We put you in cereal, and oatmeal, and chocolate milk and, well, in a glass, chugging you greedily down.

Then one day, an adult handed us some milk-like liquid in a green, or, god help us, blue carton that was supposed to be “good” for us. What about the calcium you had been strengthening our bones with for all those years, huh? That wasn’t good enough? What about the energy you gave us to run around like idiots and play half-field baseball until the sun faded over the outfield trees? Suddenly they were telling us that you were bad and that we would no longer see your warm red carton in the fridge anymore. Everyone was worried about us getting fat. How could that happen? We were out in the woods having rock fights all day and climbing trees. We would have had to drink a gallon of you a day to get fat.

Luckily my family fought pretty hard and at least had the courage to purchase your skinnier, but still respectable, 2% cousin. But so many kids were punished with 1% and in some cases—skim. Are you kidding? Skim? I wouldn’t be surprised if skim was just a cow’s pee, and watered down pee at that.

Well, I’m an adult now and I have two children, one of which is drinking you in her bottle before bedtime. So this morning, when I was pouring myself a bowl of Raisin Bran Crunch I saw you there, alone, in the refrigerator. I thought, well, maybe this once. No one will know. I have to admit, as I poured you over the flakes, and you stuck to them like cream, I was a little nervous. But then the spoon touched my tongue and your cold, silky way won me over. I greedily gobbled the rest of the bowl and poured another, wondering if the world knew what it was missing.

After a little research I have some answers for you. You have only 3.7% fat. Wait, I was just talking about drinking 2% as a kid. You aren’t even double that. Why didn’t you fight harder? You could have hired a lobbying firm and turned the tables on those skinny bastards. They would have sent some strapping Iowa farm boy to Capitol Hill and he would have used all of his wit and 6’5” frame to convince them that if he—a Princeton grad and star quarterback—could drink whole milk everyday, then why couldn’t the rest of us?

Sorry, back to the facts. I read here that “for many people, three eight-ounce glasses of whole milk provide more than the recommended limit of saturated fat for a whole day.” Huh? Who the hell drinks three glasses of milk a day? All I’m talking about is cereal, and pancakes, and a little glass with cookies. At least I don’t live in England where a national ban on you is in the works. Tell your cousin Nigel that he needs to move here, and fast.

So, on second thought, if someone out there drinks milk like the rest of us drink water, then he should probably stick the low fat stuff. But for those of us who simply want a respectable bowl of cereal, then I say go ahead. Treat yourself. You probably just had cream in your coffee and an inch of cream cheese on your everything bagel anyway.

Alright whole milk, I’ll see you soon. I’m lucky to have you back in my life and wanted to thank you for not leaving the milk game altogether. Oh, and don’t worry, these things are cyclical. They tried to tell us a while ago that Tab caused cancer. Who’s laughing now?




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