Skip to main content

Food Trends: What's in our milk?

A big conversation piece is the concern for what is in our food.  Recently a topic of conversation was specifically about milk.  Surely, those of you with kids have also heard grumblings about the bovine growth hormone added to milk. Is this safe?  Is it responsible for early induced periods and maturing in females? What about weight?  Research on the questions above turned out to be not so impressive but some of my research provided information worth sharing.

The bovine growth hormone is a genetically engineered form of a natural hormone in cows and when injected is thought to increase milk production up to 15%.  This hormone, or bGH, was approved by the FDA in 1993 and in use throughout the US by 1994.  From the start, the Consumer’s Union warned against hazards of bGH.  It is banned in Canada and Europe as well as boycotted by 95% of the US dairy farmers. Also of note, bGH went to market without pre market safety tests.

Cows injected with bGH have increased udder infections, reproductive problems, digestive disorders, foot and leg ailments and also persistent sores.  Also, in 1998 a survey showed that cows injected with bGH were dead after 2 ½ years compared to a normal life expectancy of 15-20 years.  It is also suspected that bGH can lead to an increased production of IGF-1 (insulin growth hormone 1) that can lead to increased breast and colon cancer.

Although the research does not provide any specific data on human side effects from bGH, you have the right to decide what types of products you want to choose for yourself and your children.  Since there is no requirement for labeling for bGH it is difficult to figure out what milk has this hormone and what doesn’t.  You can always purchase organic milk and some milk will be labeled bGH free.  Kroger, Safeway, and Wal-Mart do not carry milk that contains bGH and in 1998 Starbucks banned products containing bGH.  Do you have concerns about bGH?  I want to hear about them.  Be well! 


Beth said…
Hi Amy! Great post! I'd love to hear your thoughts on non-dairy alternatives. I've been on an enriched rice milk for a few years, and while I love the taste and the assurance that there are no hormones, antibiotics, etc., I'm not thrilled about the added oils. Along the same lines, I use a non-dairy butter. I can't taste much of a difference in the butter or rice milk(not a fan of soy)and use them in cooking as well. I'm not vegan or even vegetarian, but am primarily trying to limit consumption of animal and dairy where possible. Is it really healthier to go non-dairy if you go organic?
Hi Beth! It depends on what your motivation is to go non dairy. If it is primarily to reduce additives such as hormones and antibiotics, you can insure you are doing this if you only eat Organic dairy products. Its important to know that cows milk and eggs provide your highest biological value proteins availble. The higher the biological value the better as this rates how efficiently your body can use the protein. Non dairy products often have to be fortified with calcium, B12 and other vitamins and minerals and have approximately 40 more calories per cup than skim cow milk.

It's hard to say which is particularly healthier. If you don't have an allergy to cow's milk I'd recommend organic cows milk. It is nutrient dense and even when substitures are fortified, its hard to mimic. You could even stick with the non dairy butter etc and go with the organic cow's milk. Hope this helps!
Nice article! Thank you for sharing this great post. I've learned a lot, considering my kids are fans of milk and dairy products

Popular posts from this blog

Food Trends: Macros Misconstrued

Oh Macros, how I love thee. You are the foundation of my nutrition recommendations. You should be individualized and different for everyone although you are "prescribed" routinely the same person to person. You are scientific, there is not a one size fits all, and frankly you are misunderstood.

A couple of years ago Macros started to become more popular in the www world when a brilliant someone decided to market magical macro percentages to induce weight loss, body massing, and everything else under the sun. The thought process is to start with grams of protein needs dependent on body weight, to then look at range of fats between 25-35% dependent on goals and body type, and to provide the remaining of your macro goals from carbohydrates.  How easy, especially since everyone has the same protein needs, insert sarcasm here.

Right away many bought into this bullet proof hope and we now have too many folks determining and "prescribing" ratios for people who aren't …

A Note to Self before "Bathing Suit Season"

We are coming up on Memorial Day Weekend. The pools will open, beach season begins, and everyone is scurrying around to buy new bathing suits or cover ups. Although I LOVE summer there's an aspect of this time of year that I very much dislike.  I absolutely cannot stand the insecurity bathing suits bring to the mind. How many of your friends' Facebook and Instagram posts read "Gotta get bikini ready" or "I'm not ready for bathing suit season?" It's on everyone's minds and we have much better things to worry about people.

The fact of the matter is that MOST people feel vulnerable in a bathing suit. Think about it you are practically naked and I'm pretty sure the woman whose body modeled your final product may have had longer legs or is 15 years old.

Is it really worth allowing yourself to feel vulnerable and insecure over something that realistically isn't even created to showcase your body's strengths?  What in the world does how yo…


I am a runner, although not currently training for anything. I started off running track in high school, short distance sprints ( an 800 was LONG for me) and I've always run many miles with my soccer endeavors.  In college I dabbled with running longer mileage but would cap it at 30 minutes. Ahhh the days of exercising 30 minutes a day, I remember those!!  

Shortly after I had my second child I realized how crazy life was with two children under the age of 18 months. I started running for two reasons: 1) It was the only time I had to myself  2) I lost so much of my core strength and endurance with back to back pregnancies I needed my strength back.  I've run 5 half marathons, many 10 milers and more than I can count 10 Ks, 5 milers, and 5 K's. My closet is lined with ribbons, medals, and trophies and even some podium awards.

Once I felt I mastered my running goals, and tired or runners knee,  I started competing in triathlons. What a challenge! I was stoked to make the p…