8 January 2017 - Is It or Isn’t It?

You have heard me talk about this issue for decades, but there seems to be a growing interest in the subject, not only on the part of the dairy industry, but on the part of some members of Congress. I am talking about labeling products ‘milk’ that are not milk. If it hasn’t come from a goat, sheep or cow,
it is not milk!

In the Dairy Department at supermarkets, I see cartons labeled soy milk and almond milk. These products are not milk, they are a beverage, and should be labeled as such. I have nothing against almond producers or soybean farmers, I have many friends who grow those crops, but I have never milked an almond tree or a soybean plant. I have milked many cows in my lifetime and let me brag by saying I am the five-time Cow Milking Champion of the Illinois State Fair, retiring undefeated!

So I admit I am a promoter of milk and dairy products because I grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. Again to make myself ‘perfectly clear’ If it doesn’t come from an animal that has been milked, it is not milk!

As a matter of fact, this isn’t the first time that a product has tried to take advantage of the quality nutritious reputation of milk and dairy products. I grew up in the days when the dairy industry was challenged by the arrival of oleomargarine, a competitor to butter from cow’s milk. The natural color of oleo was white, so the first thing oleo processors did was to color their product yellow to look like butter.

In Wisconsin, a major battle took place to keep oleo white, and legislation was passed to prohibit the sale of yellow oleo in America’s Dairyland. That was
finally amended to allow the sale of white oleo containing a yellow capsule that you could knead in the plastic container and then you had oleo that looked like butter, but really wasn’t. There were stories of people driving into Illinois to buy yellow oleo. I must admit I never had oleo in my refrigerator.

I understand the reputation of milk and other dairy products is indeed, very appealing and credible to food processors, and I can understand other products wanting to take advantage of the reputation of milk but let us not do it with false labeling.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.