Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Without the Bitterness

Here's what I read on my Chipotle cup just now while... well, never mind what I was doing.

Sour Cream, Without the Bitterness

Left to nature, dairy cows produce up to eight gallons of milk a day. This natural way has worked well for man and cow for eons.

However, agricultural chemists have formulated a synthetic hormone that is injected into a cow to artificially increase milk production. Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) is used in the United States, but banned in other countries. Many farmers report rBGH causes maladies such as udder infections and joint problems. Those synthetic growth hormones could end up in the milk we drink. While it's not clear how these hormones affect us, they're just another thing we, and the cows, could probably do without.

At Chipotle, we serve naturally raised meats that come from vegetarian-fed animals that are humanely raised and never given antibiotics or growth hormones. We think the same should be true for the dairy cows that produce our sour cream. So we've worked with our supplier, Daisy Brand, to ensure that none of their cows supplying cream for our sour cream receive rBGH.

We think producing milk the way nature intended is better for everyone. It's another step along our Food with Integrity journey - bringing you the very best ingredients from the very best sources.

I completely agree that I'd prefer my dairy products to come from non-rBGH cows. But much of this blurb is complete bullshit.

Cows produce milk for the same reason as all other mammals: to feed newborn babies. Depending on the breed, a calf needs milk for 4-6 weeks, and initially needs 6-12 pounds of milk per day: 0.75-1.5 gallons. At the outside that's 63 gallons total.
A dairy cow producing 8 gallons per day works out to 2920 gallons a year - over 45 times more than a calf would need in its life.

There's nothing even remotely natural about a dairy cow. Dairy cows have been bred to produce far more milk than they need to for their own purposes by artificial selection. Then dairy farmers keep the milk coming by pumping it out of them twice a day.

Humans don't "naturally" drink cow milk either. In fact, we had to adapt to be able to digest the lactose in cow milk; many humans can't even do it or lose the ability during their lives.

The reality is not "natural" dairy cows vs. "artificial" hormones. It's one kind of artificial vs. another kind of artificial. But I guess the truth doesn't make good propaganda.

-- Satan