Monday, January 18, 2016

I'm sorry, but isn't the dairy industry too big?

I very much appreciate the widely held concern about the fall in wholesale milk prices and the poor returns that dairy farmers are able to achieve in the current market. Add to this the on-going difficulties with TB control and the farce of the badger culls, and we have a beleaguered industry in quite a state of crisis. 

Milk is a great source of energy, protein and calcium if you don't have anything else to eat. And a cow is a great way of converting vegetation that is relatively indigestible for humans into a steady supply of such nourishment. It's also mobile and fresh, which is especially useful when you don't have a fridge. 

But the above have limited value in our society and I can't help noticing that our shops are now full of skimmed, low fat or even non-dairy dairy products, partly because many of the base constituents of milk are actually quite bad for us as adults, especially given the relative abundance of other food types. 

Is the elephant in the room not the issue that we all consume far too many dairy products anyway and that the industry is therefore bigger than either our economy, health or environment can sustain? 

Last time I checked, I was weaned when I was about six months old. 

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