Tuesday, October 5, 2010

How now brown cow?

Let's face it, one of the joys of childhood is a cool, freshly stirred glass of chocolate milk. And, let's face it some more, even in adulthood is it a welcome treat. Results of a study were published pointing to the health benefits of chocolate milk. Good news!

Since the article linked above appeared in the New York Times, there have been many more articles and blogs touting the benefits of brown milk (Do all kids think brown milk comes from brown cows? I had a "pet" brown cow when I was little - her name was Brownie... and, her milk? Not brown - so disappointing!).

Many of the subsequent articles on chocolate milk have talked about the benefits published in the study and have omitted critical facts. One of the problems with studies and how they are shared with the public is the person publishing includes and omits information for the sake of column size and special interests. Also, I think it is important to know this study took place in Barcelona, Spain where they have different standards and culture on the quality of food.

To be clear and for the sake of science -- this study gave participants 20-gram sachets of soluble cocoa powder with instructions they mix it with skim milk.

This is not the same as buying a gallon of chocolate milk at the convenience store. This is not the same as mixing some Nesquick (Ingredients? Sugar, cocoa processed with alkali, soy lecithin, salt, artificial and natural flavors, maltodextrin) into milk from cows pumped full of hormones and antibiotics. This is not the same as a chocolate milk shake from your favorite fast food place.

Let's help each other be more aware and educated consumers. Please don't fall for the marketing spin put on every study for the sake of sales (the Nesquick web page already touts the "benefits" of chocolate milk!).

If we stick together and share good information, we can improve our health. You can buy organic cocoa powder online. This one has 1 ingredient Organic Cocoa Powder (100%). Now that is much better. Cheers!

1 comment:

  1. Very very nice article. I couldn't agree with you more about raising the awareness and education of consumers. A lot of products have bold claims stamped on their labels. Examples are 100% natural, Sugar-free, low-cal, No Preservatives,etc. This can go on and on and on. If you're a gullible consumer, you'll think you're doing yourself a favor if you get these products. But if you'll look closely, just at the back of the food label, you'll see that the product you bought isn't so natural at all.

    Kids love chocolate milk and probably a lot of tots ask their moms for a glass during breakfast or before going to sleep. If moms are not careful, they might be giving their kids unnecessary sugar and fats and just a minimal amount of the benefits chocolate milk.

    Thanks for sharing this product. Now moms have a healthier choice for their kids.