THE “fact” that junk food is cheaper than real food has become a reflexive part of how we explain why so many Americans are overweight, particularly those with lower incomes. I frequently read confident statements like, “when a bag of chips is cheaper than a head of broccoli …” or “it’s more affordable to feed a family of four at McDonald’s than to cook a healthy meal for them at home.”
Even the case against whole milk, condemned by some critics as nothing less than a glass of liquid fat, is more complex than it seems. It’s true that kids who drink a lot of whole milk drink a lot of calories, but milk can actually help control weight, since calcium binds with fat in the food digesting in your gut, meaning that you absorb less of that fat. Some studies have seen no significant differences among skim, low-fat and whole milk when it comes to weight control. What’s more, when you take all of the fat out of milk, you’re left with too high a concentration of natural sugars, which interacts like candy with your hormones, especially insulin.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, TIME, September 12, 2011
Moderation is essential. It’s almost almost always better just to have less of the real, whole version of a food than it is to eat its reduced-fat, highly processed “diet” alternative.
TIME’s cover story by Dr. Mehmet Oz has some really great, straightforward, and overdue(!) information on healthy dietary choices.
“The milk supply had been falling for the past eight months, in part because the number of dairy cows had dropped by more than 100,000, just within the past year. This sharp acceleration in the long-term trend, it seemed, was a result of the war in Iraq. Higher fuel costs meant higher feed costs, and that was just enough to put even more dairy farms out of business. And the Austrian maker of genetically modified cow growth hormone was indeed having production problems, but supply and demand for that hormone were soon expected to return to balance.”
— Marion Nestle, in her book, What to Eat, discussing why the cost of milk doubled in 2004.
politics and policy.