national

City in Niigata drops milk from school lunches

105 Comments

A city in Niigata Prefecture has decided to drop milk from school lunches from September.

Sanjo City decided last December to try serving school lunches without milk packs at its 30 elementary and junior high schools for a four-month trial period through April this year.

After discussions with parents, children and teachers, the board of education decided to drop milk from lunches permanently from September, Sankei Shimbun reported. The main reason given by parents was that milk doesn't go with the flavor of Japanese-style dishes such as fish, pork cutlets and vegetables, rice and miso soup usually served at lunch.

However, the Japan Dietetic Association said that many children don’t receive sufficient amounts of calcium in their diets at home, and that school lunch milk plays a vital role in addressing this problem. The education board said milk in 200-milliliter packs will still be available for children during special "Drink Times" during the day.

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

105 Comments
Login to comment

The idea that drinking milk provides calcium to the body, or that drinking cows milk is healthy, is the biggest scam perpetrated on Mankind by the dairy industry. This is a bold move, and a smart one to stop forcing kids to drink the cellular secretions of another animal, because someone who sells the stuff says it is good for them.

-43 ( +22 / -65 )

Maybe they will take that supply of milk to produce extra butter because of the shortage in Japan.

23 ( +25 / -3 )

Kenneth is right. There is no reason why these kids should be drinking milk rather that juice or water. Initially, we all thought milk must be good for bones because it contains such high levels of calcium but the scientific reality is that people simply can't absorb most of this calcium. In fact, drinking milk can actually have a detrimental effect on your bones (not to mention all the other diseases and cancers that milk has been linked to). You're better off eating tofu if you want calcium. You can read more about it here if anyone is interested:

http://saveourbones.com/osteoporosis-milk-myth/

http://nutritionstudies.org/12-frightening-facts-milk/

-34 ( +15 / -51 )

I smell a rat. Since when did matching of tastes have any influence on the food kids eat? Kids don't care how it all goes together as long as they like the individual elements. And this probably continues into adulthood for most.

29 ( +34 / -5 )

Sounds more like cost cutting to me.

28 ( +31 / -3 )

First it's the milk. What's next?

But, hey, wasn't that what Mr. Abe wanted: Japan should be "self-sufficient", not depending on imports from other countries. So this (almost) looks like the first step (or maybe, this is even the next "arrow"?).

5 ( +9 / -4 )

As excuses go, saying that milk is off the menu as it 'doesn't go with the flavour of foods served' is pretty laughable. Just admit it's a cost cutting exercise.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

cow (goat, sheep...) milk is nutritious, and good. it's been drunk since human dawn. lots of humans eat cheese from milk and they are healthy. nothing bad about it. kids should be given the choice if they wants it or not. me, i dont wants it, thats my choice.

12 ( +20 / -7 )

They say it doesn't go with the taste of Japanese food? By that logic, just about everything modern will have to be removed from Japan because it "doesn't go with" Japanese culture. I suspect some nationalist sentiment is behind this.

22 ( +26 / -4 )

Well, I agree that milk is an odd combination with miso soup, for example.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

M3M3M3 and K Gardner: yes I agree - there have been a lot of false claims made about the benefits of cows milk.

Those who gave negative comments: if just following the line without doing their research you are no better than the ones perpertrating the commercial and political scams that go on around us.

-14 ( +10 / -24 )

Well, they could have served it at morning break or something so it does seem to be a cost cutting thing in disguise.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Everyone saying its a cost cutting thing, did you not read the last paragraph? "The education board said milk in 200-milliliter packs will still be available for children during special “Drink Times” during the day." They will get their milk just not at lunch. I eat school lunch and school dinner at Tokyo night schools and milk with the Japanese food is nasty. I drink my green tea then and I bring the milk home. They are right it doesn't make a sensible combination. That's why my students tell me they had tea with their fish, rice and miso soup or milk with their toast and egg! ;)

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Good. Lactating humanoid females only occurs during the neonatal period, in which mammalian creatures get the vital proponents from the milk to help support growth. Drinking highly processes milk from another animal is asinine, especially from an animal that has had it's diet compromised from natural grass-fed to feeding them processed corn, or worse--a nasty mixture of mysterious fructose based substances.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

oh, come on, if the milk doesn't go well with the school lunch .... there are so many other items that don't go well. Not just with the school lunch, but THE school lunch ingredients in general! And don't tell me, I don't know what I am talking about, I have seen it for the past 20 + years!

6 ( +9 / -3 )

That "China Study book" is highly dubious. Milk promoting cancer? Nah, don't worry about it, we're all going to die anyway one way or another, whether from stroke, heart attack, or from road accidents, or a plane crash, or... well you all get the point, right? We are what we eat, want some Man boobs? Eat soy protein, or might as well take some estrogen pills. Some people think vegetable protein is enough, well, if they're into that flaky pale paper thin-look, why not? Man didn't evolve just by eating vegetable alone, imagine that about a million years from now, with just a vegetable-based diet, we'd all just devolve into something else.

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

Humans don't need milk, and there are starting to be studies that show it's not actually good for people. We are the only animal that drinks another animal's milk, and the only animal to drink past infancy.

-13 ( +6 / -19 )

Stupid, give the kids their milk!

9 ( +16 / -7 )

Im lactose intolerant. I cannot drink Milk. it bloats all my stomach and I start with the farts I guess Its OK not to give milk in Schools. The white colour of the milk is not from calcium but sugars. Milk is not healthy. Its better to just give WATER and plain food.

-15 ( +6 / -21 )

Those who gave negative comments: if just following the line without doing their research

The fact is we are all here being able to comment partly because of milk or powdered milk. Please excuse me if you hopped out of the womb drinking water and juice in your baby bottle.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

So, this city in Niigata can look forward to an epidemic of osteoporosis in the next half century or so. They have it the wrong way around. They should be keeping the milk on the menu and changing all the other crap that doesn't go with it.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

No matter how propagandist you can be about the health benefits or non-benefits of milk, it tastes good, cheese is awesome and yogurt is still a very good and healthy alternative to the industrial snacks kids are fed with. (and how about the salt levels in miso and shoyu then ?)

But overall, school lunches are to provide kids with different tastes, various flavors they might not all enjoy at home (for so many reasons). It is both culinary and intellectual opening. Therefore, cutting milk is not a good idea.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

"Maybe they will take that supply of milk to produce extra butter because of the shortage in Japan."

First butter, than milk. What's next?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

It is good movement because rice really didn't match drinking milk to me, so I often gave my milk to my friends back in elementary school.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

i think milk was pushed onto us because it was a cheap and easy source of calcium. but with advent of modern farming, you can easily get the same amount in veggies. you just have to plan your meals a bit more. brocolli and spinach are a great source and so it tofu.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I think a small carton of milk would be more beneficial health-wise at lunch time than a bowl of misoshiru, or salt-cured fish drenched in soy sauce.

M3M3M3, your nutrition studies link deals with high consumption levels - no one would suggest that too much of anything was a good thing. One 200ml carton a day is not high consumption. The link also points out the benefits of fermented milk products (cheese and yoghurt). More cheese, please. Your saveourbones link warns against the dangers of bovine growth hormone in milk, but the use of growth hormones in dairy cattle is banned in the EU, Japan, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

7 ( +12 / -4 )

cleo. Of all doctors ihave talked to about milk, they say that milk is not necessary after you have teeth. 1 cup of mishosiru has the same calcium that 1cup of milk has.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Let me translate the above article: " We are broke and will take from the children. Who cares anyways because they don't vote. "

My Spanish teacher was from Honduras or someother Ghosh awful place and about 4 foot 11 and very gaunt. He screamed at how lack of a good diet and milk in his poor upbringing caused his poor and gaunt health.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Milk, especially raw from grassfed cows, is a super food. If you're lactose intolerant, or if milk gives you acne, it's unfortunate for you. Lactose intolerant people tend to not have as much trouble with raw dairy, especially goat milk.

Calcium for your bones is misunderstood by most people. Yes, you need calcium but most people are getting too much through supplements. If you're worried about your bones, get vitamin D3 from the sun every day or through supplements if you can't get outside much due to an office job. Weighted exercise will also strengthen your bones.

Milk is a healthy and economical source of animal fat and protein, in addition to other vitamins and minerals. Hopefully these kids' school lunches won't be filled with more high calorie low nutrient grains in place of milk.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

I agree with Ken and M3:

I am also allergic to the stuff. My beef is when some of the teachers force kids to drink all of the milk and eat every single thing given to them whether they like it or not, have an allergy, or are light eaters. That happened in my family, and well I went off and got very gaijin. So you know what their response was? "Your daughter must dye her hair back to its original black!" It is light brown naturally. I love Japanese schools, but some things are blatantly stupid.

And, for those that think milk does not go with the typical Japanese lunch, then why do all these signs say "Coffee and Spaghetti"? Having a cup of coffee while eating pasta is not my cup of tea...or should I say coffee?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Yelnats I am allergic to shellfish but do not ask all people not to eat it. Give the kids their milk! It is very good for them and this move is clearly a cost cutting measure.

4 ( +10 / -5 )

There is one thing which we cannot deny about milk: just as with any other food there are people allergic to it and people who do benefit from it. Somebody above mentioned soy milk as a substitute but then taking too much soy protein is not recommended either. There are hundreds of thousands of people allergic to soy or nuts, too. As, Yuri pointed out, the fact that somebody is allergic to a certain food does not mean that that food is bad for everybody else. So find what is best for your body and have as much of it as you please or think is good for you.

I grew up with a lot of yogurt and milk (up to 3 cups a day). I got a tooth cavity about 6 months after I stopped consuming either of them. I am back to 2 cups of milk or yogurt a day and am happy with the condition of my skin and my muscle tone. Needless to say, have had no further problems with my teeth either after resuming the dairy products consumption.

It seems that milk will be available for the kids in that school, just not at lunch time.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Yuri: I think you misunderstood me. Give the kids a choice. They should not be forced to eat or drink anything nor mass consume.

They way you are thinking is this: Give the kids their shellfish! It is very good for them. Would you want to be one of those kids that is forced to eat it?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

they say that milk is not necessary after you have teeth.

Neither are lots of other things, like chocolate, whisky, coffee, Black Forest chocolate cake - all the good things in life. 'It's not necessary' doesn't mean it should be totally avoided. Moderation in all things!

1 cup of mishosiru has the same calcium that 1cup of milk has.

And over five times as much salt. Now that should be avoided, or kept in check at least. I enjoy the occasional bowl of misoshiru, but I'm not about to pour gallons of the stuff daily down the throats of my infant grandchildren.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Nothing like a good conspiracy theory to turn "You don't strictly speaking NEED to drink cow milk," into "Don't EVER drink cow milk because it's bad for you and the evil dairy industry has FOOLED YOU SHEEPLE." Let me guess, somehow these farmers and milk distributors have dispatched strong men to every university in the entire world to beat down every chemistry or biology grad student who would love to be published in a controversial, ground-breaking paper that would basically see them gainfully employed for the rest of their life?

As long as kids are getting enough nutrients and calcium, it doesn't matter if they're drinking milk or not. Let's leave the tinfoil in the kitchen where it belongs, shall we?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

... despite Japanese kids not getting enough calcium as it is. School system is a joke!

1 ( +8 / -6 )

The whole pushing milk onto Japanese children has intrigued me. It is completely unnecessary in terms of nutrition and most Japanese people are lactose intolerant anyway.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

After discussions with parents, children and teachers, the board of education decided to drop milk from lunches permanently from September, Sankei Shimbun reported. The main reason given by parents was that milk doesn’t go with the flavor of Japanese-style dishes such as fish, pork cutlets and vegetables, rice and miso soup usually served at lunch.

From the report, it was not something imposed by the authorities to cut cost, but rather it appears that the kids were complaining. So I think it's a good idea to not force them to drink it with their meal.

I tend to agree with the posters saying that milk is not needed and may even be detrimental to health. I remember from many years ago links between cow milk consumption and allergies. But I do believe cheese and yogurt are beneficial. And there are plenty of other sources of calcium. All the calcium that cows put into their milk comes from plant material, not from milk.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Nobody needs to drink milk. Dropping it won´t hurt anyone.

-2 ( +6 / -9 )

Some people have forgetten about rickets, osteoporosis and how important milk and Vit D was for teeth development. Rickets is on the increase in the UK, Japan.Some conditions have been forgotten about.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Wait a while, I'd guess a large Kirin or asahi contract is in the near future

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Before human beings discovered drinking the mammary secretions of animals that are constantly lactating, how did we survive? milk is good for cream, cheese and yogurt products but to drink t by itself is not so tasty.

1 ( +6 / -6 )

The Niigata Nippo, the prefecture's largest paper, covered the story in its July 1 edition. The Sanjo, Niigata, BOE had held an extraordinary meeting the day before to pronounce its decision. The one member of the School Lunch Steering Committee who is a parent of a child affected by the BOE's move said the board was not listening to the voices of the children and that its decision to discontinue milk at lunchtime did not make sense. Indeed, children interviewed for the article were mostly against the BOE's plan, some saying that it would be hard to swallow food without something to wash it down, with others saying lunch tastes better accompanied by milk. The school board has said that milk will be served at another time of day, during "Drink Time". Students who do not like milk told the Nippo's reporter that this would be hard on them as there would be nothing to mask its flavor.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

@skinnee: most Japanese people are lactose intolerant anyway

Most? Really??

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Good grief! Next they'll be dropping ice cream sandwiches! That's what the buggers did in my school!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Hawkeye:

" Before human beings discovered drinking the mammary secretions of animals that are constantly lactating, how did we survive? milk is good for cream, cheese and yogurt products but to drink t by itself is not so tasty. "

...unless you are a baby cow, that is!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It's interesting to see how many people out there are still convinced that cow's milk is good for your teeth and bones. But perhaps it's not surprising since that's what we've been taught by our mothers since childhood.

I hope people will read some of the peer reviewed studies in major medical journals that debunk these myths, or at least ask their doctor about it.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

They say that the milk doesn't go with the school lunch... I say the school lunch doesn't go with the milk!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

What are they going to replace it with would be interesting.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Kobe: Beer and shochu

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

It's not matching tastes, it's sales -- there is a Japanese food company behind this, you can bet. Likely a tea company.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Rice and milk doesn't go!! They should try rice pudding. Every Japanese person who winced at the idea soon change their mind after trying it. That aside there are pros and cons for most things. Personally I would increase the amount of vegetables.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

My wife loves "rice pudding" since I introduced her to it and "bread pudding".

6 ( +8 / -2 )

http://www.statisticbrain.com/lactose-intolerance-statistics/

According to the above source, about 90% of Asian Americans are lactose intolerant, so I wonder how many Japanese children have trouble digesting cows' milk.

Another study suggests that Asian children can digest cows' milk, but that most lose that ability as they age.

http://www.news-medical.net/health/Lactose-Intolerance-History.aspx

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Strangerland: "We are the only animal that drinks another animal's milk, and the only animal to drink past infancy."

Cat's drink the milk from cows. And yes, I know, only if humans give it to them. But you might also want to keep in mind when you point out we are the only beings that drink another animal's milk (besides cats), that we are pretty much the only animal with the gift of consciousness of being and other abilities.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Cat's drink the milk from cows. And yes, I know, only if humans give it to them.

No, cats don't drink cows milk. Cats will drink cows milk if it's given to them, but it's not something they do on their own. So you seem to be acknowledging that your comment isn't disproving anything I said.

And as far as it goes with cats drinking cows milk - cats are lactose intolerant, and giving them cows milk is a bad idea: http://pets.webmd.com/cats/guide/cats-and-dairy-get-the-facts

So it's not even an apt comparison.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

The cat that has me trained to give it cow milk loves it, and cats are smart, so cow milk must be good.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Ok. Bottom line. Who's going to pocket the savings?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Strangerland: "No, cats don't drink cows milk."

Yes, they do. Put it in front of them. They drink it. That's called drinking it, regardless of how you want to try and spin the semantics. I already said IF we give it to them, IF you read my post, but all the same you said no animal drinks another's milk and I gave you an example of one that does. Bottom line. You never said, "don't drink it if it's not given to them", did you? Good idea, bad idea, they still do it. I wasn't comparing it, YOU were trying to contrast it every other animal to humans when it came to drinking milk. I was just giving you an example of how you are dead wrong.

I know you refuse to acknowledge when you are wrong and then go on to claim most posters are this site are illogical, but you're wrong on this one.

And again, what are you suggesting by saying that other animals don't drink the milk of another's (save cats)? that it's not natural? Neither is a lot of the stuff we do, and if we only followed our instincts we'd be back in the trees still. You know what else no animal does? cultivate.

And if you think I'm pressing for milk and suggesting it's GOOD for you, think again. I drink soy milk, and even if I drink regular it's only because I'm given it if I visit a school, say, as a volunteer (maybe I'm like a cat that way), and the fat content of Japanese milk nearly makes me gag. In fact, while I think those that say it has no benefits are wrong, I think the cons outweigh the pros -- there are FAR too many chemicals in milk these days to trust it; likely the same with most meat (definitely factory farm). That doesn't change the fact that this is not at all about making the lunches "more Japanese", especially because I know for a fact these places throw in things like karaage, cutlets, and other things that are certainly not 'Japanese' any more than the habit of drinking milk is. This is about some other company getting a contract to provide the school with something other than milk, whether it's because it's cheaper or because the school has ties to local farming in a tea sector or something.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Strangerland: "No, cats don't drink cows milk."

Yes, they do. Put it in front of them. They drink it. That's called drinking it, regardless of how you want to try and spin the semantics.

What you call semantics, I call accuracy. Would you say humans eat dirt? Because I've seen a person eat dirt. Does this mean we now say humans eat dirt? I don't think so. You will never see a cat suckling at a cow's teat. You will not see cats actively going out to get cows milk. Cats may drink cows milk if it is put in front of them, so they will drink it, same as a human will eat dirt (given the right motivation). But you can no more say that cats drink cows milk, than you can say humans eat dirt.

And again, what are you suggesting by saying that other animals don't drink the milk of another's (save cats)? that it's not natural? Neither is a lot of the stuff we do, and if we only followed our instincts we'd be back in the trees still. You know what else no animal does? cultivate.

Ignoring that you're wrong about no animal cultivating (http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150105-animals-that-grow-their-own-food), yes, I am saying that drinking the milk of another animal is not natural. I'm also saying that drinking milk beyond infancy is not natural. What I'm not saying is that something that is not natural is bad. The criteria I use for that judgement is whether or not the results of doing said unnatural act are bad or not. In this case, (cow's) milk is not only proving to not be necessary for humans, recent studies have shown that it's not very good for humans.

That said, if someone wants to drink it, go ahead. I love ice cream. But as far as requiring kids to drink it - there is no necessity to do so, and it may in fact be harmful.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

The cat that has me trained to give it cow milk loves it, and cats are smart, so cow milk must be good.

The cat that has me trained to pander to her every whim turns her nose up at any kind of milk.

She likes licking out ice cream cartons, though.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

milk is not only proving to not be necessary for humans, recent studies have shown that it's not very good for humans.

Wait for some studies coming up soon reversing the findings. This topic has created heated opinions in the past on this forum.The 'recent studies' have not been able to explain why the Dutch, who have been encouraged to consume 750 ml of milk a day for a long time, are the tallest people in the world and don't forget the Scandinavians. There are no data supporting these people have shorter life spans because of disease related to dairy products.

But as far as requiring kids to drink it - there is no necessity to do so, and it may in fact be harmful.

Many kids do not get their daily amount of calcium. This was the case right after world war 2 up into the seventies, I'd guess, but even now this situation persists where both parents working families don't provide balanced meals. The school lunches are again important to provide our offspring with healthy food. Milk is an important element. Denying it is misguided. But of course children who are intolerant to it should be given an alternative. The city in Niigata has come up with alternative menus including of course its very tasty rice. Keep the kids happy, but how do you compensate for the easily absorbed calcium in milk? And actually I have seen many kids who love drinking milk with their Japanese food.

People have been drinking milk for more than 7000 years. A study that tells us now that was and now is a bad idea seems to have little significance. Give these kids their milk and you should drink it too :-)

6 ( +9 / -3 )

The real issue here is the butter shortage driving up prices that the milk companies want to pull-out of lower-priced contracts (schools). ==> Are they going to pull "milk" out of more schools?

Grass-fed milk has vitamin K2. If they are pulling that choice then the next best choice for K2 is Natto. I am a strong believer that K2 is an essential vitamin.

http://chriskresser.com/vitamin-k2-the-missing-nutrient/

4 ( +5 / -1 )

As an Italian, I find disgusting the idea to drink milk during lunch. Cold milk? It' s even worse. We drink milk - if you like it - during breakfast. I pity poor kids forced to drink milk rather than water during lunch. Cultural differences can be really impressive.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Vita-soy milk is comparable to milk in calcium levels. It, IMHO, would go better with Asian food.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Ants milk aphids.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I like milk, I love dairy products. It's a good source of calcium and fat soluble vitamins. Milk doesn't give you cancer, it isn't an unhealthy drink. If you can't tolerate it or don't like it fine, but leave the majority alone who do want it.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

The idea that drinking milk provides calcium to the body, or that drinking cows milk is healthy, is the biggest scam perpetrated on Mankind by the dairy industry. This is a bold move, and a smart one to stop forcing kids to drink the cellular secretions of another animal, because someone who sells the stuff says it is good for them.

Finally. Someone talking some sense on the sacred cow (sorry...) that is milk ingestion. Man is the only animal to drink milk into its adulthood...and even then it isn't milk designed for it, but rather baby bovines. Mark my words, one day in the future, the medical world will discover that this hasn't been a healthy thing for humans to do all along...

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Cashew cream and apple pie! Grind up the cashews and add water slowly.

1 ( +6 / -6 )

I like milk, I love dairy products. It's a good source of calcium and fat soluble vitamins. Milk doesn't give you cancer, it isn't an unhealthy drink. If you can't tolerate it or don't like it fine, but leave the majority alone who do want it.

Seconded. A lot of the "anti-milk" posters here seem bizarrely overzealous. It's almost like a crusade.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

1 cup of mishosiru has the same calcium that 1cup of milk has. that is pure BS, miso is very high in salt which is as we know very bad for your health. Japanese also have a higher level of intestinal cancer than Westerners due to the higher level of salt intake, while Westerners have a higher level of colon cancer due higher consumption of fatty foods. low suger, fat and salt diet is best. Milk is low in all of these compared to most foods and has more health benifits than non consumption.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Kenneth GardnerJUL. 03, 2015 - 07:12AM JST The idea that drinking milk provides calcium to the body, or that drinking cows milk is healthy, is the biggest scam perpetrated on Mankind by the dairy industry.

So I suppose that my children's ped is on the Dairy Council's payroll?

Mankind in different parts of the world have been drinking and making food from animal milk from one source or another for millenniums before there was ever a dairy industry. The anti-milk fad is a recent thing almost as bad as the anti-vaccine cult.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

A lot of the "anti-milk" posters here seem bizarrely overzealous.

And looking at the down votes, there was me thinking we had some milk fundamentalists around.

Anyway, I went through school in Scotland without ever being served milk at lunchtime. We got it in the morning, just as it looks they plan to do in Niigata.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The anti-milk fad is a recent thing almost as bad as the anti-vaccine cult.

It's not anti-milk. I like milk and I drink it. I just no longer believe that it's better for my bones than drinking apple juice or tea etc. It's called modern science and doctors agree, there is no overzealous tin foil hat conspiracy theory here.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The anti-milk fad is a recent thing almost as bad as the anti-vaccine cult.

So true. And that's exactly what it is - a fad, until something else comes along to panic about or praise as the latest wonderfood.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Elizabeth, with all do respect, do you think people should listen to your and the US Department of Agriculture's bare assertions that milk is good for you, or instead the Harvard School of Public Health and the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics along with many other studies?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

There is nothing absolutely wrong with milk per se but once it's pasteurized then the pasteurization destroys valuable enzymes, beneficial bacteria, depletes the levels of vitamin B6, B12, C and transforms protein into unnatural amino acids configurants that are harmful to your body. Therefore raw milk is suppose to be a healthy alternative to pasteurized milk because it is an excellent source of calcium, enzymes, beneficial bacteria and vitamins.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

As someone of Northern European stock, it is thought that my ancestors evolved the ability to digest milk thousands of years ago to survive times of shortage. Due to this evolutionary advantage that we have, it is entirely natural to drink milk.

Milk is fine for many people, some are intolerant, but there is no reason to believe that it is harmful.

Milk is out of fashion these days, along with wheat products, where people labour under the misapprehension that they are gluten intolerant.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

If this were America, I would suspect that the city dropped milk not because of any health issue, but because the milk company didn't cough up enough cash to pay off the school board executives. I suppose whoever is supplying drinks now may have seen the light, and are coughing up their "fair" share. The alternative is that the school board executives are 70+ year old geriatric geezers who couldn't get milk when they were school children (hence their short stature). And being geriatric geezers, they don't want current or later generations to enjoy things they couldn't.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

A few years ago in Tokyo i watch on TV a campaign about milk drinking, the aim was to increase milk in the Japanese diet because the Japanese do not drink enough milk. here as usual the Japanese bureaucrats say something and targeting something else.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Elizabeth, with all do respect, do you think people should listen to your and the US Department of Agriculture's bare assertions that milk is good for you, or instead the Harvard School of Public Health and the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics along with many other studies

You are quoting sources I didn't use and have never read. Why?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Am I going to start seeing more O-kyaku and Y-kyaku legs in Japan?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

You are quoting sources I didn't use and have never read. Why?

I've lumped you in with the USDA (and the Dairy Council of America and the International Dairy Association) because you make the same claims. Specifically where you say:

It's a good source of calcium and fat soluble vitamins. Milk doesn't give you cancer, it isn't an unhealthy drink.

[about 'anti-milk'] So true. And that's exactly what it is - a fad, until something else comes along to panic about or praise as the latest wonderfood.

The Harvard School of Public Health, articles in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics, The British Medical Journal and many many others have objectively proved what you are claiming is unlikely to be true.

But obviously, you have every right to criticise the studies or hold out hope that the studies will all be proved wrong someday, or even just say that you believe milk is healthy based on faith.

@Novenachama - Very true. Of course, unless you are milking your own cow, you probably aren't drinking unpasteurized milk in Japan.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I still WON'T force animal milk down my family's throats against their will just because people from West and Europe thinks "Cow milk is good for you"

We've never really given our kids cow's milk. Not as an active decision against doing so, more just because neither my wife nor I drink milk for the most part. We'll put it in our coffee, but that's about the extent of our milk drinking.

My kids like ice cream, but neither of them like cheese. I'd never even heard of someone who didn't like cheeses before them!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Readers, please refrain from bickering.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Novenachama - Very true. Of course, unless you are milking your own cow, you probably aren't drinking unpasteurized milk in Japan.

If this Gov keeps pushing the butter shortage you may very well see people buy cow-shares or even buy miniature cows to get butter and/or raw milk.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

An allergy to milk is the most common human allergy on the planet.

That's all I remember of five years of biology classes : )

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

No one is trying to force anyone to drink milk, certainly not the lactose intolerant!

Disclosure, I drink quite a lot of milk. I like it. Have since I was a child. I find a lot of people, both online and in real life, who are eager to give me crap about drinking milk, as if it were somehow socially unacceptable for an adult to do so. These people are annoying, and I wish the would back off and mind their own business.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@Triumvere - That's great, I enjoy it as well. Even if the medical evidence said that it takes a year off your life, I would probably go on drinking it. But let's agree not stick our heads in the sand and fool ourselves and everyone else into thinking that it's a super health drink.

@Franchesca - Sorry to hear that you had such a struggle with milk even though you are probably lactose intolerant. Even though only 20% of Japanese people have lactose intolerance symptoms such as diarrhea etc, 90% are 'lactase non-persistent' which means that even if they have no problems with milk, they still can't properly digest it so they get very little nutritional value from it. Of course, some just like the taste.

@lucabrasi - I think it's sometimes refered to as an 'allergy' but it's actually just that in 75% of human beings the gene that produces lactase switches off after infancy but in most Europeans the gene has mutated so that it never switches off even in adulthood.

http://genetics.thetech.org/original_news/news45

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@M3

You're right about lactose intolerance; most normal adults have it. But "milk allergy" is different, and can kill people. It's different to lactose intolerance in that most children born with it grow out of it by the time they start school and are able to drink it without a problem.

Personally, I've gone right off the stuff after a Japanese friend said it was like "liquid cheese". Can't get that image out of my head.

Apologies if I've put anybody else off the stuff with that last sentence! : )

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@lucabrasi

Thanks, I see. I don't know much about genuine milk allergies. I'll have to look into it. Hmm, liquid cheese is not a great image, except maybe with nachos.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

BTW, have you tried the raw cow milk as it is? I heard some people really love it over the H/P processed standard version...

I haven't had a chance to try any of the commercial raw milk that you can buy here in Japan, but I have tried a little bit of raw milk straight from a cow on a farm in Eastern Europe once. It was actually still slightly warm so it was a bit hard to compare the taste. I wouldn't say it was 'liquid cheese', but it was definetly a bit creamier than I expected.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I could care less the hoards of angry gaijin thumb me down 4653473573 times. and i couldnt care less if 127million Japanese thumb me down because us westerners drink milk, weve been doing it for millenia long before Japan was even thought of and certainly many more drink milk than dont.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

First they take the milk ... Margaret Thatcher started her nationwide cuts that way in the UK back in the 70's when Education Minister, 'Thatcher, Thatcher, the milk snatcher'. This is just the start of further cuts, regardless of whether you like/ dislike, agree/ disagree with human milk consumption.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If you read the entire article, it says the children will still get their milk at break time instead of with lunch.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

My guess be be it will be replaced with something full of aspartame and if you dont know what that is check it out cos most of you are drinking everyday.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

An allergy to milk is the most common human allergy on the planet. That's all I remember of five years of biology classes : )

Drinking another animals nutritional secretions is quite unneeded. People say "there's calcium in it, there's calcium in it!" however, there is calcium in Salmon, Bok Choy, Kale, Dried Figs. There is only a need of 600 milligrams per day which can easily be obtained from those sources. If there is one proponent of a cow that could be of a higher reward than risk would be grass-fed, free range colostrum. the first dietary liquid that most mammalian females produce in the very early stages up to and after birth. Bodybuilders use the powder, or drink the liquid form to help grow. It is also filled with the highest natural compounds of immunogobulin (at least 50 g/l).

However, it of course is not considered to even be remotely used as often as most people use dairy. Which the over-consumption of Cow's milk (and the protein content) has links to diabetes; D-Galactose is a PRO-inflammatory agent found in cow's milk and breaks down through the digestion process into a toxic sugar that is toxic to ovarian cells in Women.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

A school district in Japan alters its lunch menu and we feel a great disturbance in the force. As if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The education board said milk in 200-milliliter packs will still be available for children during special “Drink Times” during the day.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Personally, I've gone right off the stuff after a Japanese friend said it was like "liquid cheese". Can't get that image out of my head.

What's wrong with liquid cheese? Is melted cheese OK perhaps? I would not rely much on the opinion of a Japanese friend. Japan still being a nation with very limited knowledge and production and consumption of cheese.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The fact is a LOT more people are lactose intolerant than we believe, because sometimes even doctors with very good reputations do not diagnose lactose intolerance correctly. A famous case was talk show host Morton Downey Jr. who went to doctor after doctor seeking a cure for his stomach problems, but they could not figure out what was wrong with him. Then he decided to stop drinking milk for awhile, and discovered that was the source of his problems. After hearing him explain his case on television, I decided to stop drinking milk, and just as was the case with him, my stomach problems disappeared. That was almost 30 years ago, and I have never gone back to drinking cows milk. A lot of people with stomach and bowel problems do not connect it with drinking milk. It's a fact not an opinion.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

it is true that animal milk is not necessary to be healthy.

I didn't make my daughters drink milk if they didn't want it and they are just fine.

I haven't had any mile for 15 years and I am as healthy as a cow

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Jeff

No. The fact is that lactose intolerance is akin to nut allergies, strawberry allergies and diagnosed celiac "disease" - they are mostly modern maladies almost non-existent 50 years ago that affected a very small minority of people.

Would you care to provide a source for the claims you make? Anyone with a basic understanding of human genetics would disagree with you. Are you suggesting that there is no gene which switches lactase production on and off?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I suspect those who are lactose intolerant are actually the "wild type", and those who are lactose tolerant are mutants that lost the ability to switch off whatever gene confers tolerance. Evolutionarily speaking, it would be advantageous for a species turn the gene off after infancy.

And I suspect a steady increase in milk consumption might decrease the symptoms by modifying the intestinal flora, rather than a direct effect on the human gene expression.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This incident sheds light to what is already happening within the USA thanks to the First Lady.

To what extent should a government "control" an institution or an individual?

Obviously a "healthy" population is needed for a strong and healthy country.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites