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 Post subject: bittman: got milk? you don't need it
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:46 am 
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http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/07/got-milk-you-dont-need-it/

>But, says Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, “Sugar — in the form of lactose — contributes about 55 percent of skim milk’s calories, giving it ounce for ounce the same calorie load as soda.”

>Adds Dr. Barnard, “It’s worth noting that milk and other dairy products are our biggest source of saturated fat, and there are very credible links between dairy consumption and both Type 1 diabetes and the most dangerous form of prostate cancer.” Then, of course, there are our 9 million dairy cows, most of whom live tortured, miserable lives while making a significant contribution to greenhouse gases.

Its great to see Barnard quoted extensively in the NYT. While the health message may stick in the craw of some, it is IMO the single most effective argument for veganism. Despite its occasional inaccuracies, forks over knives has done more for veganism than all the bake sales, demos, and screenings of earthlings combined. Results matter.


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 Post subject: Re: bittman: got milk? you don't need it
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:13 am 
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unethical_vegan wrote:
Despite its occasional inaccuracies, forks over knives has done more for veganism than all the bake sales, demos, and screenings of earthlings combined.

[citation needed]

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 Post subject: Re: bittman: got milk? you don't need it
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:22 pm 
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unethical_vegan wrote:
While the health message may stick in the craw of some, it is IMO the single most effective argument for veganism.


I'm not convinced. If you read the comments in response to this article, most people said a) they still believe milk is a healthy and nutritious food or b) they don't have digestive or health issues with milk so Bittman should back off.

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 Post subject: Re: bittman: got milk? you don't need it
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:23 pm 
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I supposed I could have prefaced every statement with "in my opinion" but I was editorializing not stating provable fact.

My significant other and number of friends/relatives are now vegan or near vegan largely due to having watched forks over knives.
Also: William Clinton, Natalie Portman, Roger Ebert, Rosie O'Donnell, Arian Foster, Carrie Underwood, Kristen Bell, Russell Brand, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: bittman: got milk? you don't need it
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:12 pm 
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i'm sure i remember hearing about Natalie Portman being vegan years before Forks Over Knives was released.

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 Post subject: Re: bittman: got milk? you don't need it
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:28 pm 
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EmperorTomatoKetchup wrote:
i'm sure i remember hearing about Natalie Portman being vegan years before Forks Over Knives was released.

Yup.

Also, I fell asleep within 10 minutes when I tried to watch Forks Over Knives, and I NEVER do that. That shiitake was boring!

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 Post subject: Re: bittman: got milk? you don't need it
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:43 am 
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From my perspective, the health aspect might be the easiest way to convince the type of person who is regularly seeking the next great diet to be open minded to veganism, but thanks to the fact that dietary health is about as debated as politics, it isn't the greatest sticking point. The ethics and morals of veganism are what have solidified my determination to stick with it and never knowingly cheat on my vegan lifestyle.

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 Post subject: Re: bittman: got milk? you don't need it
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:10 am 
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alden wrote:
From my perspective, the health aspect might be the easiest way to convince the type of person who is regularly seeking the next great diet to be open minded to veganism, but thanks to the fact that dietary health is about as debated as politics, it isn't the greatest sticking point. The ethics and morals of veganism are what have solidified my determination to stick with it and never knowingly cheat on my vegan lifestyle.



Yup. There's also the fact you can be vegan and still have a junk food diet, and if one goes vegan and doesn't notice health benefits, what's the incentive to stick with it?

I do know a lot of people recently who switched to a vegan diet to get those health benefits, but I'm not getting my hopes up that they'll stick with it.

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 Post subject: Re: bittman: got milk? you don't need it
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:05 am 
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considering how hard the dairy industry has worked to position its products as health food (esp yogurt, milk) i wonder what the backlash will be. i do think that that one phrase- milk is as high in calories as soda- could really change a lot of people's opinions about what constitutes healthy food (despite the protein, vit d, calcium etc)

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 Post subject: Re: bittman: got milk? you don't need it
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:59 am 
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torque wrote:
considering how hard the dairy industry has worked to position its products as health food (esp yogurt, milk) i wonder what the backlash will be. i do think that that one phrase- milk is as high in calories as soda- could really change a lot of people's opinions about what constitutes healthy food (despite the protein, vit d, calcium etc)

The statement doesn't really pass muster when you consider that most people would likely replace their milk with vanilla soymilk or something similar, which has even more sugar than dairy milk.


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 Post subject: Re: bittman: got milk? you don't need it
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:14 am 
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Shy Mox wrote:
alden wrote:
From my perspective, the health aspect might be the easiest way to convince the type of person who is regularly seeking the next great diet to be open minded to veganism, but thanks to the fact that dietary health is about as debated as politics, it isn't the greatest sticking point. The ethics and morals of veganism are what have solidified my determination to stick with it and never knowingly cheat on my vegan lifestyle.



Yup. There's also the fact you can be vegan and still have a junk food diet, and if one goes vegan and doesn't notice health benefits, what's the incentive to stick with it?.
This reminds me of the woman I met at a party who told me, with a perfectly straight face, that her sister had "tried that vay-gun diet, but it didn't work." (By which I could only assume that various animals demanded to be eaten, and proceeded to lay eggs on her stove, milk themselves into her coffee, and commit suicide in the middle of her kitchen. Or something.)

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 Post subject: Re: bittman: got milk? you don't need it
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:15 am 
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I really hate the argument that because something has as many calories as soda(or some other high cal food), it's just as bad for you as soda. Does soda have protein or vitamin d or a? Obviously, I don't think we should drink milk, but that argument alone is not a good one. I don't like how Bittman downplays the nutrients in milk. Of course you can get protein, vitamin d, calcium and vitamin a from other sources, but he doesn't mention how to go about doing this. I don't like articles like this that present a problem without a solution.

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 Post subject: Re: bittman: got milk? you don't need it
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:12 am 
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I loathe the food as medicine crowd. What's the implication if you do everything right and still get sick? It's your fault.

Also, you can consume moderate amounts of animal foods and be very healthy.

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 Post subject: Re: bittman: got milk? you don't need it
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:29 am 
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Can we all agree at least that milk only has vitamin D because it's added to it? Drinking milk is like taking a vitamin D supplement, but it's invisible to us because someone else did the supplementing before we got there.

Whether he's right or wrong (or has a screw loose), Barnard has blamed lactose—not sugar in general—as a carcinogen. And he has taken well-known positions against animal protein. So it's not like he thinks the stuff in milk is any good anyway.

And for me, the fact that we can tolerate moderate amounts of animal food has never meant anything more than "well, it's not poison, I guess." I'm sorry that you loathe me, but I believe some foods are bad for people's health. If people avoid those foods and get sick anyway, we call that bad luck. Nonsmokers get lung cancer, but that doesn't mean it's "their fault."

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 Post subject: Re: bittman: got milk? you don't need it
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:32 am 
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Desdemona wrote:
Shy Mox wrote:
alden wrote:
From my perspective, the health aspect might be the easiest way to convince the type of person who is regularly seeking the next great diet to be open minded to veganism, but thanks to the fact that dietary health is about as debated as politics, it isn't the greatest sticking point. The ethics and morals of veganism are what have solidified my determination to stick with it and never knowingly cheat on my vegan lifestyle.



Yup. There's also the fact you can be vegan and still have a junk food diet, and if one goes vegan and doesn't notice health benefits, what's the incentive to stick with it?.
This reminds me of the woman I met at a party who told me, with a perfectly straight face, that her sister had "tried that vay-gun diet, but it didn't work." (By which I could only assume that various animals demanded to be eaten, and proceeded to lay eggs on her stove, milk themselves into her coffee, and commit suicide in the middle of her kitchen. Or something.)


I cannot stop laughing at this.


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 Post subject: Re: bittman: got milk? you don't need it
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:22 am 
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FF, I didn't mean to imply that the nutrients in milk were all naturally occurring, just that they are there.

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 Post subject: Re: bittman: got milk? you don't need it
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:21 pm 
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It just seems silly to say that cow's milk is good for you because it's a source of vitamin D.

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 Post subject: Re: bittman: got milk? you don't need it
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:28 pm 
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FootFace wrote:
It just seems silly to say that cow's milk is good for you because it's a source of vitamin D.

I think that it's unethical to tell people that if they eat a certain way they will not get cancer or that they will be cured of chronic disease. There is simply not enough proof to say that.

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 Post subject: Re: bittman: got milk? you don't need it
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:38 pm 
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EmperorTomatoKetchup wrote:
i'm sure i remember hearing about Natalie Portman being vegan years before Forks Over Knives was released.


http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=4067&catId=8


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 Post subject: Re: bittman: got milk? you don't need it
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:46 pm 
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FootFace wrote:
It just seems silly to say that cow's milk is good for you because it's a source of vitamin D.


It is also inappropriate and potentially dangerous to suggest that people give up what is likely their major source of vitamin D without suggesting an alternative (supplements or other fortified foods). Suggesting sunshine as a source is completely unreasonable for most people in the US. Even if it were possible to produce enough vitamin D from sunlight alone (which I think most people are aware is not possible in the northern US), the increased UV exposure would increase the risk of skin cancer, which is not a good trade off.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Mark Bittman's writing and appreciate that he is attempting to increase acceptance of plant-based diets. But he is neither a dietitian nor a scientist. He is a food writer and is most qualified to be commenting on how delicious and satisfying vegan foods are, not health benefits unless he is consulting knowledgeable and unbiased sources.


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 Post subject: Re: bittman: got milk? you don't need it
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:58 pm 
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I haven't read the article and don't know anything about Bittman.

But I continue to be baffled by the insistence that plant-based diets are obviously no healthier than any other diet. You don't have to believe that no vegans get sick (or that all omnivores do get sick) to believe that a vegan diet tends to be healthier. Of course vegans get sick. Life is complicated. We can't understand all possible risk factors or how they interact. Just because we don't know everything doesn't mean we know nothing.

Not everyone who smokes cigarettes gets lung cancer or heart disease. Some people who never smoke do get lung cancer (and many will get heart disease). These facts don't invalidate the generalities that research can produce.

Will you (whoever you are) definitely be healthier and avoid disease if you do x, y, or z? Who knows? But a body of research can suggest that's the case.

In that glorious future when we can make actual bacon without torturing pigs, I still won't eat it.

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 Post subject: Re: bittman: got milk? you don't need it
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:00 pm 
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first of all, i want to address the straw men being built on this thread. i have never heard barnard or bittman state that food can replace medicine. dietary change can reduce your risk of disease and is an effective treatment for a number of diseases.

barnard's comments about saturated fat and lactose are evidence based. there is a growing literature linking lactose to cancer. there are also plausible biochemical and molecular models for how lactose stimulates the growth of cencer cells in human patients. i also think that most would agree that simple sugars and saturated fats are something that should be minimized.

"Also, you can consume moderate amounts of animal foods and be very healthy."
this is very true. i and many other "vegans" consume small amounts of animal foods and remain healthy. in my experience when people are exposed to a near vegan diet they are far more likely to adopt 99+% veganism.


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 Post subject: Re: bittman: got milk? you don't need it
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:24 pm 
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Vantine wrote:
I think that it's unethical to tell people that if they eat a certain way they will not get cancer or that they will be cured of chronic disease. There is simply not enough proof to say that.


Strawman. There is an enormous amount of statistical evidence suggesting that people who eat a certain way are less likely to get cancer. There is even more statistical evidence that diet change can ameliorate some chronic diseases.


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 Post subject: Re: bittman: got milk? you don't need it
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:30 pm 
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i was wrong about natalie portman -- as my link shows she was inspired by eating animals.


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 Post subject: Re: bittman: got milk? you don't need it
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:40 pm 
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FootFace wrote:
I haven't read the article and don't know anything about Bittman.

basically he's what Michael Pollan could be if he were awesome.

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