I’m not a big milk drinker. I don’t think I ever have been. My mom hates milk, and has for as long as I can remember. The thought of milk turns her stomach. I guess that’s probably the reason I wasn’t given large glasses of milk as a child. I don’t recall ever hearing my mom saying, “drink your milk!” Other than hearing about the benefits of milk, and the famous Got Milk? campaign, I really haven’t given milk much thought at all. Maybe I should have. A few years ago, living in San Francisco, I discovered that I had a vitamin D deficiency. My doctor didn’t suggest that I start drinking milk – he didn’t even ask if I drink any milk.

It didn’t cross my mind for several days. While shopping for groceries, I picked up a quart of milk for my coffee. I wondered for a moment if I should buy a gallon instead, and start drinking a glass of milk every morning for vitamin D. Then, I thought, “meh, I’ll pass. I’m taking 2000 mg vitamin D supplements. I don’t need this.”

I recently spoke with someone over at LearnStuff  about milk and whether it really does a body good or not. Here’s what they had to say about it. What do you think? Do you make your kids drink a big glass of milk every morning? Do you drink milk? Does it do a body good? Leave a comment with your thoughts!

For years, we’ve been told that milk does a body good. But does it really? Though touted as the healthier option at home and in restaurants, milk has roughly the same calorie count as soda and 2% milk contains the same amount of saturated fat as french fries. Given these two facts, the correlation between high milk consumption and high rates of Type 1 diabetes and heart disease makes sense. Even though one-third of Americans are lactose intolerant, the U.S. still consumes nearly 9 times the amount of milk that China does. So why do we drink so much milk? Because cows are making more of it. With the introduction of growth hormones like rBST, milk cows are producing nearly twice as much as they did in 1970.

Milk – bad for us, bad for cows.



Find this infographic and more at

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
About the Author

Chris Ford is the founder of Stitches 'n Dishes and editor in chief with a passion for food, photography and travel. Chris is a Media Correspondent for the Food Network TV show, Eat St, a syndicated blogger, seasoned event organizer and promoter, a food critic, a marketing consultant and Social Media Marketing expert. Chris is also a fashion and entertainment photographer. When he's not dining on the sidewalk, he's snapping photos on the catwalk.

  • Baja By Bus

    I’ve always drunk milk, but I take your point about the growth hormones, etc. – Ian

    • StitchesnDishes

      Thanks for the comment… It definitely gives us something to think about!


    Delicate subject with a lot of points of vue, each of us has the right to choose .

    • StitchesnDishes

      Absolutely. What do you choose? Do you go for organic / whole foods, do growth hormone’s matter to you? It’s a lot to wrap your head around, isn’t it? I grew up not thinking about this stuff at all. Admittedly, I still don’t most of the time.

  • StitchesnDishes

    True. We’ve heard this a lot – especially more so in the last couple of years. Unfortunately, many people just don’t have the option to buy more expensive organic food. Something is broken here.

  • Diana Lewis

    I am against growth hormones and have stopped drinking milk because of it. I get my vitamin D and calcium from other sources.

    • StitchesnDishes

      Thanks Diana. I don’t even like milk really anyway… unless it’s in my coffee, or there’s chocolate in it. :D

  • philrosenberg

    Wow … something to think about. The growth hormone data is disturbing.

    • StitchesnDishes

      Yep… that alone was the inspiration for me to post this story. It does give us cause to think about things a little. Even if we don’t change today, you can’t ignore that data!

  • Sally K Witt

    Interesting article. It gets confusing, all the information and choices about food these days.

    • StitchesnDishes

      Thanks Sally. I totally agree. One of my colleagues at Eat St spoke about that topic at a TEDx conference. There are so many do’s and don’ts – so many conflicting pieces of advice, it’s really impossible to follow it all.

  • qb_baron

    I agree with most points here…as already stated in an earlier comment, the system is broken…you can buy really unhealthy food for cheap (well milk is not all that cheap) but buying healthy is usually more expensive over and above milk…but very informative…

    • StitchesnDishes

      Thanks! I lived in San Francisco where there are probably a couple dozen community gardens. Lots of people grow their own produce. But unless you’re vegetarian, you still need to buy some meat – it’s tough on the budget to really stick to organic. It is definitely a commitment and a lifestyle.

  • Monty Wright

    great info chris…i’d have to say no to milk…I do use 1/2 and 1/2 for coffee and tea but i only use organic for the above stated reasons…

    • StitchesnDishes

      Interesting, Monty! I’m kinda with you on this, though I haven’t really put a focus on organic yet. I really have no excuse for it, either!

  • Sonal Khodiyar

    very interesting it is…

  • bmtrnavsky

    I cut nearly all the milk (i eat a little clarified butter and cheese) out of my diet and I feel SO much better. I’ve been eating Paleo for about a year and lost 30 pounds. Best decision I ever made. I eat like a KING and feel great.

    • StitchesnDishes

      That’s awesome Brad. I’ve heard so many things about Paleo – mostly bad honestly. I don’t buy into all of that hype, though. I was a hardcore Adkins believer for years. I still tend to stay very low on the carbs, but it’s tough to explore the plethora of foods without including them.

  • Lenore Balsam

    Hi Chris, Skim milk only has 80 calories in 8 fl. 0z., none from fat, and has 8 grams of protein + vitamins and calcium. Skim milk does a body good! Regards, Lennore Goodnreadytogo

    • StitchesnDishes

      Thanks for your comment Lenore!

  • Buddy Hodges

    I definitely have lactose intolerance and high cholesterol. I switched to red wine and water years ago. My mother, who grew up on a dairy farm with a retail “creamery” (serving ice cream, etc.), drank milk all her short life. She had diverticulitis, which I think might possibly have been caused by gas from undigested milk. She had 3 feet of intestine removed and frequently took prescription drugs, like Paregoric, to ease the pain of gas bloating. I don’t think anyone thought of lactose intolerance in those days…

    • StitchesnDishes

      That’s sad, Buddy. I think you’re right. There’s so much we learn about the human body and so much more to go. It’s amazing how much we really still don’t understand about the body. The digestive system and the brain – science has barely scratched the surface.

  • JanetLouise8

    Whoa! I haven’t been drinking milk for quite a few years and I noticed an instant improvement in several of my nagging health irritations. They weren’t conditions – just extra mucus in my throat or stuffiness in my nasal passages. This disappeared when I said bye-bye to milk. I had no idea there was such compelling evidence that milk really isn’t great for our bodies. Thank you!

    • StitchesnDishes

      It was an eye-opener for me, too Janet! Thanks for the comment!

  • alex alaska p

    well let’s see, is this just about ‘drinking’ milk or the digestion of milk in any form? because you can throw out cheese, cake, chocolate (milk), yogurt, pancakes, butter, and everything else that has milk as an ingredient. just my “2 cents”

    • StitchesnDishes

      Many people actually do that, Alex, especially the lactose intolerant. Fortunately, there’s a dairy-free version available for everything on your list. Vegans wouldn’t have it any other way. ;-) Personally, I like the dairy version of all of those things. You just won’t find me drinking a tall glass of it – pretty much ever. Though, what Janet and Amy bring up makes me wonder if it would be worth looking into reducing the amount of cheese I consume.

  • AmyJalapeño!

    I haven’t been drinking milk for almost a decade. And like Janet, I noticed an immediate reduction of mucus and stuffiness. I will occasionally use soy milk with other foods I used to drink milk with. Another thing I heard recently… that if you want to lose weight, don’t drink your calories. :)

    • StitchesnDishes

      Interesting, Amy! Juicing diets are so popular, too.

  • Harold Gardner

    If adults drink milk, we should use skim milk. Milk production is certainly affected by other factors than just hormone products. Selective breeding and improved management techniques are important factors. Moderation in all things is the best practice…especially food consumption.

    • StitchesnDishes

      Great point, Harold. Thanks for the comment!

  • Rebecca Turkovics

    I thought I would give up everything before I gave up milk… now you have me thinking.

    • StitchesnDishes

      I’m in the same boat! Really never gave milk much thought at all before this.

  • Ty Col

    Wow interesting perspective and infographic, most likely not developed by the Milk marketing association or board (lol). Agree with the facts, agree with the notion that milk was never a historical part of most human natural diets (going way back) and hence the possible intolerance links.

    However, there are a lot worse food and drink items on the market and crowds are pounding these items back in exponential numbers, with severe health effects.

    Great article and thanks for sharing the infographic!

    • StitchesnDishes

      Thanks for the comment, Ty! I agree, there’s a lot worse out there we could drink, but if something’s bad for us, does it really matter if there’s something worse? We don’t have to choose between the lesser of two evils, when there are healthier options out there. It’s got me to thinking about banning cow’s milk from my fridge.

  • Volary music

    Hi Chris, another reason not to drink cow’s milk is because it contains high levels of casein, which causes inflammation in our bodies. Inflammation and high IGF-1 levels are two things that tumours love. So to reduce cancer risks, avoid cow’s milk products. Goat or sheep’s milk are both easier to digest and have lower levels of casein.

    • StitchesnDishes

      Wow I had no idea! Thank you!

  • StitchesnDishes

    Wow… I’m speechless David! :-D Thank you for the comment… blood? Puss? Ewwwwww

  • StitchesnDishes

    Do you drink organic, non-fat? What’s your take on the growth hormones they give to cows to produce so much more milk?

  • MightyCasey

    I was never a big milk lover. I like ice cream, but only eat it a couple times a month at most. Coffee=black. That philosophy was in place long before I did a story back in ’89 about the rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria (know known as MRSA) where one of the principal vectors was … the antibiotics in milk. Which were given to the cows because of the massive infections they got in their udders. Which infections occurred because of the massive doses of rBST (bovine growth hormone) they pumped into the poor things to up milk production. Everybody was freaking out about the antibiotics, I was standing there going, “Hormones??” So of course I got a hormone-positive breast cancer dx 18 years later, I think because I didn’t shift to raised-hormone-free beef. I only buy organic low-fat milk, which I use occasionally in cereal. My milk consumption is almost nil, although I do love artisanal cheeses. Cow, sheep, goat.

    • StitchesnDishes

      I gotta say I’m right there with you in the cheese department, Casey! I love exploring the wide world of cheeses. I was just talking about this again today, and thought about looking for organic milk this week, myself. I think that would be a very viable compromise.

  • StitchesnDishes

    Thanks Marianne. I don’t know why I’ve never seen this comment before. Sorry I didn’t reply until now! You’re right on the money. I think the main point here is to raise awareness, so those who do choose to continue drinking milk can do so based on an informed decision.