Got Milk? You Don’t Need It –

That was the title of Mark Bittman’s latest column (See link below)

The first sentence that grabbed my attention was this one—appearing about halfway through the article:

“Three months ago, I decided to give up dairy products as a test.”

Taylor Swift earning a few bucks selling the nasty stuff. Rare is the celebrity who hasn’t participated in the ubiquitous “Got Milk” campaign.

A test? As you probably know, Mark Bittman probably knows more than any other prominent news writer about the perils of the Standard American Diet with meat and dairy three meals a day. And like me, he grew up with a cold glass of milk accompanying every single meal. Also like me, he went on to learn a great deal about the crucial importance of what we eat.

But, unlike me, he treats this powerful knowledge as somewhat of a hobby or a game of trivial pursuit. While he knows how our toxic diet is the primary driver of our out-of-control cost of healthcare and that it is destroying our environment, he never seems to take that knowledge seriously. Is that about to change?

Maybe his latest “test” of how life will be without dairy products will influence him to get more serious about sharing that wealth of knowledge. Maybe then he will be the first to deliver what is desperately needed—a hefty dose of CLARITY about food from the mainstream press. From the article:

Three months ago, I decided to give up dairy products as a test.

Twenty-four hours later, my heartburn was gone. Never, it seems, to return. In fact, I can devour linguine puttanesca (with anchovies) and go to bed an hour later; fellow heartburn sufferers will be impressed. Perhaps equally impressive is that I mentioned this to a friend who had the same problem, tried the same approach, and had the same results. Presto! No dairy, no heartburn! (A third had no success. Hey, it’s not a controlled double-blind experiment, but there is no downside to trying it.) Conditions like mine are barely on the radar. Although treating heartburn is a business worth more than $10 billion a year, the solution may be as simple as laying off dairy. (Which, need I point out, is free.)

What’s clear is that the widespread existence of lactose intolerance, says Dr. Baker, is “a pretty good sign that we’ve evolved to drink human milk when we’re babies but have no need for the milk of any animals. And no matter what you call a chronic dairy problem — milk allergy, milk intolerance, lactose intolerance — the action is the same: avoid all foods derived from milk for at least five days and see what happens.”

How many billions of dollars of advertising does it take to convince the entire human race that drinking the milk of another species is good for them? Ask Dr. Phil; he knows everything.

What about cancer Mark? Why not tell everyone what Dr. T. Colin Campbell discovered many decades ago? “The protein in cow’s milk (casein) is one of the most powerful carcinogens ever discovered.” As you probably know, animal protein in our diet creates just the right chemical environment for cancers of all types to flourish in our bodies.

Eliminate the dairy, eggs, & meat (including fish). Replace those calories with whole plants. Presto! Within a few years, we’ll see the rates of cancer begin to plummet in the western world. After providing more valuable information about the dangers of milk as it relates to osteoporosis, calcium and Vitamin D, Mark wraps up his article with some staggering information about government subsidies of milk in our school lunch program.

Most humans never tasted fresh milk from any source other than their mother for almost all of human history, and fresh  cow’s milk could not be routinely available to urbanites without industrial production. The federal government not only supports the milk industry by spending more money on dairy than any other item in the school lunch program, but by contributing free propaganda as well as subsidies amounting to well over $4 billion in the last 10 years. There’s nothing un-American about re-evaluating those commitments with an eye toward sensibility. Meanwhile, pass the water.

Mark Bittman is clear about what he enjoys eating. But he is consistently confusing when it comes to helping his readers learn about healthy eating.

Now, what about that test? Does his “pass the water” closing mean that he’s giving up milk forever? What about cheese? What about all of his recipes out there that contain both? Will he now step forward, take a bold stand and tell his millions of column readers and cookbook fans the complete, unadulterated, horrible truth about dairy?

They deserve to hear clarity from someone they trust. The entire world needs clarity from the mainstream media.

The Bottom Line. Mark Bittman has a wealth of knowledge and influences millions of people with everything he publishes. But he rarely gets real clear about EXACTLY what we should be doing to promote health.

This recent article was a step in the right direction —but we need more clarity Mark—Much More!

I encourage everyone who sees this blog to read Mr. Bittman’s entire article and then take the time to send him a note. I plan to post a comment on his “Got Milk” article and also send him yet another personal note. Source article: Got Milk? You Don’t Need It –

More about Mr. Bittman. Since beginning this blog 521 days ago, at least a dozen of my blogs have been inspired by Mark Bittman. I have a great deal of respect for him and know what a tremendous impact he could have if he got real serious about delivering clarity to the people. Here are a handful of my earlier blogs that he inspired; also listed next to last is my favorite Bittman article ever—his famous “Meat Guzzler” piece.

Footnote: I did an internet search for a picture of Mark Bittman with a milk mustache and didn’t find one. After this article, he probably won’t get any more invitations from the dairy folks. But he will probably hear from them.

While waiting for Mark and others in the mainstream to consistently deliver clarity about what we should be eating, you shouldn’t sacrifice your health. “Confusion over clarity” will probably be the norm for a few more decades, but more and more people are demanding the truth about our food choices now. Got Clarity?

Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Diagnostic Survey. It takes less than five minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to

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J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4Leaf page or some great recipes at Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

Blogging daily at…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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10 Responses to Got Milk? You Don’t Need It –

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  3. Lorraine Lewandrowski says:

    My family has been dairy farmers for more than a century in Upstate NY. Our farm is extensive grasslands and our cows graze every day of the year that weather permits. Plowing up the grasslands would be devastating ecologically. Upstate NY is a traditional dairy region, meaning that the massive well-watered grasslands have been a source of food for livestock for centuries now.
    Audubon has recognized the grasslands of NY as rich habitat for the grassland birds and other species that rely on wide open habitat. As the farms have been lost, these species are driven out.
    In my lifetime, I have watched as NY’s agricultural lands went from 30,000,000 to 7,000,000 acres of land today. NYC is a food vulnerable city. There is a roughly 2 day supply on the shelves of the big apple. Some 43 million tons of food are hauled in to feed the people, 95% of it by truck. People who are thinking about food security in NYC are actually trying to encourage all of the farmers of the state to produce food and to produce more of it within easy driving range of NYC.
    And, fine, if you can’t drink milk, I understand. But to blather on and on about a food that does feed many people and feed them well, you seem like First World city slickers far removed from the land and ever sneering at the hands of the farmers who feed you. My family has lived long and strong on dairy products from whole milk to cheeses. My cows are beautiful and the grasslands are beautiful. Long live the farms of NY.

  4. Darcy says:

    After a few weeks without dairy, my husband declared his chronic congestion had vanished. Seems he had an allergy to dairy all along….and I was a mom who considered a glass of milk with dinner as important as eating your veggies. ( I’ve since called my 18 year old son and apologized.)

  5. MikeR says:

    When I ate ice cream, I would get awful stomachaches and headaches (not the brain freeze that lasts a few seconds but a migrainelike headache). I always figured the stomachache was the milk and the headache the sugar in the ice cream. Since going plant strong in January, no ice cream, no stomachache and no headaches. To top it off, I’ve lost nearly 40 pounds and I feel great.

  6. Linda201 says:

    NBC news at 6:30 EST tonight is featuring a segment about the wild weather we’ve been seeing everywhere. Causes and possible solutions will purportedly be covered. Anyone care to bet on whether the animals-for-food industry will be listed as a cause, or whether giving up animal foods will be listed as a solution?

  7. Leo S. says:

    Another informative post on a topic people are reluctant to think about. Your header lists videos, and under it Udderly Amazing, which should be seen by everyone. Dr. Veith really goes into detail on how the body is affected by cows’ milk and dairy product consumption. At 17:30 he discusses how Diabetes Type-1 can be caused by consuming cows’ milk. That is a particularly debilitating condition, especially in the young. Could we prevent the condition if we had more knowledge? We should at least make the effort to learn as much about our food sources since we choose what we will consume or give to our children who rely on us in their early years. Other autoimmune diseases may also develop. After viewing that you might also be interested in the other four lectures.

    This should be saved and passed on to others.

    • Leo S. says:

      Nathan Pritikin who also advocated running and lifestyle changes died at 69 and autopsy Nathan Pritikin, who also advocated running and lifestyle changes, died at 69 and autopsy showed that his arteries were clear. He advocated a low-fat diet.On page 99 of “The Pritikin Promise” he writes: A Marine’s blood cholesterol of 185 mg/dl did not prevent the cholesterol plaque from closing his arteries. He was perhaps unaware that eating dairy products can keep total cholesterol low while still allowing cholesterol deposits in the artery walls to form cholesterol boils that eventually prevent blood from reaching part of the heart muscle. (Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 1974, 27: 464-69). While there is a positive correlation between the amount of cholesterol in the blood and the incidence of cardiovascular disease, low cholesterol levels influenced by the consumption of dairy products are misleading and cannot guarantee freedom from the disease now or in the future.

      PART TWO–Special Advice for Runners and Other Athletic People runs from page 53 to 92 and shows how health and performance of many individuals changed on the Pritikin program.

  8. Duane Verner says:

    This is a great step in the right direction, now we just need the NY Times writer to “test” a plant based diet and report how he feels after a month. If he would try a fully plant based diet for a month there is no doubt in my mind that he would experience all of the same great results most people on this blog as well as other similar blogs (E2 diet, etc…) have reported (weight loss, clearer mind, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, more energy, etc…).

  9. Gayle says:

    Since I have been eating 4 Leaf my heartburn has completely disappeared and I’ve had it all my life. I was on prescription medication for it and I no longer have to take it. I can eat (mild) salsa again and not get heartburn. I cut lactose out of my life many years ago because I am now 42 and discovered when I was about 18 that I was lactose intolerant. But I still had heartburn. I was drinking fat free Lactaid so that I could get my much needed milk intake as I thought I needed at the time so I was still getting milk but without lactose. I have now switched to almond milk and am not eating meat and my heartburn has gone away. I can even eat acidic things like oranges, and mild salsa (as mentioned above) and I’m fine. The main reason I stuck with the 4 leaf diet when I started it this January was because of the way it helped my digestive system. I used to always have a sour stomach no matter what I ate and even if I took my prilosec faithfully. Now I’m off the medication and no heartburn. So I can relate to this post. 🙂

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