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“It’s not milk” just proves you can’t beat the real thing

12 July 2014

“It’s not milk” just proves you can’t beat the real thing

The prospect of a breakthrough in test tube product said to be like milk has not got New Zealand farmers shivering in their red-bands just yet.

“Milk is much, much more than collecting up the constituent parts and running it through an industrial process as if it’s cola,” says Andrew Hoggard, Federated Farmers Dairy Chairperson.

“Proving nothing is new, 102 years ago the New York Times reported “No Need for cows now,” when German scientists created a synthetic milk-like product using vegetable matter. That promised much like we are hearing out of Ireland but didn’t go very far, very fast.

“You cannot beat the real thing proven by millions of years of mammalian evolution.

“The reality is that we are only just starting to grasp the natural qualities and versatility of milk. The sum of what comes out of a cow is a lot greater than its constituent parts.

“One of the farming websites sites I read recently outlined the huge possibilities we are discovering with milk. It said the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences found milk has a highly geometrically ordered structure when being digested by us.

“This could not only spur on completely new milk products but revolutionise the way drugs are delivered, with milk perhaps used as a carrier.

“Farmers also know there are milk alternatives derived from of soy, almonds, coconuts and even hemp. We also have the other milk producing ruminant animals like goats and sheep.

“It doesn’t send a shiver down to my red bands just yet. I know it takes much more than a factory and a collection of chemicals to produce that amazing health tonic we call milk.

“The problem we have in New Zealand is a fixation that milk must be cheap as chips. We don’t value it as the complete healthy food milk is or the effort and care it takes to produce it. Good animal husbandry and good environmental practice takes effort, skill and of course, money.

“If dairy can take a leaf from the way the ‘wool’ has been compromised by synthetic alternatives, then we should not be calling this test tube product milk at all. I don’t care what they call it but if it isn’t from a natural process then it isn’t milk to me.

“Champagne has vigorously defended the use of that word and we need to do the same with milk. This stuff isn’t milk and must not be called milk.

“If anything what this test tube product proves is that we seem to be moving further and further away from understanding the huge effort which goes into quality primary food production. What next? A five course cordon bleu meal in a pill like in the Jetsons?

“I genuinely think the public will have an issue with ersatz products because when it is said and done, you just can’t beat the real thing,” Mr Hoggard concluded.


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