Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Plant milks better for environment and health

Plant milks better for environment and health than cow milk: science


Evidence Based Eating New Zealand has taken issue with recent news media comments by Fonterra’s chief technologist, Dr Jeremy Hill, over the value of cow’s milk in human health and its impact on the environment.

In a joint statement issued on behalf of EBE’s panel of three GPs, Dr Luke Wilson (Wellington) says several points in an article published on Stuff last Friday need to be addressed.

“Firstly, it was not explained that the research referred to was published in 2010,” Dr Wilson said.

“Three Swedish and one American researcher published an article in a not often cited journal evaluating the ‘environmental impact’ of eight different drinks, also taking into account the nutrition provided.”

Fonterra’s chief technology officer cited this research as “a collaborative study by United States and Swedish universities” that examined cow's milk and other beverages for their ‘environmental impact.

Stuff published its article, ‘Plant milks worse for environment than cow milk: Fonterra’ based largely on this research but also made no mention that the researchers were all employed by the Swedish dairy industry.

He says the researchers created a formula combining a measure of nutritional density based on Nordic Nutrition Recommendations, with estimates of just the greenhouse gas emissions associated with each drink.

Although the greenhouse gas emissions associated with cow’s milk were scored as 99, compared with 30 for soy drink, when the authors took their measure of nutrient density into account, cow’s milk scored 0.54 compared to 0.25 for soy drink.

“The equation used in this study has however been criticised as biased (all three of the Swedish researchers were employed by the Swedish Dairy Association) and the finding questioned by other scientists in the field,” Dr Wilson says.

Land, water, and fertiliser use, impact on soil and natural habitats, and, in the case of animal farming, effluent production, are all ways in which food production can impact the environment besides greenhouse gas emissions.

Processed plant milks produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions, no effluent, and overall are better for the environment than cow’s milk in every single aspect mentioned above.

It is true that processed plant milk alternatives contain fewer nutrients than cow’s milk although they may be fortified.

“But”, Dr Wilson says, “it is important to understand that the ‘nutrition’ provided by cow’s milk is unnecessary and likely to be harmful.”

None of the nutrients contained in cow’s milk are unique, they are all found in whole plant foods with the exception of vitamin B12, which is found in other animal products or can be supplemented.

The protein found in cow’s milk increases IGF-1 levels, which increases cancer risk, he says.

Researchers have investigated links between cow’s milk and a variety of illnesses including acne, type 1 diabetes, breast and prostate cancer.

Intolerance to a sugar (lactose) found in cow’s milk, is common worldwide with prevalence estimated at up to 75%.

Lactose intolerance is particularly high in individuals of Māori, Pacific, or East Asian descent.

Dairy allergies are common in childhood and these children may experience eczema, sinus congestion, stomach problems, heartburn, anaemia, and recurrent ear infections.

“While processed plant foods (e.g. milk alternatives) may contain fewer nutrients than cow’s milk, they still have a lower environmental impact, are less likely to cause direct harm to health, and are nutritionally acceptable as part of a balanced diet,” Dr Wilson said.


Footnote: This statement is issued by EBE NZ on behalf of Drs, Luke Wilson, Martyn Williamson, Alexandra, and Mark Craig, Auckland.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Whakaari/White Island: A Minute’s Silence For Victims

A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed...

The minute’s silence will be exactly one week after the eruption started on Monday 9 December. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On What An Inquiry Might Look Like
Presumably, if there is to be a ministerial inquiry (at the very least) into the Whakaari/White Island disaster, it will need to be a joint ministerial inquiry. That’s because the relevant areas of responsibility seem to be so deeply interwoven... More>>

 

More Discussions: National On Housing, Transport And Infrastructure

National has today released the ninth and tenth in our series of discussion documents, which contain a range of proposals to ensure New Zealand has the high-quality housing and infrastructure it needs to prosper, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

Trains: Govt's Plans For Rail

The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Welfare Vs Infrastructure Spending

If New Zealand has a pressing need to stimulate its flagging economy, it seems very weird that the government is choosing a $12 billion package of infrastructure spending – mainly on road and rail – that by definition, will take a very long time to deliver their stimulatory benefits ... More>>

New Reports: "Immediate Commitment To Doing Justice Differently"

Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and Te Tangi o te Manawanui: Recommendations for Reform from the Chief Victims Advisor. Both recommend a fresh approach to the way criminal justice has been approached... More>>

ALSO:

"Heart-Breaking And Confronting": Surgical Mesh Restorative Justice Report

Minister Genter: “People have talked about losing the life they had enjoyed before surgical mesh harmed them – the loss of a steady job, the ability to exercise, a loving relationship in some cases. Others described the chronic pain they experienced..." More>>

ALSO:

Law Foundation: Government Decryption Powers Must Respect Privacy

The power of government to order users and companies to decrypt encrypted data and devices needs stronger privacy protections and additional safeguards, according to a study published by researchers at the University of Waikato. More>>

Latest 'Discussion Doc': National On Healthcare

National has today released our eighth Discussion Document which focusses on health and outlines a range of policies which will enable more Kiwis to access high-quality healthcare, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

Select Committee Report: Combatting Foreign Election Interference

MPs have finally delivered their recommendations to combat foreign interference in elections in a long awaited and much delayed report. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels