What Does the Media Know?

I knew a man several years ago who said that he could not trust the news media on anything. As he would point out, they were getting it so wrong in his chosen profession within which he was an expert. He said if he could see how wrong they got it there, then he didn't see how he could trust the news media in other areas that he knew less about.

I think that's a pretty common sentiment among most people. I think the general population has come to trust the news media less and less these days.

Even so, I still couldn't believe the article that I read in the local paper the other day. The article was about the recent study that found that milk does not prevent bone fractures and it may lead to earlier death. This is something that most of us in the whole foods, plant-based world were already pretty much aware of. So, the good news is that the article was supportive of what we believe.

Then what was wrong with the article? Well, I'll let you tell me. Here's the first sentence from the article: "If you're drinking milk to prevent bone fractures or to boost your overall health, you might want to go back to the fridge and opt for a yogurt or a slice of cheese instead."

Aaaaargh!

Why did the writer make a statement like that? Could it be that she really didn't know that yogurt and cheese are products of milk? Doubtful, I'd say. You'd have to of lived in a cocoon up until now to not know that.

Could it be that there was some dairy industry influence involved in her writing? Probably not directly I'm sure. But dairy products are advertised in newspapers, and editors and publishers are sensitive to their advertisers. So, if you have to cover a big story like this that's negative to the dairy industry, what do you do? Maybe you suggest another dairy alternative.

And of course, the suggested substitutes that the journalist made make little sense. I mean you can't exactly pour cheese on your cereal in the morning and a tub of yogurt won't exactly cure your thirst. A more sensible substitution might have been, in my opinion, to suggest using almond milk or soy milk instead. But, then again, maybe she didn't realize that almond milk or soy milk are not really milks.

None of us can know for sure, of course, why this journalist wrote to substitute cheese or yogurt for milk. But what we can know for sure is that we need to be careful about what we read in the media. When the media tells us that butter is back or fat is good, we need to be careful. For example, their idea of low fat at 30% of calories is significantly higher than our idea of low fat at 10% of calories. Their comparisons of diets are against the standard American diet, not against our whole foods, plant-based diet.

So, that's why I take what the media says with a grain of salt. Well, maybe not salt....