Day 21

As demand for cow's milk has declined, the dairy industry has stepped up efforts to trick consumers into buying more dairy products. One way they have done this is to market whey -- a by-product of cheese making -- as if it were a desirable health food.

Nothing could be further from the truth! Historically a "poverty food" that farm families would eat themselves because there were no buyers, whey became a common filler -- a cheap ingredient used to bulk up processed foods -- when industrial cheese producers needed a way to dispose of it all.

The European Food Safety Authority has debunked the health claims made for whey. Still, the whey protein supplement industry rakes in billions by marketing a waste product as a health food. 

In some ways, this is not a surprise. The whole dairy industry is based on deception, starting with the notion that it is in any way natural for any animal to consume the milk of another animal. Every mammal's milk is perfectly suited for her own offspring. And of course, all of those advertisements about happy cows cover up the deep and long-lasting sorrow that mother cows experience when their calves are taken from them so that humans can take their milk instead.

So, watch out for whey in the ingredients of mass-produced food, and if a friend or family member has been tricked into buying whey protein powder or power bars, tell them: "No whey!"

Recipes of the Day

We're excited by all of the new vegan cheeses that are beginning to be available at food co-ops and mainstream supermarkets. But we also love making our own vegan cheese! Our Cheryl swears by the vegan cheese recipes of the Gentle Chef. Or, try this super-simple recipe for Tofu Feta.

Shout Out

A biologist and naturalist originally from Kingston, Jamaica, LoriKim Alexander is an educator, organizer, conservationist, abolitionist, and healer. She synergizes all of these into Black liberation work from a queer, vegan perspective. Her current central work is building The Cypher, a Black femme-led Trans and Queer Black & Indigenous formation dedicated to total liberation. She is also among the core organizers of Black VegFest in NYC. Watch LoriKim's instructive and engaging talk on Black, Queer, Vegan Liberation. Listen in on the insights the LoriKim shared in this episode of In Context.

Further Inspiration

Breeze Harper has analyzed the media's role in perpetuating myths to uphold systems of oppression, including dairy. Read her short essay, FAIRY TALES AND COWLIFORNIA NIGHTMARIN' to learn more.

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