A recent Facebook posting from an old friend got me thinking; why do our daughters seem so much older than we did at that age? I mean, we can’t blame it all on Brittany Spears, Facebook and fashion trends.
“You know, it’s all the hormones they give cows these days; it’s crossing over into milk and that’s what’s making our girls mature so much faster and grow so much bigger,” my friend, Corinne wrote. I’ve heard that before.
There is a lot of misinformation out there on various websites and no shortage of opinions and food-purchase recommendations made by well-intentioned, but untrained (in the world of food science) fitness gurus, people like Jillian Michaels of "America’s Biggest Loser." Jillian has managed to leverage her gig as a tough fitness trainer into a multi-million-dollar health and fitness empire. I think she’s credible when it comes to sculpting chiseled abs. I mean, look at that woman! (
http://www.jillianmichaels.com), but offering nutrition advice?
Knowledge in one area doesn’t necessarily translate into credibility in another. So, just because Jillian Michaels writes, “Organic free-range dairy tastes better and has no antibiotics or hormones and more omega-3s,” it doesn’t mean it’s scientifically proven.
According to Stephanie Clark, PhD, a much-published food scientist who specializes in dairy production at Iowa State University, there is NO SUCH THING as ‘hormone free milk.’ She says all milk has hormones; organic, conventional, grass-fed or corn-fed, you name it. In fact, Dr. Clark says even plantshave hormones (
http://www.iowafarmbureau.com/article.aspx?articleID=27032). Dr. Clark says well-intentioned marketers who are in the business of selling their product for a few pennies more are making a lot of health claims out there; we have to wade through the spin to find the science.
So, I asked, why are teenage girls today so much taller and maturing earlier than in “our day”? (“When dinosaurs roamed the Earth” as my 13-year-old likes to say!) Clark says that yes, we probably can, in some respect, look to food for that growth spurt; it’s because we have better nutrition than our ancestors and better access to improved vaccinations and health care.
It’s clear: milk has so many nutrients, protein and amino acids, that no matter what kind you pick at the grocery store, it’s important that you pick it, period. As the second-most-regulated and inspected food item in your grocery cart (next to seafood), you can rest assured that milk is a healthy choice for your family. I think we should all drink to that…..
Written by Laurie Johns
Laurie Johns is Public Relations Manager for the Iowa Farm Bureau.
Why Are Teenage Girls Maturing Earlier? Don't Blame Milk!