Have you noticed that dairy products have come into question lately? Billboards displaying celebrities with milk mustaches are no longer ubiquitous. The dairy aisle of grocery stores now consists largely of dairy-free milks, yogurts, creamers, and even cheeses. What’s going on? Are we waking up to the fact that humans are the only mammals that drink another mammal’s milk? Are we rethinking the habit of consuming another mammal’s secretions in food and drink for the entirety of our adult lives, instead of weaning off of it at children? Is it really true that we can lower our saturated fat and cholesterol intake by choosing non-dairy products?
In restaurants, even more dairy
But hang on a second. Head into any fast food restaurants and you’ll be greeted by ads for “double cheese” on burgers, “nacho cheese” on fries, “triple cheese” on tacos, “extra cheesy” quesadillas, “cheese-stuffed” pizza crusts, a whole pound of cheese on just one pizza, extra-large dairy drinks like milkshakes and cappuccinos, and even gourmet cheeses on soups and salads! It’s very difficult to go into a fast food restaurant (or any restaurant, for that matter) and find something on the menu that doesn’t have contain any milk, cheese, sour cream, or yogurt.
The other night, during a 10-minute break on an 18-hour nursing shift, I went to a fast food drive through to pick up something quick to eat. I ordered two bean burritos with no cheese, and a side of chips with no cheese. I paid for the order and then started eating one of the burritos while driving back to work. It tasted a bit odd to me, so I turned on my overhead light and looked inside the bag of food. Both burritos had cheese in them, and my chips had a side of nacho cheese. Not only was there no choice of food on the menu without cheese, I still got cheese even though I requested “no cheese.”
What’s happening here?
It may be true that the general public is beginning to understand the health benefits of eliminating dairy. However, our fast food options, which make eating cheap, fast, and often too convenient to pass up, have either not received this message or are simply uninterested. Maybe the explanation for both of those possibilities is because our government is rewarding fast food companies for selling more dairy products. Could it be?
As of April 2, 2018, anyone eating an item off of the McDonald’s menu may be eating more dairy products than before. The slices of cheese on breakfast sandwiches and burgers just got 30% bigger. The menu of sweet coffee drinks made with dairy just got longer.