Introduction to the dairy industry
In today’s modern world, it seems hard to escape dairy. The dairy industry is an absolute giant with a seemingly global reach and seems to find its way into many different food items.
The main basic food items that come from the dairy industry are milk, cheese and butter. These products are consumed widely on their own but then you have ingredients that come from those products. Milk powder is one such product which finds its way into beverages, crisps and salad dressings. Cheese makes its way on to pizzas and in sandwiches, and a whole host of dishes. When there is no cheese in the dish people like to sprinkle cheese on top. Butter is a popular ingredient to use in cakes and biscuits and is used to baste a whole host of meats.
Although dairy is a global industry it is not as wide-reaching as one might initially presume. it is western countries that are by far the biggest consumers of dairy. Finland in Europe topping the list as the biggest consumer of dairy per capita. Perhaps surprisingly the USA is at number 16 and the UK is in at number 20.
Countries such as Thailand and Vietnam in South East Asia are not even in the top 100 list of countries by milk consumption per capita. India is the biggest producer of milk in the world but does not feature in the top hundred consumers of dairy, this is because it exports most of it in the form of milk powder.
The dairy industry is so big it can afford to spend massive amounts of money on advertising and propaganda. It can if it wishes pay for scientific studies with industry freinldy results. the industry can then use those results in its advertsing to convince people of the supposive benefits of consuming dairy.
One such advertsing campaign that many people will remember is the ”Got Milk?” campaign which was started in the 1990’s. Mainly an american advertsing campain it featured various celebrities of the day with milk mustaches. This was an attempt to make drinking cows milk cool.
You can see by the wording of the advertising how transparent the propaganda is, ”Some studies suggest” what can we take from this? that many other studies contradict that study? Even the study they mention only ”suggests”. The top Line is also worded to brainwash the consumer, ”the protein in milk helps build muscle”. It’s protein in general that helps build muscle and protein can be found in almost any food. the wording of the advertising is a subtle form of subliminal messaging.
The Dairy industry/ dairy farmers are also heavily subsidised by governments. This means that the price of products like milk would be much higher if the government had not already paid part of the price by the time it reaches the supermarkets. Perhaps consumers would be less willing to pay the true price of the dairy if they hadn’t already paid part of it via taxes. Products such as fruit are not subsidised by governments and thus make fruit and vegetables appear to be more expensive in comparison. It is not just the dairy industry that is supported by subsidies paid for by the taxpayer. Every year governments hand out billions of public money to the meat and dairy industry, a practise that has many people calling for an end to subsidies for the meat and dairy industry
This article is just a brief look at the dairy industry as a whole. There are major ethical issues with the dairy industry, as well as adverse health effects on its consumers and a detrimental impact on the environment.