Thursday, March 31, 2011

Are you drinking fresh milk?

With reports that radioactive iodine has been found in stream water that cows drink and in cow milk itself in California and Washington, my question to you is do you want to have a cold fresh glass of milk right now?  My answer is no.  The media this morning had a nice chart showing that the amount of radiation in one pint of milk was equal to a five hour plane ride.  We are told that the radiation levels are minuscule compared to the exposure that we face every day.  Sure there's some radiation in just about everything.  The difference that is not being pointed out is that nonionized radiation is not the same as ionized radiation. 
Isn't that why we are supposed to be concerned with radon?  That's ionized radiation too.  According to the EPA 21,000 deaths in the US each year are caused by Radon.  13,000 people in the US die each year from drunk driving.  This means 50% more deaths caused by radon.  So perhaps we shouldn't care about the radiation coming from Japan and worry about what's in our own homes?  You better care about radon in your home but this doesn't have to be either or.  It can be both.  Care about radon and radiation from Japan. 
What about the ionized radiation coming from Japan?  First we were told there is no danger, then little danger. The EPA stepped up efforts to monitor the radiation levels across the country and they keep pointing out that it's higher than normal but still ok. 
I told the grandkids that radiation is in milk and probably other things as well.  If it's in the grass that the cows are eating, I understand that it gets extra concentrated when turned from grass and hay into milk.  What about vegetables?  Japanese imports of food have been banned in the US.  I doubt that there's much impact on our fresh food supply since we don't eat the same volume that a cow does.  But perhaps we should be watching what fresh items we eat as well?  Is it ok to eat something that has to be peeled rather than eating the outside that was exposed to the elements? Is eating something that gets it's nutrients from the ground better?  I just don't know. 
Beef cattle munch on grass, hay, or forage out in the woods for most of their lives. They only eat grain when they are brought in for their last few months to fatten up.  Most dairy cattle don't just munch on pasture grass as we are being led to believe.  Most dairy cows are in dairies that feed silage or hay or something other than just pasture grass.  Since the source of most dairy cattle food isn't the pasture grass, it doesn't make sense how so much of the milk would be affected.  Something just isn't adding up. 
I do know that I've told the grandkids that they may not drink any milk at school or if they go to anyone else's homes, unless they get the ok by me first.  I do remember a grocery store that carried milk from out of state.  I can't remember which store it was or which brand.  I'm going to check out a couple of stores in the next few days.  Until then, the kids will be drinking our stored powdered milk.  They don't like it much.  I told them that it tastes better than the soy milk that their great grandma drinks.  I also said that we'll put a spoon of either chocolate or strawberry quik in when they are drinking it.  Their cereal will have it straight.  Am I going overboard?  Who knows.  Better to be safe than sorry.  I'm glad we have lots of powdered milk here at home.  Do you?

1 comment:

  1. Wow, they sure do things different in California. Cattle around here are mostly beef, since we are in TX, and all are on pasture, supplemented with Coastal hay. Our calf does get beef stocker/grower pellets, but is also let out daily to graze in the pasture, and gets hay. The local dairy, where we purchase our milk, are pasture and grass fed only. Everyone I know with cattle, try to feed as much grass as possible, foregoing commercial feed.

    Yes, I remember hearing about the radiation in milk. If you happened to have a store of hay to feed a goat/cow the milk should be okay.