Brickbat: It Does a Body Good


The Virginia House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources committee has approved a bill that would define milk as being "obtained by the complete milking of a healthy hooved animal." It would bar plant-based milk products from being marketed as milk. The bill now goes to the full House for a vote.

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  1. They need to do something. On my last grocery trip, I accidentally purchased almond milk. Almond was on the label, but I thought it was the brand. I then bought herbal tea only to discover it doesn’t contain tea. You can imagine my surprise about the sweetbreads I bought for dessert.

    1. Be grateful they weren’t running a sale on the long pork.

      1. That explains the gold teeth in my breakfast links.

    2. Did you know that head cheese doesn’t have any dairy in it?

  2. I have nipples, Virginia. Can you milk me?

    1. Are you healthy and hooved? I’m not sure how to parse “complete milking”. Is it not milk if you don’t get it all out?

      1. You’re supposed to milk that cow for all she’s worth, just like the politicians milk us for all we’re worth!

        BTW, why don’t they just call it “almond mulk” or “almond pseudomilk” and be done with it? Because each and every state and town is going to micro-manage this in a different way, and then producers will have to have 10,433 different kinds of labels for almond milk?

      2. Thinking ahead, for when they start making hooved animal milk in a lab but no milking process or animal involved?

        1. Notice they didn’t say from a hooved female animal.

          1. Bullmilk… it does a body good!

  3. Well, the socialists took over the Commonwealth, so this is what you get.
    But they lag far behind Florida, which has (maybe had by now) a law against labeling what is “obtained by the complete milking of a healthy hooved animal.” (if that animal is a cow) as milk. Because real actual straight from the cow milk does not contain enough vitamin A (or some other letter). In other words, if it does not contain added, processed stuff, it is not “real” milk.

    1. Yup!

      I know that IJ (Institutes for Justice) was on Florida’s case about this. I think it was reversed, but am not 100% sure. It was about ADDING vitamin A to “skim milk” before you can call it “milk”.

      In the future, humans will be required to have a few new, synthetic chromosomes added, including an “obedience chromosome”, before they can be called “humans”!

  4. The problem is that there are folks out there who really can’t figure out that something labeled “almond milk” or “soy milk” didn’t come from a cow.

    1. More education, more power to teacher’s unions, and triple (plus more) the paychecks for teachers, and all of this “ignorance problem” can be educated away! Ye of little faith!

    2. Isn’t soy milk from cows that eat soy just like chocolate milk is from cows that eat chocolate?

    3. Like “bull shit” doesn’t (necessarily) come from a bull?

      1. Is seldom does, as bulls are inherently honest creatures.

    4. Interestingly, at least Silk labels it almondmilk and soymilk, not almond milk or soy milk.

  5. If this passes, I recommend the manufacturers re-label as “Something We Squeezed Out of Our Nuts”.

  6. “Almond milk” and other such terms have been around for hundreds of years, I believe. Read a book on life i the 14th century England which used the term, IIRC.

    1. Yep. And, in actuality, “almond milk” has been referred to as “milk,” in the various languages of the cultures it has been used, since at least the 1200’s. Even with literacy rate of ten percent, or public schools, nobody confused it with “cow’s milk.”

      1. Even with literacy rate of ten percent, or public schools, nobody confused it with “cow’s milk.”

        In the 13th Century, you didn’t suffer the delusion that almond milk was as nutritious as dairy milk for very long. Also, I suspect that if you did try to pass off almond milk as milk (or simply dilute out milk) the punishments for such acts could be much worse than “Re-label your product, or else.”

        1. All true. But the secret to success of almond milk was technology, or rather, the absence of technology (refrigeration). Almond milk could keep for weeks. And it was a refreshing change from water (and still is).

          1. And it was a refreshing change from water (and still is).

            I don’t disagree with it’s potential superiority to water. What I disagree with is that it hasn’t received unfair regulatory advantages and market share relative to milk. Despite the popularity of coconut water, seltzers, and all other manner of ‘natural’ and ‘vitamin infused’ waters, no one buys/drinks almond-flavored vitamin water. It enjoys a distinct benefit for its resemblance to dairy milk.

            Might not be a problem if we didn’t have 50+ years of consistently raised standards for milk production while, simultaneously demonizing milk fat in all forms but that counterfactual future doesn’t exist.

        2. Nobody now is trying to pass off almond milk as milk. It sells because it is not milk.

          1. It sells because it is not milk.

            Frequently advertised explicitly as being better or more nutritious than dairy.

  7. I would label it as “Almond better-for-you, lower-calorie, higher-calcium, better-tasting, milk-like, white stuff”

  8. Dang it now I can’t label my camel milk as milk.

    1. Camels are hooved, so that’s OK, as long as the camels are healthy. Mouse milk, whale milk, bat milk, rat milk, possum milk, raccoon milk, and others are off limits!

      1. Mouse/rat milk is called “malk”

        1. “Malk” is gaining traction!



          MALK ditches word ‘milk’ from labels: ‘We want to clear any confusion… MALK is not nut milk pretending to be dairy’
          10-Mar-2017 By Elaine Watson

          While its compatriots in the plant-based beverage sector have argued pretty strongly that consumers are not in the least bit confused by the use of dairy-derived terms (notably, ‘milk’) to describe nut-, seed-, or legume-based products, nut-fueled brand MALK Organics has decided to remove the term ‘milk’ from its labels to “clear any confusion.”

          Also see… “Methods for Collecting Milk from Mice”

          Wow! I have always wanted to milk (malk?) mice!

      2. Camels do not have hooves.

        1. But they do have camel toes, right?

        2. OK, I stand corrected… According to The Google, which Knows and Sees All…

          Camels do not have hooves. The foot of a camel is made up of a large leathery pad, with two toes at the front, the bones of which are embedded in the foot. The padding makes the gait of a camel silent, and keeps it from sinking in the sand.

  9. Hooved animals only? Did Virginia just redefine “mammal”? Will moms now go to jail for breast feeding their babies and calling it “milk”?

    1. Please, PLEASE, don’t give them any ideas!

    2. There actually is an exception in the proposed law for human breast milk.

  10. “Cloudy, almond-flavored vitamin water”

    I’m not a fan of protectionism but, at the same time, truth in advertising.

    Also, let’s not pretend that for the last ~60 yrs. our own federal government hasn’t been exhaustively advancing a PR campaign against saturated fat, to the distinct benefit of almond and soy.

    Certainly not the worst case of selective libertarianism out there, but a pretty obvious case of “Statism is OK right up until its victims start defending themselves with it.”

  11. You know what I haven’t heard from libertarians in a while? A principled stance in favor of individual-to-individual (raw) milk sales.

    Lurking behind the scenes of this whole ‘almond milk is not milk’ issue is a mountain of regulation that ensures dairy producers are doing their utmost to make dairy milk safer and, arguably, more nutritious than even organic foods (anyone remember the last time someone died of dairy-borne food infection?). Regulations that plant-based milks subvert both in production and nutritionally.

    The obvious libertarian answer is not to make the plant-based milk producers meet the same criteria, but that’s also, pretty obviously, the lowest-common-denominator libertarian answer. Like being OK, with some free speech regulations or gun control as long as it’s not too burdensome to the right new products.

    1. If I am not mistaken, Baylen Linnekin, here at Reason, chimes in on such things fairly regularly. I think the last installment had to do with raw butter….

      1. IDK about ‘fairly regularly’. I freely admit that Reason isn’t entirely absent in the fight against food standards, but what used to seem like a ratio of 1-2 articles on raw milk/food freedom to every article on truth in labeling/rent-seeking (or more) now seems to be 1:5 in the opposite direction.

  12. “obtained by the complete milking of a healthy hooved animal.”

    But are they happy cows?

    1. They MIGHT be happy, until they find out that they are “removed” from dairy service and slaughtered after seven years or so. No happy retirement for dairy cows, unless being converted to hamburger is in one’s long-term plans.

      1. They MIGHT be happy, until they find out that they are “removed” from dairy service and slaughtered after seven years or so.

        Worried that death squads for retired cows would be a little too ‘on the nose’ for Universal Healthcare advocates?

        I’m not sure how you would make the cows aware of this arrangement without undergoing a larger, more idiotic, and equally immoral leap.

  13. So are they also going to ban the use of “coconut milk” name, which has been in use for centuries?

    Nobody is fooled into thinking almond milk is really milk. We drink almond milk because we know it’s not animal milk.

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