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Food Science/What's with the Milk?


Hi Mr. Polidori,
I need your honest advice..  And here's the truth from me..I have been feeding my children cow's milk (whole milk) since they've been Age 1.  They're now 7 and 4.  Only HALF the time will the milk taste normal.  
(Back when I was a kid, we'd buy a carton of milk, and it tasted like milk!! (...unless it was merely sour (naturally) because it was left out for too long then carelessly put back in the refrigerator.))   

A little too often, to the point of frustration, the milk we buy has a chemical taste.  
What is it that sometimes makes milk virtually unpalatable?  Nobody will tell me!!  I complained to HQ of Walmart last time, and they told me that nothing's wrong with their milk....that nobody else has complained.   It was as though the rep was saying there's something wrong with me for thinking so.

I asked the same question of our neighbor whose husband runs the dairy dept. of a supermarket, and she responded with, "Sometimes milk does have that taste."  I was so grateful to have been afforded that first-hand wisdom....   A simple "I don't know" would have sufficed (or heaven forbid the TRUTH!)  

At one time, I went right back to our local market and brought them the open plastic gallon and requested my money back (which I did receive)...but I can't keep on doing that!   I've tried buying only "farm" brands, but that's now proving to show almost the same probability.  

Mr. Polidori, I need facts.  I need to know what that chemical is and why they put it into our milk.  If we have to switch to Organic milk, I will.   It would be a relief  enough to not have to gamble every time we pay 4 bucks and wonder: "Will this be a good one?"   
Sorry for my frustration.  I hope to hear from you soon.

Hi Karen,

Your question on what may be in the milk you are drinking cannot be answered with the information you gave me.  

Some possible contaminants would be cleaning chemicals used to clean and sterilize the equipment used to extract, transport and put milk in a container.  

Milk flavor is also affected by what cows have been fed and how their general health is prior to and at the time of milking.  

Cow's grazed open range on a properly planted and cared for natural pasture are healthier, more content, eat a naturally varied diet and produce healthier milk.
The best of all milk to drink is organic RAW milk, but that is usually something very hard to acquire for people that live near a Wal-Mart (as I do).

Wal-Mart does offer a variety of organic milks in ordinary cartons (not plastic). Have you tried them? I know my Wal-Mart has Stoneyfield and Horizon (my preference is Organic Valley or Trader Joe's brands). WalMart also has a variety of other organic foods, though that isn't my favorite place to shop... too much greed at the corporate level.

If you have a Trader Joe's, Fresh Market or Harris Teeter nearby get their flyers online.

Fresh Market -

Harris Teeter -

Trader Joe's -

Look for bargains and specials BEFORE you go to WalMart. The best bargains I have found are at Harris Teeter when they have a "Buy 2 get 3 free" sale. FIVE for the price of TWO. I almost feel guilty, like I was stealing, but you can stock up and extend your savings.
Trader Joe's has great prices overall on their organics, but there is nothing I can do to find the actual vendors that supply the products.
Fresh Market is pricey, but runs weekly specials, issues rain checks, has great/unusual items, large selection of whole coffee beans and a wonderful deli.

Back on topic - Cow's raised un-moving in a stall, fed cattle feed from questionable sources, injected with artificial hormones to increase milk production and growth, injected with antibiotics to compensate for an immune system damaged by their diet and hormone injections, and cow's who never see the light of day until they are slaughtered, are going to be sickly and stressed. This will affect the nutrition and taste of the milk they produce.

Plastic containers that will affect the taste of milk and anything else put in them.  Plastics are not something we should store or heat food in.  There are too many low quality plastics with varying chemicals that will contaminate anything that is put into them.  
If you continue to buy milk after reading this, you must buy it in cartons or glass bottles.

I know... more bad news, more things we have to pay attention to, more problems with our food we would think shouldn't exist because we have regulatory agencies looking out for the public interest! Unfortunately, regulatory agency leaders (and the presidents that appoint them) are bought and paid for by the very corporations and industries they are supposed to regulate.  
But it really is important for you to know so that you can make knowledgeable choices in what you feed to your family.

Here are some links to previous answers I have written on milk.  There is a lot of information in them so if you have the time read carefully and take notes.  If you have any questions make sure to write them down too on a separate piece of paper and send them all to me in one new question.  

The first link has a lot of detail (and is in two parts). The first part may answer all the questions you have on milk.  The second part is about the link between dairy products and acne.

This 2nd link has information about the differences between commercially prepared milk and raw milk.

I hope I was able to help you Karen.

Michael Polidori

Food Science

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Michael Polidori


I can answer questions about food safety issues and benefits vs risks issues related to the growing, environmental effects and health effects of conventional, organic and gene altered food (GE GMO genetically engineered), both plants and animals. I can answer questions related to the cause and treatment of nutritionally related disease (including immune related diseases) and nutritional problems related to healing physiological or nutritional injuries.


I have been studying food growing methods, regulatory rules and organic/conventional/biotechnological methods of producing foods since 1998. I have prepared materials for distribution concerning health safety issues, lack of regulation, environmental dangers and industry sponsored research of genetically engineered plants and animals. I have also created similar materials promoting the benefits of organic agriculture for not only direct health benefits but for dramatic reductions in pollution, indirectly benefitting our health. I have prepared research materials for and participated in Public Television talk and radio shows regarding the issues surrounding genetic engineering and organic foods and debated in college forums with mainstream scientific experts about the safety & regulatory issues of gene altered foods. 2000-2002 I managed booths at major North Carolina events interfacing with the public (including farmers) on organic vs GMO benefits and dangers. I understand regulatory practices, shortcomings & revolving jobs doors of the FDA, USDA and EPA and the industries they regulate. I have been involved in nutrition, health care, prescription drug, vaccine, disease, immune and wellness issues since 1997 reading and writing on the internet and in practical applications with myself, family and friends leading to paths of health, wellness and fitness.

North Carolina Citizens For Safe Food, Public Citizen, Organic Consumers Association, Union of Concerned Scientists, Environmental Working Group, PSRAST.

No Degree, but some college in the sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Calculus, Astronomy and Physics). I have also taken several courses in Logic and Philosophy. I am involved in extensive research using mainstream websites (many of which I am on mailing lists for) such as - peer-reviewed publications (The Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, others), PubMed database of research studies, National Institutes of Health, FDA, USDA, EPA, University Research libraries, hospital databases (John Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, others). I also regulary contact/correspond-with manufacturers/suppliers of food products, pharmaceuticals (including vaccines) and supplements with questions, recommendations, criticisms and complements. Every week, I learn something new!

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