Why are new Dairy Council ads bad-mouthing coconut milk?

The "Got Milk?" campaign featuring celebrities in milk mustaches has been going on for a while now. They recently named Salma Hayek as their first bilingual ambassador, which is a win for proud bilingual and bi-cultural mamas everywhere. But coming from a Caribbean country, cow's milk was never the only milk my family consumed.  

Coconut milk has been a great alternative for me, because I occasionally do a vegan cleanse (consuming no animal products of any kind) and also because I've never loved the taste of regular milk. Nut milks (like almond milk), rice milk and soy milk are all great alternatives for those that choose to cut back on cow's milk for whatever reason.

But now the same people that brought you Salma with a milk mustache are attacking all other milks in the newly launched "real milk" campaign.


Read more ¿Qué más? Salma Hayek named first bilingual ambassador for Got Milk? campaign.

The new ad is extremely misleading. The ad basically places containers of plant-based milks with snide comments, including soy milk ("This came from a cow? Please."), almond milk ("Pretty funky color."), hazelnut milk ("What's that stuff on the bottom? Yikes.") and coconut milk ("Spooky how real this looks, huh?") alongside real milk.

Their version of "real milk" doesn't exactly lack in ingredients either, though. They fully admit that it contains Vitamin A,  Palmitate and Vitamin D3 and as culinary and lifestyle expert Alejandra Ramos points out, they are using synthetic versions of Vitamin A and Vitamin D. What exactly is so real about that? Plus, the actual health benefits of milk have come under intense scrutiny over the last few years.

I don't know why the new ads feel the need to talk negatively about other milks, but it's certainly unnecessary. The tradition of alternative milks (like coconut milk) is almost as old as using cow's milk to supplement our diets. More than that, there are many cultures who don't drink milk at all and are healthy (if not healthier) than Americans—plus there are better ways to get your Vitamin A (like eating dark, leafy greens such as spinach and collard greens—which contain plenty of calcium to boot) and Vitamin D (like mushrooms), which won't be synthetic.

Read more ¿Qué más? Does trendy kombucha tea really have health benefits?

I'm not going to stop occasionally drinking the so-called "real milk", but seeing these kind of negative-toward-other-milks ads does make me less likely to buy it. Maybe I'll try making my own pecan milk with this recipe, for instance, instead of giving my money to those that would bad-mouth my beloved coconut milk.

Do you enjoy drinking cow's milk alternatives, like coconut or almond milk?

Image via gotmilk.com