Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: Chocolate milk is made from "regular" milk rejected for containing too much cow's blood.
Origins: The belief that yucky things lurk in the depths of dark-colored liquids is a widespread food fear. Blood is generally considered icky, so schoolchildren regularly horrify each other with whispered claims that the milk used in chocolate milk is just swimming with the stuff. Now that prepared coffee beverages are making it to the supermarket shelves we're seeing this particular tale expand to include
(The belief that cow's blood is to be scrupulously avoided at all costs is suspended in our dealings with meat products. No one recoils in horror at the thought that a steak or a hamburger contains cow's blood
In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration oversees the safety of food products. Stringent standards have been established for all milk destined for consumers, including the chocolate variety. It is telling that this agency's specifications contain no allowances for the use of blood-contaminated milk. Milk products (and other foodstuffs) that do not meet the agency's criteria do not gain FDA approval and thus cannot be sold to consumers.
In other words, the "cow's blood in the chocolate milk" story doesn't fly any better than a cow would.
Barbara "if cows could fly, the holding pattern over the Chicago Stockyards would rival O'Hare" Mikkelson
Last updated: 24 January 2007
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