Tuesday, January 16, 2007

MALK a.k.a. Vitamite



Back in August when I started this blog, one of my first posts was called "Is this everything that's wrong with America?" In that post, I discussed Smuckers "Uncrustables" which are one of the most vile processed foods I'd seen in a long time.

Well, I have now come accross something that is so vile, so outrageously bad, that it makes Uncrustables look like wholesome, organic food that anyone would be proud to feed their kids.

First, some background. Do you remember the old Simpsons episode where they discover that the milk they were getting at school was actually "malk" or rat's milk? (The mafia was selling "malk" instead of milk to save money.)

Well, I have found actual malk in the real world. I saw this as I strolled a supermarket outside of St. Louis back in December:



Vitamite was sitting right there in the milk section. It uses milk vocabulary such as "homogenized" and "pasteurized" to further the illusion that is is some sort of lactose-free milk.

But a glance at the ingredient list reveals something far creepier. (Yes! Creepier than cow's milk!)



Water? CORN SYRUP SOLIDS?? What is this? It is some sort of laboratory creation with the worst of the dairy (caseinate) AND soy (isolated soy protein, which should never be consumed!) worlds, along with a bunch of artificial sweeteners, chemicals, and preservatives to round out the deal.

What is really sad is that Vitamite was pretty inexpensive, so I can see how a lower-income parent might believe that it is a lower priced, yet decent alternative to milk for their kids.

It angers me that so many things that don't bear any resemblance to food get marketed and sold in this country, leading to a society of overfed, malnourished, and seriously sick people. (Hint, you want a lactose-free and cheap milk? Try soymilk! Or rice milk. Almond milk. Oat milk. Hazelnut milk...)

Has anyone seen this product? Does anyone know more about it?


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28 comments:

Village Mama said...

I know exactly what you mean...but the bottom line is that 'literate' & 'educated' people don't bother to read ingredients, then they balk when someone points out stuff like trans fat and the sugar, sugar, sugar...it's like the whole smoking thing, the fact that people actually pay, big bucks to pollute their body...sad.

Kati said...

Yuck! I never understood the whole concept of lactose-free milk in the first place. Like you said, if you want to avoid lactose, why not buy a product (soymilk, rice milk, nut milk) that is NATURALLY free of it? *sigh*

Pixie said...

Eeewwww....I'd never buy something with that many unpronouncable ingredients that's for what...drinking? Again, eewww. Those smucker's things gross me out, too and the kids keep asking for them. I think they market their foods well because really, why in the world would you pay that much for something you can make for less at home and it will taste so much better and be better for you. Okay, I'll stop now. Going off on a tangent. Thanks for sharing.

Judy said...

I've never seen that before, but up here in Canada, our food guidelines are a lot more strict than in the US.

You know what it sounds like to me? Liquid Cool Whip. The ingredients for Cool Whip (or any generic whipped topping) read like a chemistry experiment. Much as I love Cool Whip, I try to stay away from such 'fake' foods. It's really sad to think of how many parents may be feeding this to their kids thinking it's good for them. After all "If it was bad for us, they wouldn't sell it". HA!

aTxVegn said...

I have never seen that stuff and I'm glad! I can't believe all the chemicals in there. I hate the way big business and advertisers get away with duping the public.

Dori said...

Frankenfood is a good term for that.... so sad.

madeinalaska said...

Freaky.. Just freaky! It is sad that they are like you say marketing for the poor and un-educated - much like EVERY fastfood resturant,pre-packaged "food" crap out there!

Chris said...

That Simpsons episode grossed me out and now this does too. It's so sad how overly processed, chemical-laden foodstuffs can be cheaper than "real" food.

Brooke said...

The thought of rat milk "malk" is totally giving me the creeps.

laura jesser said...

Gross. I never saw it before and never hope to.

KathyF said...

It looks like it's out of date too.

wheresmymind said...

mmmm...rats milk!

Nikki said...

Gross!

Jackie said...

Dreadful. The ingredients are rather like the lactose free non dairy ice cream I saw the other day in the supermarket which I didn't touch and brought home my favorite soy milk one.

Its amazing how nearly every imported food we get here has corn syrup in it. Even savory goods. If they want to help Africa they should rather plant non GM soy beans to export. Can't see the point of producing so much corn syrup.

Candi said...

I've never seen or heard of that, Bazu. Wow...eeeew! Lol! Syrup and sunflower oil... Just give me some soy milk or any nut milk!

Thanks for pointing it out. I had no idea, but I should not be surprised by what is being sold as "food."

Emmy said...

I'm horrified by the "malk" product but at the same time I think it's hilarious you found such a product. Who knew it really existed. Who would buy such a nasty product? Boggles the mind. And I love the Simpson pic at the top of your post....I recognize it from the Whacking Day episode when Marge has to home-school Bart. That is one of the funniest scenes when Homer forgets they're using the garage as a classroom.

Vivacious Vegan said...

Like you said - it makes uncrustables sound downright appetizing and wholesome. :)

Gaia said...

I'm going to sound like a moron but I actually thought you were showing us a product made with rat's milk.
So in comparison, I find corn syrup solids less gross LOL

But I get what you are saying ! And I'm so sad that people will buy and not read the ingredients lists. I was once one of those people...

Johanna3 said...

very yuck, i never see this product, and hopefully never will:)

Anonymous said...

I used to drink this as a kid because i was lactose intolerant. still kinda am, but grew out of it. it really worked for my stomach and i have nothing against it...it was better than getting sick from real milk.

Anonymous said...

none of you are obviously lactose intolerant. no it doesnt taste as good as real milk but when you cant drink real milk its the best thing going. soymilk? have you ever tasted it? tastes horribe and its expensive. i have vitamite almost everyday with a bowl of cereal. i just hope my local schnucks never quits carrying it because thats the only store that has it.

Anonymous said...

We used Vitamite for my infant son as a formula. He had many food allegies and was allegic to milk and soy. Vitamite was a real blessing. He is now a very healthy 18 year old. I highly recommend using it, if you can find it.

Anonymous said...

I know quite a bit Vitamite. Specifically it is marketed towards the following: milk allergies, lactose intolerance, kidney disease, diabetes, crones, colitis, and vegetarians. Not lower income families. Further, in panel tasting, Vitamite's flavor profile was preferred over any soy, hazelnut or almond milk.

Anonymous said...

My husband used to drink this when he was younger because he was allergic to milk. He wasn't lactose intollerant, he would literally get hives from milk. He said it tasted more similar to milk than any alternative and he was never unhealthy or overweight. The other alternative would have been a screaming, grumpy kid.

David Martin said...

I grew up drinking vitamite because I too would break out into hives if I consumed dairy products. I've long since grown out of it, but I still cant stand the taste of milk, and the soy, rice and almond alternatives out there are a poor substitute (they're terrible on cereal) now that its no longer available in my region :\. Say what you will about the ingredients, but I'm 6'3'' healthy, active and tough as nails. Vitamite never did me any harm and if i had a choice, I'd buy it again.

♥Lisa♥ @ FinalScore:Boys3Girls2 said...

im with the last two commenters. Maybe all the other commenters and the writer should open there minds on why someone would be drinking it. Plus it is not cheaper than milk. Gallon for gallon its much more expensive.
Everything that is in milk you can get from other sources too. So maybe the low income pregnant women out there are not the ignorant ones.

cesoid said...

When I saw the list of ingredients, I almost started crying. Like several of the last commenters, I drank this as a child because I couldn't drink real milk (I was allergic to it). I was thinking that I was glad I didn't drink real milk... but this may be worse. To me, this is like reading my own death sentence. I can't say for sure whether certain things about me are the result of drinking this (attention deficit, for example) but it is almost guaranteed that this raises my risk for cancer and heart disease.

I wish so much that I could convince the people above not to feed this to their children. More than anything, as a formula, this is severely deficient - as, in fact, most milk alternatives are... this just happens to be worse. For older children or adults, eating this may seem to cause no immediate problem, but at the very least it is basically sugar water (corn syrup solids). Sugar is addictive and has a lot of "empty" calories. The vitamins added to this drink are not going to make up for the thousands of vitamins you are missing by replacing it with equivalent amount of calories of a less refined food derived from plants.

Also, being 6'3" doesn't mean you're healthy, as excess calories and fat are likely to make you grow taller. In fact, studies have shown that excess height is correlated with cancer. Excess calories are correlated with cancer. Animal protein is correlated with cancer and heart disease (in this product, that would be caseinate). These things are a consensus in the scientific world, not a conspiracy theory. The real question is, why don't doctors and the government tell you these things? (There are some obvious answers to this question.)

Don't be a dupe and believe commercials that tell you corn syrup is fine. It may be the same as all refined sugars, but these things are literally killing us en masse, 20 or 30 years after you consume them on a regular basis as a child.

The people criticizing this are likely more open minded than the people who drank it and said it was ok. If you want to be open minded, read some scientifically grounded material on the subject (e.g. Disease Proof Your Kids), rather than just supposing that the concerned individuals are paranoid.

Keith Washburn said...

I grew up drinking this stuff, as I was lactose intolerant as a kid. Despite that, I would sneak normal milk quite often, and make myself sick. Eventually milk stopped making me sick, so I didn't have to drink Vitamite anymore. At the time (early 80's) my mother believed it was the best lactose free option. Though, not sure if there is a correlation, but I have a lot of stomach issues, IBS and acid reflux to name a few.