Thursday, November 26, 2009

Chocolate Milk/Dairy Beverage?

There's a new chocolate milk in town. It's no longer just milk but Milk/Dairy Beverage. A colleague of mine first brought this to my attention a couple of weeks ago when he brought home what he thought was a carton of chocolate milk, only to discover the word Beverage added. Both curious and wary, he decided to try it. As he poured a glass, he first noticed it's colour had changed to a "grey-brown". When it came to taste, he wasn't at all impressed by it's "chalkiness" and decided to discard the rest.

I haven't tried the new drink nor do I plan to as I am lactose intolerant. As much as I want to be a friend to Dairy, it wants to remain enemies. But for all my friends and loved ones that can enjoy milk, I was a little worried about what they might be consuming, and I was determined to find some answers.

Now, I'm not 100% positive that what I have found is the answer, but it does bring a lot more questions to the table about what people consume on a daily basis.

There is a possibility that the Milk/Dairy Beverage is made from Protelac 230, a milk replacer,which is "composed of between 35 to 45 percent lactose, between 33 and 43 percent nonfat dry milk, between 10 and 20 percent canola oil, between 2 and 8 percent sodium caseinate, and less than 2 percent each of sodium phosphate and flavor. It is to be used as an ingredient in the manufacture of instant, hot beverage mixes, to give a milky flavor and a creamy texture, or in vending machine applications, as a foaming agent.

The other theory of why it may be called Milk/Dairy Beverage is because an artificial sweetener replaced the sugar. According to Agropur (a division of Natrel), "a chocolate milk can ONLY be made with milk or milk ingredients, a flavour preparation (cocoa powder) and a sweetener. Low-Calorie sweeteners, such as sucralose and Ace-K (acesulfame-potassium) can only be used in Milk Beverages" (hence the probable change in labeling from Milk Beverage to Dairy Beverage).

What reasons would companies like Natrel, Sealtest and Beatrice have for marketing Chocolate Milk Beverage? Lower costs and greater profits? Probably. But why continue to create products that utilize chemical additives such as sucralose, aspartame and Ace-K when we know these are bad for us?

I plan to further investigate this with letters to the large milk chains and will update my blog at a later date. For now, I would probably steer this product clear from my family until I get some clearer answers.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Classic scariness

My husband and I wandered through the local Blockbuster last night in the hope of finding a "scary" movie to rent for a quiet Halloween night in. We never found it. What we did find in the horror section were gore based films. I've never really found gore to be all that frightening. Gore is . . . well, gross. There are only so many horrible blood, gut and violent images my brain can take, and after most of the shite that I've been exposed to by friends, I think my brain has had enough.

We left empty handed and I was a little disappointed that there are not more haunting style movies. Classics like Poltergeist, The Amityville Horror and The Shining. I was very much excited with the release of Paranormal Activity and we had a chance to see it a couple of weeks ago.

I liked it and there were many great frightening scenes. As scary as it is to think of someone chasing you and then hacking you up to little itty bitty pieces, isn't even scarier to think of something you can't see dragging you out of your bed and down the corridor to your potential doom?

The reviews I had read the day before were mixed. Many people were scared, but there seemed to be much more that proclaimed how "not scared" or "bored" they were, leaving me to wonder why on earth someone would want to brag about their lack of imagination. Is it possible that some people treat these types of movie as a "test" of how brave and above it all they are, viewing it with a defensive frame of mind? It's simple to do if you only concentrate on the things that remind you that you are watching a movie. But where's the fun in that?

As much as I enjoyed Paranormal Activity, I can't say I was thrilled with the ending. Leaving the theatre I imagined a possibility of endings much greater than the hollywood cheese that resulted. If you have seen it, I hope you enjoyed it. If you haven't . . . I recommend you watch it at home...alone...with the lights off.