This segment was originally broadcast on Nov. 6, 2005.
The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by CBS News correspondent.
The milk we get from cows has always had a special standing among the foods we eat. Mothers are always saying to kids, "Drink your milk."
So what in the world have they done to this simple and basic food? I'll bet a calf wouldn't drink most of the stuff called milk now sold in cartons. You can't tell some of it from Diet Coke.
The companies that sell milk are upset because people are drinking less milk then they used to and they don't know why. Has it ever occurred to them that people aren't drinking it because milk isn't as good as it used to be?
Rooney picked up some cartons at the milk section of a grocery store: Lowfat Milk, Fat Free Milk, 2 Percent Reduced Fat Milk, Skim Milk.
Before milk was homogenized - that's mixing the cream in with the milk - cream came to the top of your milk bottle. If they took the cream off the top, they skimmed it off. What this ought to be called is not "Skim Milk" but "Skimmed Milk."
Saturated fats are bad for our arteries. We all know that, but do you know how much fat milk has in it as it comes from a cow? About 3.2 percent. So 2 percent is no big reduction.
I like half and half on my shredded wheat but when I say "half and half," I mean half milk and half cream. I bought some half and half the other day and I didn't like the taste so I looked at the label to see what it was half of and what the other half was. Listen to these ingredients: "Nonfat milk, milk, corn syrup solids, artificial color, sugar, dipotassium phosphate, sodium citrate mono, and diglycerides, carrageenan, natural and artificial flavors, vitamin A palmitate". This is half and half? It's not half anything I want and it has nothing to do with something as good as milk.
Three and a half percent is what they call Whole Milk. Why don't they just call it milk? Some of this other stuff tastes more like whole water.
They all like to use the words "farm" or "dairy" on their cartons.
One came from Farmland Dairies in Wallington, N.J. We went to Wallington looking for a dairy farm. The address was 520 Main Avenue. At the "farm," there was no cow in sight.
My suggestion, if they want to sell more milk, is that they go back to selling what comes out of a cow.
By Andy Rooney