health

OPINION: "Camel milk is the new superfood? No. Just no." - Jam

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camel milk superfood

It’s been labelled the new superfood cure all – a “white gold” fixing everything from autism to cancer and everything in between.

On tonight’s Sunday Night journalist PJ Madam reported on the supposed  life-changing benefits of drinking camel’s milk.

Earlier this year, Mamamia Editor-in-Chief Jamila Rizvi wrote for MM’s sister site, The Glow about the camel milk trend. 

Here’s what Jam had to say back in August when camel milk was being touted as the next big thing.

She isn’t buying it. Literally.

jamila rizvi high resYou know that line in Meet the Fockers where Ben Stiller claims  you can milk anything with nipples? The one where the canned  laughter  soundtrack goes into overdrive because he is miming an  attempted cat  milking?

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Well, the superfood people apparently didn’t get that joke.

Because this morning I was greeted with the news that camel milk is soon to be a thing in Australia. That’s right, the health conscious  among  us are no longer content with the 42 varieties of milk already  available  at the supermarket. They’re adding a new player into the “I eat cleaner  than you ever could” race: the humped beverage variety.

For the uninformed – who are still adjusting their minds to the fact that milk apparently comes out of almonds now – let me enlighten you. Camel milk is a health tonic that has been used by nomads in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. It is apparently very rich in nutrients, is beloved by its devotees for being a ‘pure nectar’, helps cure all manner of illnesses (Diabetes? GONE. Autism? ELIMINATED. Ebola? CURED.), is high in vitamin C and tends to be a little bit salty.

Now. If camel’s milk proves to indeed have these magical healing properties then I will stand both ashamed and corrected. But until such time as science definitively tells me that I should switch from cows to camels? I’m sticking with milk that comes out of a cow.

Because who in their right might would choose to drink salty milk?

Milk is not meant to be salty. Milk is an accompaniment to cereal or Oreos; not vinegar and chips.

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“And will I try a glass of camel milk just to check if it is in fact life changing? You bet I will.”
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I love a fad, especially a health or fitness fad, as much as the next person. And will I try a glass of camel milk just to check if it is in fact life changing and delicious? You bet I will.

But along with my friends and colleagues, the past few years have seen me try each of the so-called superfoods in turn (or even better the ‘new’ superfoods, which are superfoods we had previously never heard of because they were not evolutionarily formed for consumption by humans) and ultimately, be disappointed.

“Why, disappointed?” ask the healthier,cleaner,  privileged, morally superior superfood-eating types who are reading this post.

Because:

ALL OF THOSE FOODS TASTE APPALLING.

And don’t try and tell me you’ve experienced differently and if I just “try blending them up into a quick smoothie” I’ll enjoy them more. That is a LIE and I have empirical evidence (i.e. I asked some friends) to prove it.

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One person was suckered in by the old chia seed pods. “They taste just like pudding” she was told. Just. Like. Pudding.

She had one bite, couldn’t bring herself to take another and threw the chia seed pod away. The result? $4 poorer, chia seed pod-less and craving pudding.

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Another bought sunflower seeds to “sprinkle over breakfast” and promptly forgot about them until she knocked the packet over and caused a SEED EXPLOSION in her cupboard. Had she tried to eat them, she would have realised they too taste kind of shitty – unless you combine them with a bag of nuts, chocolate and dried fruits to disguise the taste.

One colleague activated her almonds by soaking them in water but the skin tasted so horrible that she had to try and peel them before eating. She ended up with pieces of almonds stabbing the skin under her thumb nail and started bleeding. That’s right, physically assaulted by an activated almond. It’s high time Today Tonight got onto that one – how long will it be before we see the first death by activated nuts?

camel milk superfood
The only vegetarian option on the menu: quinoa salad.

Quinoa was originally hailed as the solution to every vegetarian’s problems. But a vegetarian friend tells me that all it’s really achieved is to boot every other vegetarian option off restaurant menus, so now she has no choice but to order quinoa-dominated meals she doesn’t actually like.

Chard. Well, it’s called chard. SO THAT SHOULD BE ENOUGH FOR YOU.

Am I really the only one willing to admit that the Emperor isn’t wearing any clothes? That kale is not delicious, but actually tastes like dirt?

And do not give me your “oh, you add a little salt, and butter, fry it up with some lemon juice, chilli and have hummus on the side and it tastes delicious” mumbo-jumbo. Because SALT AND BUTTER ARE WHAT IS DELICIOUS, YOU FOOLS, not kale.

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The superfood in this equation is the spices, and the tasty, tasty hummus. In fact, hummus is so genuinely scrumptious that I’m sure candle wax could be made to taste good, so long as you double dipped after each bite.

I know kale has all sorts of good nutrient-type things that you get from eating plants, but guess what? There are other plants, which are also sources of iron, or vitamin C, or whatever else you’re after. Baby spinach, bok choy and lettuce might not be the super wacky funsters of the food world, but at least they do not taste offensive.

camel milk superfood
Kale only tastes good coated in butter and salt.

Like most people, I would very much like to be fitter, slimmer, trimmer and healthier. But there is one thing I will not do in the name of nutrition, and that is eat stuff that tastes like crap. So I ask this: Why has the whole world fallen victim to the suggestion that truly horrible-tasting foods must be better for us than regular foods?

I am no scientist or health expert. And hell, if you take my nutrition advice, you do so in full knowledge that I have had a creaming soda spider for breakfast on more than one occasion. BUT I am pretty sure most doctors recommend a reasonable sized balanced diet – not one that makes you want to spit every meal out after the first chew.

This madness has got to stop. And I heartily believe that it needs to stop before salty camel’s milk enters my life and not after.

Are you a superfoods fan, or are you sick of them?

This post has originally appeared on The Glow and has been republished here with full permission.

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