We Hear You! Letters From the February Issue

by the More.com Editors

Dairy is Good for You

In your recent articles, "How Safe Is Your Milk?" and "Simple Swaps for Safer Dairy," you've given women a set of mistaken reasons to avoid dairy products at a time when all Americans, and women and children in particular do not meet their daily requirements for calcium, potassium and Vitamin D, plentifully supplied by milk and other dairy foods. You've also fallen into the journalistic trap of connecting a particular food --in this case, dairy--to a particular disease --cancer--when medical researchers, epidemiologists and even food scientists like me will not agree to this particular cause and effect relationship. Let's take a look at some additional science-based information. The recently released 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recognize the importance of three daily servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy foods as a core part of a healthy diet. The Dietary Guidelines also say that milk and milk products supply three of the four nutrients of concern (calcium, vitamin D and potassium) in the diets of Americans, as well as many other important nutrients. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. 7th Edition, Washington, DC: U.S Government Printing Office, December 2010.)

All milk (cow, goat, sheep, camel, human etc.), as well as all animal and plant foods, naturally contain very small amounts of hormones. Your suggestion that readers consume sheep or goat's milk is also restrictive in that these pasteurized products are not commonly found in retail grocery store cases.

You state that, "Galactose may set in motion processes that stimulate the growth of ovarian cells and follicles, adding to the lifetime stress on the ovaries." You correctly state that this is a theory, and, in fact, there is no scientific evidence to indicate that consumption of lactose promotes cancer.  However, based on this theory, you recommend consumption of lactose-free milk.  Lactose-free milk is produced by adding lactase to milk. Lactase is an enzyme that converts lactose into its constituent sugars (glucose and galactose).  Consequently, lactose-free milk contains the same level of galactose as regular milk, it is just no longer linked to a molecule of glucose. Consumption of lactose-free milk will not decrease consumption of galactose.  If a person is lactose intolerant, they simply lack the enzyme, lactase, and when they consume regular milk, the lactose is metabolized in their large intestine and they experience intestinal

discomfort.  Lactose-free milk provides these consumers the opportunity to consume milk without having digestive issues. And lactose intolerance doesn't mean avoiding dairy altogether. It's important for people with lactose intolerance to find a way to meet their recommended intake of calcium and milk's other essential nutrients. In addition to lactose-free milk, fermented dairy products such as regular or reduced-fat Cheddar cheese are nutrient dense, contain very little lactose (<.20%) and can be readily consumed by people that are lactose intolerant.

Some dairy farmers choose to use recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST) as a tool to help cows produce more milk more resourcefully. Studies show that milk from cows treated with the supplemental hormone rbST is the same wholesome product that we have enjoyed for years. The use of recombinant bovine somatotropin was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993 based on an exhaustive review of scientific studies. (Bovine somatotropin. NIH Technol. Assess Statement Online 1990 Dec 5-7; (7):16.)

Human and bovine milk (supplement or non-supplemented) normally contain small amounts of growth hormone. After ingestion, growth hormone is handled by the gut as any other protein in milk: it is digested into its constituent amino acids and di- and tripeptides. There are no data to suggest that rBST present in milk will survive digestion or produce unique peptide fragments that might have biological effects. Even if rBST is absorbed intact, the growth hormone receptors in the human do not recognize rBST and, therefore, rBST cannot produce effects in humans. (National Institutes of Health Technology Assessment Conference Statement, December 5-7, 1990)

Conventional, rbST-free and organic milk are compositionally similar; they have the same nutrient composition and the same trace levels of hormones regardless of the milk production method used. In fact, such milk label claims are not related to any meaningful differences in the milk's composition of fat, protein or vitamins and minerals. Because of the lack of a difference in the milk, no scientifically proven test exists that can identify how the milk was produced or whether or not rbST was used. (Vicini J et al. Survey of retail milk composition as affected by label claims regarding farm management practice. J Am Diet Assoc. 2008 Jul;108(7):1198-203.)

Drinking milk does not increase breast cancer risk, regardless of whether the milk is organic, rbST-free or conventional. There are many peer-reviewed studies that show no association between consumption of milk and incidence of breast cancer. A recent report that reviewed more than 40 case-control and 12 cohort studies concluded that evidence "does not support an association between dairy product consumption and the risk of breast cancer." (Parodi PW. Dairy product consumption and the risk of breast cancer. J Am Coll Nutr. 2005 Dec;24(6 Suppl):556S-68S.)

When it comes to food, it's personal. Yet, decisions about what foods to eat should also be based on the best information and the best science available. Let's work together to help women make wise choices about their health and nutrition, and give them a complete picture of the issues that relate to dairy foods and dairy consumption. We'll all be healthier for it.

Lloyd Metzger, PhD, Brookings, South Dakota

Silver Lining

Thank you for "This Is What 62 Looks Like" in the February issue.  I am precisely 62, and really enjoy seeing someone my own age.  You help me feel relevant!

Pat, Kansas

She Works Hard for the Money

I picked up my first issue of More magazine this month and was excited to read it.  For years I have heard only wonderful things about your publication and was looking forward to spending a few moments enjoying what More had to offer. So I was deeply disappointed that a magazine that claims to have “substance” reverted to the tired cliché of claiming that women, looking to reinvent themselves, can simply "Start a Business With Only $150."  I have been a small business owner for almost 5 years. I work tirelessly in maintaining and growing my business and I am so tired of seeing media outlets use the dream of building a business to sell magazines or a news segments.  I am here to tell you that it is not possible to create a successful, stable business with $150. I’m all for an inspirational story but this article was misleading.  It made the success of the women featured seem based in luck and not hard work.  While I believe their immediate investment was minimum, they had to spend money to grow, they gave up significant amounts of time with their family and friends, and had to risk the unknown to see their dreams come to light. Starting a business is the easy part, sticking with it, taking risks, learning from our mistakes, - that should have been your story.  It’s not fair, and dare I say, irresponsible, to present an article like this in these times. Millions of individuals launch business with no experience or understanding of the business world and fail because they are not prepared for the amount of money, time and energy that is required to keep going.  Articles like this serve no purpose and give little help to a budding entrepreneur.  I’m hopeful your publication will bring more substance in future issues.

Megan Kristel

Beauty Therapy

Your current issue has proven to be worth the cost of all my years of subscriptions.  When I read the description in the skincare section about one's face feeling like it had been pricked with needles -- or words to that effect -- I wondered if I'd written the article and forgotten about it.  I gave up walking to work this winter because my face was in so much pain after 20 minutes of what some might consider mild, 50 degree temperatures.  I thought I'd lost my mind, because I didn't feel this way last year or the year before.  Learning more about the effects of aging on one's skin -- and that there are ways to counter those effects! -- is worth every cent I've invested in MORE. Please keep up this fabulous work -- and don't forget that we older ladies still need you!!

Patricia Ravarra, San Francisco, CA

Paris, Je T'aime

Coup de Foudre, Indeed. I was sitting on a plane, heading to Paris for the first time ever, when I read "Reinvent Yourself Abroad" and the story about Karen Heinrich falling in love with Paris...and re-igniting her passion for herself. I quickly thought that while I hoped to love the City when I got there, I would be happy just not to get lost. Indeed, within the first 30 minutes of being in Paris I had done it: Fallen in love with the City, and remembered that I also loved myself. I took a solo trip to find fun and instead found both a passion and a love I haven't known in years. Perhaps it is that I had never known this kind of joy before. Thanks, More, for making this 38 year old always think...and for helping me look forward to 40 and beyond. The best is yet to come, you're coming with me. And we're both moving to Paris!

Dee Dee Mozeleski, Yonkers, NY

No Kahn Do

I thought that the article "Have You Looked Into My Heart?" in the February issue was very well written.  Daisy Khan seems to be a driven and peaceful woman. Certainly a modern day Muslim Women Suffrage Movement is very much needed and I applaud her tenacity. But how could she have been surprised that people would resist an Islamic center near ground zero?  We as Americans have many rights but sometimes common sense needs to prevail.  Building a Muslim Center close to ground zero is like a slap in the face to those who died in the Twin Towers, their families and all Americans.
Janice Tirmenstein, Madeira Beach, FL

When I saw this headline on the cover of my wife's issue of More, I tore it out of its plastic covering to read. "You're reading my More now?" my wife exclaimed upon finding it. Alright… I do the same to her Victoria’s Secret catalogs, but this was different. On 9/11 my brother, Capt. William F. Burke, Jr., Eng. Co. 21 gave his life at the World Trade Center. I have been very vocal in opposing the building of this mosque/Islamic community/whatever works.

Though I expected a fawning article on Daisy Khan, I was glad to see that More exposed her hypocrisy: she advocates limiting our freedom of speech and expression when it offends the sensitivities of Muslims, but dismisses entirely the sensitivity of 9/11 families and all Americans when it comes to building a towering Islamic center around the corner from Ground Zero.

It is absurd that such a women wants to lead us in "healing" at Ground Zero. And that, in itself, shows an insensitivity to what happened here and the memory of those so brutally taken: this is not the place for healing from the shock, horror and pain of 9/11; no more than Auschwitz is the place for healing from the pain of the Holocaust or Hiroshima the horrors of atomic war. It is the place for confronting that; to learn its lessons and accept our responsibility to ensure "never again."

Michael Burke, The Bronx, NY

I was deeply disturbed by the article on Daisy Khan.

Right or wrong, a common Western perception is that Islam’s followers are adamant about their right – for some, mandate - to impose their beliefs on other cultures and societies.  Ms. Khan’s refusal to listen to the voices of the communities amongst whom she proposes to build a Muslim Community Center will only serve to strengthen that perception.  What she considers an opportunity for healing and a “fight for American values” will instead be a singularly damaging act that will stand as a permanent reinforcement of negative perceptions about Islam, fostering resentments and hurt among Muslims and non-Muslims alike for years, even decades, to come.

I read this article eagerly, hoping for enlightenment about Daisy Khan’s motives and the chance to empathize with another’s truly puzzling point of view.  Instead, I closed the magazine with the impression that driven by the conviction of her own victimization, Ms. Khan is proceeding willfully toward a goal that is intended to fulfill herself.  If Ms. Khan’s proposal was originally planned as a mission of peace, she has lost sight of that mission. 

Diana Mandli

3 Cheers for The Second Wife

I thoroughly enjoyed Fran Moreland Johns’ "The Second Wife's Tale.”  Although I've never been in her position, I think she described it perfectly, and I enjoyed reading it from beginning to end.  I recalled being at a brunch with my sister's life-long friends who were all in a tizzy because the widowed spouse of one of their beloved pals was bringing a date. Being an outsider of this closely knit pack, I couldn't help but notice how awkward this was for the new woman in this man's life, and how much my sister and her friends resented her presence— not because of who she was, but because of who she wasn't— their dear, departed friend.

Anne de la Rosa, San Mateo, CA

Fran Moreland Johns could have been telling my story.  I moved from my family and friends in the Midwest to the West Coast to begin a new life with my new husband.  My predecessor wasn't an artist or famous in any way, but I have lived with her ghost for all of my ten years of marriage to our husband.  I never raged at him, but in my heart I hated her, the memory of her, and the stories I had to hear about their life together.   I even said the same words in many of the same circumstances.  So, Fran, thanks for sharing your story and letting me know there are others like me.

Donna Huth

Let’s Get Physical

I just received my Feb Issue of MORE and read Judith Newman’s article "My (Reluctant) Fitness Makeover.How she spoke to me!  Here I am, mid-January the reluctant fitness makeover myself! I am 50 years-old & recently have seen my weight sore to a level that I know I need to reverse the trend.  I believe my metabolic rate is (un)pleasantly stuck! Just Like J. Newman, I get bored with exercise.  And that boredom leads to no exercise.  Thank you, Judith for your honesty (alcoholic drinks per week), and humor (I so identified with a ritual that includes dinner watching Jon Stewart with a Cobb salad the size of my head.)  This was a real honest piece & thank you again!  I just might get out & take a walk right now.

Kathleen Eichler, Redwood City, CA

I loved this article because it was a real experience for real people.  My daughter is getting married in June and my son in October.  I am revving myself up for a big exercise and diet push! Thanks for the encouragement.  I might actually be able to do this!

Connie Schroeder, Miller, SD

I don't know if "My (Reluctant) Fitness Makeover" in the February issue was a joke or a slap in the face to More readers. Writer Judith Newman lost 15 pounds in 5 months by having ultra-expensive meals delivered to her door and many free sessions with a trainer. She said she could not have afforded either, and I'm thinking many of your More readers are in the same boat. So what's the purpose of this article? I'll bet it didn't take long to put the 15 pounds and inches back on as she got back into her real life. Much more beneficial is real women learning ways to achieve goals without fake ways to do it. Your cover says the issue is "for women of style & substance." I don't think this article measured up in the least to that goal.

Monetta L. Harr, Jackson, MI

Good Golly, Miss Molly

As a long time subscriber to More, I was very disappointed in your choice of a cover model for the February issue.  While I think that Molly Sims is a beautiful model and successful businesswoman and actress, I don’t think that a 37- year-old woman fits the profile of the woman that More was originally designed for.  I have always looked forward to every issue of this magazine because as a 49-year-old woman, it’s difficult to find a publication that isn’t catering to the young, working mother.  More seems to be using younger models as time goes on, and I hope that the editors will consider the fact that there is a real void in the magazine industry for older women who still desire to be current with regards to fashion, exercise, and beauty.  More used to fill this gap, but I fear that you are going the way of the majority of the current women’s magazines by focusing more on youth.  Please don’t forget about the “over 40” group.

Kay Whitley Spencer

Although I love Molly Sims I don't think that More is the cover for her. I just turned 50 and the one thing I love about More is that is has mature women on the cover, and to me that would be women over 40, at least!  I also love to hear those stories of the aging beauties; I think the cover should reflect what the magazine was initially intended for all the fabulous mature women out there!

Shannon Thompson, Portland, OR

While the pictures of Molly Sims (age 37), were beautiful and well-shot, I take issue with the fact that More Magazine is now featuring women under the age of 40.  When the magazine first came out, it was the "for women over 40" niche that differentiated it from every other magazine out there.  Please don't tell me you are now going to be featuring women under 40.  As a successful 43-year-old, I enjoy reading about women my age and older every month.  If I want to read about the thirty-somethings, I can pick up any number of other fashion magazines.

Dana Vigilante, Nutley, NJ

I have to say that I have always enjoyed your magazine.  However, the February issue made me realize that even a hip magazine like More holds stereotypes.  I realize the spread on Molly Sims Life Imagined was a bit tongue-in-cheek.  But really, the depiction of the librarian was SO 19th century.  Librarians today are hip, out-there people who are defending your right to check out any book or website you want without the government checking your records.  We are helping people navigate the Internet and write resumes to get new jobs while our own are in jeopardy.  We are inspiring freedom of thought in Egypt; inspiring the next generation of techno-savvy leaders in schools around the country.  We are inspiring young children to be voracious readers.  We are not, as your image would portray, shushing patrons behind mousy outfits.  In short, we are not your mom's librarian.  We are on the cutting edge of the future.  We deserve a better portrayal.  

“You see, I don’t believe that libraries should be drab places where people sit in silence, and that’s been the main reason for our policy of employing wild animals as librarians.”

Gorilla Librarian “Monty Python’s Flying Circus

Nancy Essid

Leave the Best for the Rest

I always look forward to finding my More in the mailbox each month. No other publication compares to More's ability to present such a well-rounded amount of information each month. It is always brimming with information I can use. But I was a bit shocked with the "11 Best of the Best" list in the February issue. Admittedly I would love to have each of the items that appear on the list but was quite disappointed when I realized that it would require $10,345 plus tax, to purchase the items presented. In today's economic environment it seems to me it would be quite irresponsible to spend that kind of money on 11 items. How about giving us some "budget conscious" options for the 11 Best of the Best?

Jerri Cantrell

Give me MORE!

I've been reading More for years, and have loved some issues and not liked some of them.  I loved the Feb issue!  More seems to be moving more towards all kinds of women and not just women who are CEOs, Presidents, actors, writers, and so on.  I liked, a few issues back, the article on the police woman or detective, and in this issue, the makeup artist and the different books in the book club feature. The article with each was very diverse!  I have been successful at many things in my 49 years, but I do not have a college degree.  I have been a stay at home mom, a medical assistant, nanny and pet sitter.  We all have things to bring to the table, and we have all been on different journeys.  Let's celebrate all women!

Julie A. Roberts, North Augusta, SC

First Published Mon, 2011-01-31 12:26

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http://www.more.com/member-voices/your-letters/we-hear-you-letters-february-issue