Call us crazy, but it seems like you can’t sling an acai quinoa bowl these days without slamming into some healthful new “superfood” we should all be eating. Never mind that actual scientific corroboration tends to be scant, or that a balanced diet, chock full of fruits and vegetables, will outperform even the most faddish of nutritional panaceas on the best of days. The ability to reduce the complexities of calorie counting, ingredient-label translating, and consistent clean living to a trite “eat this, not that” has undeniable appeal. Bonus points if it adds a dash of exoticism or mystery to our otherwise quotidian existence. The latest bandwagon-in-making, according to Metro? Giraffe milk.
By way of evidence, the British rag pointed to a 1962 study that claimed that giraffe milk has almost four times the fat content of full-fat cow’s milk and 12 times that of skim.
Giraffe milk contains comparable amounts of riboflavin, thiamine, and vitamin B6 as cow’s milk, the study continued, but higher levels of vitamins A and B12.
It’s the excess fat that we desire, Metro insists. A Tufts University study that followed some 3,000 people over two decades found that people who had the most dairy fat in their diets had a 46 percent lower risk of diabetes that those who ate the least.
While it was “too early to call whole-fat dairy the healthiest choice,” Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and the study’s author, also called for a national policy that was more neutral on dairy fat until additional data presented itself.
But even Metro admitted that the idea of giraffe milk on supermarket shelves would be unlikely.
“When it comes to a giraffe, it would be almost impossible to get one to stand still long enough to be milked—let alone enough to set up a profitable business,” it wrote. “The giraffes that have been milked have been milked under controlled conditions by scientists.”
There’s also the fact that giraffes are on the brink of extinction. The IUCN Red List reported a 38 percent decline in the giraffe population since 1985, plus a “high risk of extinction” in the wild if the trend continues.
The culprit, of course, is humans. Illegal hunting, habitat loss through agriculture and mining, and growing human-wildlife conflict could soon spell the irretrievable loss of the world’s tallest land mammal.
The last thing giraffes need is someone chasing after them with a bucket and a stool.