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I am cursed
by an amphibian,



"Is whole milk nature's perfect food for tadpoles... or
should they drink 2%?"


The one and ONLY Kermit!
forever tormented
by a frog named...

Kermit.



KERMIT THE FRAUD

Kermit the Frog is the leading "man" and star of the Muppets.   Kermit is the good-natured pond-dweller who always has the audience rooting for him and his animal friends.   This frog is a regular Boy Scout.   Courteous, kind, thrifty, cheerful, sensitive, thoughtful, decent, and all those other traits we humans struggle to achieve.   He encourages all of his fans and friends to "reach for the stars," but I still hate his toady-like guts!


Who, ME? PHASE ONE OF THE KERMIT CURSE

      Sheesh! He enjoys romantic encounters with a pig, which to me is not the "kosher thing" to do. In disgust, I've imagined the warped minds of those who created the abominable, yet, politically correct dating plan. Thank goodness for little things, like no children germinating from that cross-species relationship, or no "R-17" rated versions of his movies.

Perhaps my prejudice against this banjo-strumming, off-key-singing frog developed over the course of time. Having three children, now aged 13, 12 and 9, it was inevitable for me to accompany my kids to a generation of movies including "The Muppets Movie," "The Muppets take Manhattan," "The Great Muppet Caper," "A Muppet Christmas Carol" and "Muppet Treasure Island."

Really? PHASE TWO - THE FINAL STRAW?

      Three years ago Kermit was awarded the honor of being the keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony of my alma mater, Southampton College. At the time, I pondered the relative merit of my degree after Kermit was awarded the first ever doctorate of Amphibious Letters. Kermit received nation-wide publicity, and, for months after the act, I shuddered each time I was asked, "You went where?"

I remembered dissecting one of Kermit's relatives in my freshman marine science class. I still haven't forgiven my college for their lack of academic integrity by selecting a frog to deliver their 1996 commencement address.

Nah... I'm just a stuffed puppet! PHASE THREE - THE STRAW THAT BROKE THE CAMEL'S BACK

      Kermit was the first of the many Muppet characters made by Jim Henson. Rumor has it that the frog was fashioned from Henson's mother's green bathrobe.

FROGS

      Maintaining great curiosity to discover the model for Henson's vision, and possessing the International Wildlife Encyclopedia, a 20 volume illustrated set of "all the animals, birds, fish, insects and reptiles of the world" (or so each volume claims), I decided to spend an evening reading and learning about frogs. There is, of course, the common frog. Then, there's the hairy frog and the ghost frog, the marsupial frog and the clawed frog. There's the arrow-poison frog and the meadow frog and the gliding frog and the edible frog. Each one possesses a descriptive name, color, and peculiarity. Not one frog appeared to me to be cuddly, warm, or thoughtful.

THE MILKSTACHE AD

      This week I turned a special shade of green upon opening the Memorial Day issue of one of America's most-read magazines.

Kermit's likeness leapfrogs out of TIME magazine. By wearing his milk mustache, here is what America's best-loved frog has to say:

"Milk isn't just for tadpoles. Did you know 3 out of 4 adults don't get enough calcium? It takes at least three glasses of milk a day. I always keep some at my pad."

MILK IS FOR TADPOLES?

      Who writes these ads? Tadpoles are hatched from eggs and survive on the yolk. Baby tadpoles do not drink cow's milk. All the fluid necessary for cellular development and growth is contained within that egg. Tadpoles need calcium, but they do not get it by drinking body fluids from mammals.

WHAT IS THE OFFICIAL DAIRY INDUSTRY COMMENT TO THIS AD?

      "These ads communicate there are some things you never outgrow, like the need for calcium," says Kurt Graetzer, CEO of the Milk Processor Education Program. "Your bones can continue to grow in density and strength until about age 35. So, it's critical to get enough calcium to help keep them strong."

BOZELL MAKES BOZOS OF US ALL

WHO PAYS FOR THESE ADS?

      A press release listed two contact names and phone numbers for this advertisement. Mia McWilliams, 312/988-2425, and Ruthie Jones, 312/988- 2229. Each person is employed by BOZELL, the public relations firm written about two weeks ago:

052399.html

The Milk Mustache marketing campaign is jointly funded by the nation's fluid milk processors and America's dairy farmers, but government subsidies make us all partners in promoting the unhealthy milk message.

This year, the United States Department of Agriculture donated $200 million dollars to America's dairy farmers, despite the fact that the wholesale price of milk reached the highest levels in history. How soon we forget butter selling for nearly $11 per kg ($5 per pound). Our government purchased billions of pounds of milk and cheese for subsidized giveaway programs.

WE COME TO SERVE MAN

      Many years ago I watched an episode of "Twilight Zone" in which aliens came to Earth with a mission. Their manual, written in their native script, included a plan on how they were going serve mankind. As humans are being loaded onto a spacecraft, one scientist enters, stage left with a copy of the manual. The look of panic on his face in the final scene is synchronized with the signature Twilight Zone music as he screams in vain: "This is a menu and cookbook! They plan to serve mankind by eating us!"

DO WE PLAN TO SERVE FROGS?

      Frogs and milk do not mix, of course. There has never been a case of a frog drinking cow's milk and surviving. That should be a lesson to humans.

I personally do not eat frog's legs. I would not eat Miss Piggy (not "moi"), or Fozzie Bear either (you know Fozzie, "Wocka, Wocka!"). I wouldn't even eat the Great Gonzo (and I haven't yet figured out what species he belongs to). My kids find Muppet animals to be cute critters, and we've decided to no longer eat anything with a face. Shouldn't you come to terms with this dilemma? If they're cute, and have feelings, how can you eat them?

My copy of "Larousse Gastronomique" (the classic French cookbook) includes seventeen recipes for frog's legs, and every one includes cow's milk as an ingredient. Whether they are sautéed in butter, or covered with a mornay or cream sauce, this merger of cow and frog is unhealthy for you, and darned lethal for Kermit.

ADVICE TO KERMIT

      KERMIT, wherever you are, run, hop, jump or leapfrog away as fast as you can.

Get rid of that milk mustache, it will not do your body any good. While the dairy industry might score points and get legs out of this ad, your legs are in extreme jeopardy. Be green, Kermit. Get rid of that milk mustache.

FINAL WORDS

Kermit sung it best: ("It's Not Easy Bein' Green"):

Puttin' on a show!

(Click on the frog for
MIDI "Green" Song)
"When green is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why
But why wonder, why wonder?
I am green and it'll do fine
It's beautiful!
And I think it's what I want to be"


Robert Cohen author of:   MILK - The Deadly Poison

(201-871-5871)
Executive Director
Dairy Education Board
http://www.notmilk.com



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