I headed to Meijer today to pick up the free Fairlife milk that’s on their Mperks ecoupons today — two free bottles, one white, one chocolate. A great deal, I thought.
I just saw Fairlife milk featured on one of the national morning shows earlier this week, and the spokesperson was touting its benefits as a premium milk — higher protein and lower sugar level. I was in and out of the store quickly, and I didn’t really look at the label until I was putting the milk in my fridge at home.
That’s when I noticed the ingredients. Fairlife chocolate milk is touting itself as a healthier milk, but it contains both Acesulfame K and Sucralose. I should have known better — I blogged about milk being sweetened with artificial sweeteners back in 2013 when this was first being proposed.
I cannot for the life of me figure out why a brand would believe “full of chemicals” equals “healthier.” This milk, while not organic, also touts the fact that it is BGH-free. Doesn’t it stand to reason that consumers seeking milk free from artificial growth hormones would also seek milk without artificial sweeteners? This milk also sells for a higher price than a comparable carton of organic milk.
I noticed that the back of the bottle invites consumers to call with a “Let’s Chat!” invite. I just called, and when I explained my disappointment, the Fairlife rep said that the product was developed based on what “most consumers” want, which is a lower-calorie sweetened milk.
I told her that as a parent, I’m far more concerned with keeping my kids away from artificial sweeteners than I am from sugar. If I’m buying chocolate milk, honestly, I couldn’t care less about the calories. It’s a treat, it’s something special, and we’ll enjoy it as such.
As I wrote back in my don’t-tamper-with-milk post back in 2013, “I am much more of a “leave foods alone” person. Give me organic, full-fat, hormone-free milk. Give me 100% juice with no HFCS or Splenda additives. Give me full-fat butter instead of margarine any day. (And give me sugar” — real sugar — in pop and milk.
I’m not sure what do do with this now (do you return something you got free with an ecoupon? The store can’t restock it anyway.) I can’t drink it either — as I’ve blogged about before, I’m a “supertaster,” and I know from experience that both of these artificial sweeteners taste horrible to me, so I’m not even willing to try. I won’t let my children drink it, so I’m probably going to take it to our local food pantry.