Why I Won’t Buy Milo Again

indexNo, that’s not a lie.  I have broken up with Milo.  It’s not been an insignificant decision either.  I loved Milo.  I was the one eating spoonfuls out of the tin.  There have been times when I’ve considered racking it into a line and snorting it with a rolled up $50 note.  I was serious about Milo.

You may have noticed that some breastfeeders are also serious about Milo.  You see, malt is said to increase milk supply.  And Milo contains malt.  And sugar.  A lot of sugar.  But malt too.  And it’s delicious.

Never mind that most of these women don’t actually NEED to boost their supply.  If a genuine problem exists, an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) offers better value for money than any tin of malt milk drink powder.  But it seems like this passion for Milo isn’t necessarily logical.  Breastfeeding mums are hungry and hormonal, and this milk-boosting thing is a great excuse to indulge.

But the lactivist in me has had to face facts – Milo is not breastfeeding-friendy.

There are lots of reasons why Nestle have earned the tag of being one of the most hated companies in the world.  It’s your choice to ignore these reasons, and I won’t judge you for it.  Up until about 12 months ago I was blissfully unaware, and for another 6 months or so i buried my head in the sand because I didn’t WANT to know.

Nestle also have a reputation for destroying breastfeeding relationships.  I’m not even talking about those who choose not to breastfeed, I mean mums who truly, desperately want to.  That’s not even what I’m here to talk about.

The fact is that Nestle are a massive global producer of infant formula.  Even without considering Nestle’s ethical track record, it should be clear that Nestle markets it’s formula because they want you to use their product.  Every case where a bottle of formula is given, is one where breastmilk was not.  I know they have some disclaimer on their website about how “breast is best” but it’s basically the fine print that no one pays attention to.  The truth is that they profit from women who don’t breastfeed.

And this, THIS is why I refuse to buy Milo.

As a lactivist, I cannot give my money to a company that profits from women who fail to breastfeed successfully.  To see a desperate mum give them money, believing that their product is going to HELP her reach her breastfeeding goals actually breaks my heart.  Now not only does this company profit from women who don’t breastfeed, but they also profit from mums who are desperately trying to.

Surfbreak chocolate malt drinking powder
Surfbreak chocolate malt drinking powder

On a positive note, I recently surveyed the chocolate malt drink powders on the shelves at my local supermarket.  I saw Horlicks and Aktivite, and I bought a tin of Surfbreak in a 450g tin on special for $4.  And it was divine!  Which is lucky, because the Milo left a really bad taste in my mouth.

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16 Comments

  1. I’m joining you I’m taking the dive and it’s no more milo for us we are done good bye milo FOREVERRRRR

    1. Way to go Amie! The Surfbreak brand from Woolies really is delish, and on special this week for only $4!

  2. I have been saying this for years, but it is very hard to fight against the “anti” social media, remain calm, and “not” upset mothers. These big companies have ways to infiltrate social media and other forums that mothers go to for assistance, so beware who you take notice of.

    1. Thanks for your support Lynette. I have been warned before. It sounds a bit far fetched as a stand alone comment, but I have seen some pretty crazy things happen through social media and the more I see, the less likely I am to be surprised.

  3. They only put the *blurb* on the tin about ‘breast is best’ because they legally have to, hence why it’s in the smallest writing imaginable, so that when you’re desperate to feed baby and upset about it being formula, hopefully you wont see it

    1. I agree that if it were a company’s true position, they would mention it more proactively

    1. Ugh Faye tell me about it! After reading my post yesterday, one particular mum looked into Nestle’s brands and informed us of the long list of products she needed to swap out of her weekly shopping trolley – right down to her cat food!

  4. I avoid nestle because of their exploitative formula marketing in 3rd world countries. I don’t avoid spending money with other brands that also make formula though. Yes, formula is sold for profit. So is every other product- I don’t have a problem with that. I think our breastfeeding rates are far too low but it’s not the sole fault of formula companies. The medical establishment bears responsibility too. Historically, they’ve encouraged formula over BM and even now most GPs have a woeful understanding of breastfeeding. There are other influences like the fetishisation of the female body, advertising and media and then community attitudes as a result of all those factors. Until there is widespread education and support it won’t change. Luckily, people like your good self are trying to make a difference by offering that education and support to other mums. It’s a great start!

    1. All small steps towards change Amy!

      Interestingly, I noticed that none of the Organisations calling for boycotts of Nestle products list the formula brands on their websites.

      It saddens me that there are so many factors influencing a woman’s decision to breastfeed – it needs to become more of a feminist issue

    1. There are some really good alternatives to Milo, I can personally vouch for Surfbreak. A similar texture but perhaps a little more chocolatey

  5. The first few times I looked at not buying nestle products I was overwhelmed by how much I’d have to give up. Though I just realised I’ve been eating mostly unpackaged products – aside from dairy – lately so that means I probably don’t buy any sneaky nestle products anymore anyway. Winning!

  6. We stopped buying Milo years ago as it had gotten too expensive. I never knew this was going on.
    The world is a minefield of immorality.

    1. It’s a bit like falling down a rabbit hole – the more I looked into Nestle, the more horrified I was

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