The modern tomatoes we eat are genetically modified by humans through breeding which we like to call domestication. This genetic modification caused them to be bigger and taste pleasant.
My understanding was there was push to breed them to be uniformly red when ripe but this also caused a mutation to make them more bland, this occurred in the 1940's before "modern" genetic engineering, which incidentally no tomatoes currently on the market are engineered that I am aware of.
I always think it ironic to blame modern techniques like genetic engineering for all sorts of issues like somehow a cow, chicken, pig, tomato, corn or wheat are somehow "natural", these are all genetically modified organisms that would not exist without human tampering.
We have twisted nature for thousands of years to have higher yields and more desirable characteristics, if tomatoes are bland I would imagine we will twist them some more to make them flavorful again if the market demands it, but their "natural" "wild" cousins have never been tasty.
Believe it or not, most of us who criticize industrialized farming techniques are not tinfoil-hat antivaxers, and understand very well what you describe. Thing is, there's no reason why modern techniques can't be used to produce foods that are more varied, nutritious and flavourful.
Instead we're getting bland produce, all the same two or three varieties, and increasingly devoid of any nutritional value because our backwards practices are destroying the very soil we use (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/soil-depletion-and...).
It's like in terms of food, we're moving towards an "everybody wears a silver onesie" future... scientific progress doesn't have to mean monotony.
In fact it's not progress. It's laziness on an industrial scale, and it's costing us our health (and one of life's greatest pleasures: food with real friggen flavour). So many of us have never tasted a real vegetable or piece of meat. (Ironically, in poorer, less industrialized countries like in South America, the meat is absolutely delicious -- visited last year with some friends; it was like they had never tasted meat before. Then I realised... they really hadn't!)
For a glimpse into what is possible using modern techniques, while still embracing flavour and variety, I highly recommend the Chef's Table episode on Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture.
I believe it's the second episode of the first season (available on NetFlix right now... the whole series is worth watching really).
I wouldn't want to use nutritionism as the definition of quality, because so far nutritionism has been too reductionist to capture the full picture. There's a wide variety of micronutrients that turn out to be useful, but are easily depleted from the soil in a monoculture. Are you getting your Vitamin K12? Selenium? Zinc? Copper? Choline? Are the animals you eat getting theirs?
On the nutritionism note, I also think we'll increasingly improve the model to a point where something like Soylent v315 will actually be superior nutritionally to any complex diet that a human could eat. Right now its so simple that you can do better with a chicken salad, but someday soylent may encompass phytonutrients, chemical supplements, nanorobots, pre/probiotics, factors based on your genetics, medicines prescribed etc etc... IMO the complexity of nutrition will eventually outstrip the typical human's ability (or will) to eat very complex "meals".
If we chose to use modern techniques to make tomatoes as delicious and nutricious as possible, I have no doubt we'd have some damn delicious and damn nutritious (both at once!) tomatoes.
But they wouldn't ship or store well and wouldn't have as high a yield, so they'd be more expensive, at least under the current production and distribution economy.
So we've chosen to use those modern techniques to make tomatoes that store well, ship well, have a high yield, taste like crap, and have fewer nutrients.
Sure, they aren't fresh tomatoes. But they're super tasty, nutritious, store and ship well, and they're fairly cheap to boot. Try making a proper bolognese (proper, as in, start with frying up sofritto) using cans of San Marzano... O.M.G.
Conserved vegetables are awesome. Conserving even helps increasing the nutrient value by increasing bioavailability.
Industrial agriculture has brought about a radical increase in food yield over the last century, and there seems to be a corresponding, possibly correlated decrease in the nutrition.
Undoubtedly. However, those desirable characteristics were about more than just yield. In industrial agriculture, however, you can't quantify "taste". You can, however, quantify "yield". So it becomes a case of ruthlessly optimizing for what you can measure, to the detriment of other, more subtle, characteristics.
A big part of the problem is that produce is seen as a commodity, and all the economic value is added by using cheap commodity ingredients in a highly tuned industrial process to create the most tasty and addictive food. The incentives are just all misaligned.
They do it for QC samples of mass produced food. Perhaps it could be done for raw produce, then?
The option is there to utilize the land less efficiently to get the same effect for some characteristics, but we may have to accept at some point feeding people on a modern scale may not be tenable with what is considered more "natural" or "organic" or whatever term is being used to ambiguously describe the techniques that are not natural at all in the dictionary sense.
Also, to get the best sugar content, the thing to do is to leave them on the vine once ready and stop watering them, the stress causes the plant to dump its energy into the fruits.
They will taste better but if done commercially it extends the time to market and reduces shelf life.
When you grow your own vegetables you realise how low quality most of the ones in the supermarket are. And what a restricted set of choices there is.
Cherries on the other hand are pretty good. Maybe because they grow on trees, which have much longer lifetime and therefore are harder to optimize for yield. Also seeing couple of cherry "farms" made me think it's a good idea - instead of pesticides, genetic modifications, in-house cultivation or whatever - they use gigantic mesh to protect them from unwanted animals and I think that's it. I don't know if it's a common practice or just few exceptions I've seen.
If I cherry-pick genes of one organism, attach them to a virus and infect other organisms with that: now that's what is called genetic modification.
I won't argue which is better, it seems like a hot topic for some people. But I can completely understand how somebody is OK with the first one and not so much with the second. It's like a difference between choosing an engineer to construct your house, and making your own modifications to the final construction project. You have to be completely sure you know what you are doing to do the latter. Some people doubt we actually know what we are doing. Sometimes looking back it's hard to blame them.
The term Genetically Modified Organism or GMO is thrown around without much thought to it's meaning. Why is selective breeding "natural" and therefore ok? Targeted gene insertion not? What about marker assisted breeding? What about directed mutagenesis? These all lie on a continuum but all are most definitely modifying genes based on human intervention.
So when we do it ourselves, we don't know what we are doing, but when we let randomness perform larger modifications, then we are 100% ok with it, and you can buy the output as certified organic.
If all the plants we ate had tightly controlled genetics, I'd understand the argument, but in practice, the most genetically consistent vegetables you can buy come from big agribusiness.
Still waiting for a decent response to that.
The difference is, basically, that random mutations happen all the time since life on Earth has begun, they are relatively subtle, and, last, but not the least — unavoidable whether you like the fact that they happen or not. They are pretty close to definition of "normal", because that's just how carbon-based lifeforms (or, probably, any theoretically possible lifeforms at all) work. The result of any individual mutation might be not pleasant: child might be born defective or ugly, but that's… well, "natural". People tend to avoid unusual, so even though some ugly chicken with two peckers and one eye might be completely healthy food — many will think it's disgusting and won't eat it. And, as I said, random mutations cause relatively subtle changes in phenotype, so it would take many, many generations for such chickens to become normal even if we selectively breed them to have two peckers. Even single such mutation is something pretty unlikely without strong external influence, like high radiation or some chemicals. And if specie changes a lot during multiple generations — it becomes normal. If they survived through so many generations, and we still eat them: it somehow "works", one might think.
Genetic engineering, on the other hand, didn't happen for a couple of billions years until last century, is very much avoidable and immensely powerful. Consider making a pig glow through selective breading. Seems pretty unlikely, yeah? Well, it's simple now, if you tinker some with genome of a pig and a jellyfish. And that's just an illustration: possibilities of what you can produce are nearly unlimited. I don't want to quote Spiderman's uncle here, but I guess you get the point. One might not even actually think glowing pig is dangerous, but it's certainly suspicious. Which is more than sufficient reason to beware of something or to want to avoid it.
The best thing about living nature is that something, that can seem completely safe and uninteresting at first, might be a cause for something much bigger than it seemed. Like, you know, bringing a couple of rabbits to Australia.
As a side note, you should probably remember when arguing with those "anti GM" friends of yours, that thinking of something as dangerous isn't the only reason why somebody might not like something. Say, they might happen to not like green wallpapers — it doesn't necessarily mean they think green wallpapers are dangerous. They just don't want them, maybe for religious reasons or whatever. So if everyone suddenly starts producing only green wallpapers because it's simply cheaper, and any other colors become rare, ridiculously overpriced and are treated by sellers as a luxury product — they can become "anti-grean-wallpaper" very easily. In attempt to bring balance to the force, if nothing more. Add to that that not everyone is perfectly rational — which is kinda ok as well — and there can be infinite number of reasons why somebody might be anti-something.
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbits_in_Australia
Given enough iterations I am sure it is possible. A pig evolved from bacteria after all.
For instance. The difference in taste between a tomato I get in my already overpriced but well stocked supermarket here in NY and the tomato I pick up from a local farmer nearby is night and day.
One of them can litterally stand on it's own the other is bland and tasteless. They cost around the same.
The problem become when optimization get higher priorities than the result of the optimization.
I am well aware that there are many reasons why we don't want 100% organic farming unless we can do it at scale like conventional farming, but currently the difference in taste is night and day and if you care about that then it's a big deal and techniques can be used to fix it.
Then why do so many people alive today complain about the taste and texture, since most ought not even know what a pre-1940 tomato tastes like?
>I always think it ironic to blame modern techniques
Blame the abuse of selective breeding and genetic modification.
One of the biggest reasons tomatoes from the store taste so bad is that they're picked completely green. The second is that the commercial varieties are bred to have a pastier texture and be tougher to stand up to shipping. The third is that tomatoes don't stand up to refrigeration without a change in texture.
My uncle grows tomatoes commercially in southeast Tennessee. If you actually let the commercial varieties ripen all the way and don't refridgerate them, they're pretty good. They're better than the anything you can buy at a fancy grocery store. They're not as good as homegrown brandywines, but they're on par some of the popular hybrid varieties, and will beat out any store-bought heirloom (e.g. a store-bought brandywine).
However, when any tomato is picked to sell in bulk, they have to be picked completely green. Otherwise they'll be too badly bruised to sell. The "vine ripened" tomatoes you buy in the store just means that they cut off some of the vine along with the green tomatoes.
The site is down, so forgive me if I'm pointing out something that's mentioned there. At any rate, in my opinion, commercial tomatoes suffer more from being picked completely green so they'll survive shipping than anything else.
You are buying from the wrong stores. Tomatoes can be easily grown locally in greenhouses, negating any reason to pick them green. This is where my costco tomatoes come from. Note they are not green when picked.
Are people planning on making guac buying a week ahead of time?
Stores should really start doing this themselves... wait until they're just about ripe, then package them in sealed containers (so shoppers can't poke and bruise them) and keep them refrigerated. Obviously more effort which will add to the cost, but I'm guessing the average consumer would happily pay a bit more to get ripe avocados on demand. Otherwise you either have to really plan ahead or go on a search for the rare unicorn that is a ripe one.
The reason is that canned tomatoes usually come from the leftovers and blemishes. When they pick a field of tomatoes (green), quite a few are left behind due to being too small, strangely shaped, etc. These are usually allowed to ripen. From what I understand, those are what canned tomatoes most often come from, as they're the cheapest.
No one cares if a misshaped or bruised tomato gets canned. It will still taste about the same. Therefore, you can ship the tomatoes closer to ripe, as you're not worried about bruising.
On a side note, canned tomatoes are actually usually very good if you buy a respectable brand. The bargain brands vary a lot more. Honestly, unless it's late summer and I can get great tomatoes, I make salsa from canned tomatoes instead of fresh. (Note: this is for things where I'd be fire-roasting the fresh tomatoes anyway.)
I didn't understand the popularity of tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, or pears until I moved north and tried them at farmer's markets or from wild growth. I didn't even understand the relationship between the actual foods and the artificial "candy flavor" versions until I tasted the real things. That's how far the commercial varieties have diverged.
On the other hand, I miss a lot of the tropical fruits and vegetables that I had growing in my neighborhood down there.
Calhoun County, Illinois. I suggest you go in August/September just to purchase peaches. It is a backwards, hillbilly part of the country.
But god-damn are they good.
Those of us with more money still have the option to buy tasty, grass-fed beef steaks from niche producers. It takes more effort of course. Quite often I find that arguments against bland, cheap, tasteless food are really about unrealistic people expecting cheapness, high quality, and great convenience. You can't have all three!
> Convenience, High Quality, Cheapness you can't have all three.
What about ... everything else that is usually discussed here on HN.
The food industry is as bad as the oil, banking, car, movie and music. It is generating a enormous amount of money, concentrated in few hands, is repeatedly involved in scandal, benefit from opaque government protections and regulations. There is 0 reason to think that the food that reach our table, is anything close to an optimum.
Also what does it mean for food recommendation if one strawberry has completely different vitamins/minerals/etc than the other one? Eating strawberry A and B means completely different things now. "One fruit a day" or "One cheap fruit a day + supplement pill"?
To answer your question, I think its important to first understand whether the nutritional gap between zero strawberries and modern strawberries is much greater than that between modern strawberries and old-fashioned low yield tasty strawberries. My opinion (worth nothing of course) is that it's better to have some fruit than no fruit, and high yield, cheap produce allows that.
It's dismaying. Do Americans think that the flavor of tomato sauce is an additive?
Alton Brown had a good layperson-friendly bit about this in Good Eats but I can't find the episode on YouTube… anyway it worths.
Yes. Everything here is an additive. Tomato sauce is "tomato flavored sauce." Butter is "butter spread." Etc. A bit of an exaggeration, but when you buy packaged food, look at what it's calling itself. If you think you're buying NOUN, but the label says NOUN OTHER, then you're buying OTHER, with flavor or other essential attribute added that may or may not be based on NOUN.
Enjoy your cheese spread.
They make it look like a NOUN, they wrap it like a NOUN, they name it with some nicely-sounding brand name, and do not write what it is, because it looks like a NOUN, so it must be NOUN, right? In the fineprint there's the explanation: not margarine, but "hydrogenated fat product", not ice cream, but "glacial dessert product", not a chocolate, but "chocolate-like product" etc.
But stay away from Three Twins' Orange Confetti, lest you be lost to addiction. It's sorta like crack, but at least crack doesn't have calories or carbs or fat.
I did find a bit about naming different types of canned tomatoes. I would have had no idea that there is such a difference between "tomato paste" and "tomato puree" and they even have regulations about how many seeds and peels and such can be in the can.
So, even reading all the ingredients and everything on the can, there may be some hidden terminology you may not know about in the way the food is named. Very interesting.
Ketchup evolved as an English approximation of a Southeast Asian pickled-fish-based condiment which ended up using mushrooms and later tomatoes because of availability. Its not really intended to taste like tomatoes, its supposed to use tomatoes and other ingredients to taste like something almost completely unlike tomatoes.
Tomato paste is where you go if you need a pure tomato taste.
And clove! Can't forget that.
Ketchup is a combination of tomato paste...
Related Nature article:
Most likely season 2 episode 11 "Pantry Raid II: Seeing Red" or season 6 episode 6 "Tomato Envy". Food Network takes down most Good Eats episodes on YouTube because they sell some of them for $2 each. Here's a crummy version of Seeing Red that may be deleted soon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FNWPtKtKPc and Tomato Envy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gq2tifYVEdY
I think tomatoes are often added for color instead of flavor.
>> Plain yogurt is tasteless.
Yogurt's lack of flavor is nothing to do with the milk. "Plain" yogurt is meant to taste as plain as possible so that flavors can be added to it. It's like vodka. The goal is consistency rather than amount of flavor. It's the difference between tasting a food and tasting an ingredient.
Edit: I'm in SF and routinely buy local, organic, blahblahblah. I've still had better dairy elsewhere.
The "yoghurt" you can buy in supermarkets here is sugared milk with artificial thickeners, it's madness.
No, it hasn't, because you can still get other-than-nonfat yogurt, both full fat (sometimes labeled as 4% fat, which is certainly a response to the anti-fat movement) and low-fat (2%); I have yet to see even a poor-quality supermarket that doesn't have full-fat yogurts (though the most common offering and the one with the greatest variety of choices seems to be low-fat, but still not non-fat.)
As for yogurt I pretty much do not buy supermarket brands anymore. There's a European imported food store in town that sells some fresh items, among them Greek yogurt. The stuff is like paste, and it's fantastic.
Organic is basically irrelevant as far as I can tell. The type of the cow and how it's handled makes a huge difference, though.
Have you tried St. Benoît milk? It's available at a bunch of farmer's markets in the bay area, and most Whole Foods and well as a handful of other stores carry it. It's 4% milkfat (it's from actual Jersey cows!) and rivals any milk I've tasted abroad for flavor.
The point of "local" is "shippable from harvest to store in 24 hours" instead of "put into the food distribution chain for 2 weeks".
I don't know about 'much much better'...maybe just one 'much'.
As long as you stay out of Walmart and Costco. Trying to find full fat yogurt in those stores in Montana is a futile effort.
I can only try to imagine what heirloom actual fresh tropical fruit tastes like, but of course that wouldn't travel well so it's not available.
This year even whole foods up here in Canada seems to be stocking produce based on price as opposed to quality, what with conventional mandarins/clementines (treated with several scary sounding .......zole compounds) or organic ones coming all the way from China (really? can't find any in California?), I really miss the organic "pixie tangerines" (some heirloom variety I assume) that they stocked until last year, but they were expensive and occasionally you found a moldy one and so probably they were nixed.
I wonder how much of the push towards tasteless ageless produce is due to customers absolutely never ever wanting to be faced with a spot of mold or a bad potato or whatever, I'd rather have flavorful produce where I have to toss 15% due to issues when I get home rather than the bland cardboardy "perfect" one that's widely available now.
I'd rather spend money on quality ingredients than on other things (also due to the fact that I cook 100% of my food from scratch ingredients), but likely unfortunately I am in the minority so even "niche" retailers like whole foods are likely going to cater less to my preferences.
No consumer would actually say they want worse tasting tomatoes, but consumers as a whole clearly made that choice by buying only cheap and firm tomatoes. Same with farmers, they didn't want bad tasting tomatoes, they just wanted to make a profit and knew that the market responded positively to tomatoes that were red, firm, ship well, and stayed "good" long enough for the retailers.
So they bred tomatoes that can be very firm and very red with almost no relationship to actual ripeness, and taste terrible.
In that case, it's more of a trick than customers showing a preference for firmness or color over taste.
But you're right, I think, that customers will generally choose cost over taste, or over almost anything else, in the aggregate over the long-term anyway.
Apparently the yellow-ish color was originally a mark of high-quality milk from grass-fed Jersey and Guernsey cow. Now they use annatto and other spices/dyes to add color to the cheese.
Essentially, when the consumer doesn't have complete information they will have to make purchasing decisions based on proxy information. As you note, this can lead trickery from the person selling the product.
Is it that or just that firmness and redness are correct signs of "will last until I get it home from the store and use it for dinner in a few days"?
In the UK, most supermarket tomatoes are imported from The Netherlands or Spain (two of the largert exporters of tomatoes in Europe). The tomatoes are mostly tasteless, regardless of the variety. Even the organic ones have only a little bit more flavour.
So tasteless tomatoes aren't just an American phenomenon, they are common in Europe too. That's what modern, mass-procuded agriculture gives us: tasteless, low-cost produce all-year round (because price mostly trumps other factors for many, if not most, consumers)
This makes total sense.
This is yet another retarded opinion post with nothing to back their claims.
So fertilisers are bad? And lack of nutrients in food is bad too? If there is not much nutrient in the fruits, it only shows that enough fertilisation was NOT done to the soil.
It is absolutely possible to increase yield while maintaining nutrient contents. It is done by fertilisation with increasing yields. Unfortunately, people don't check the nutrient contents while purchasing fruits and vegetables. So, investing in more fertilisation does not give them return of investment.
The ONLY thing customers care about is looks. So, the producers are optimising for looks and looks alone.
It is possible to optimise for taste and nutrition. But when there are more easy and more retarded ways to sell products like calling them "natural" or "organic" or "non-GMO". As long as retarded cuntards like the author are alive and purchasing such products, this is not going to change. The world will just have to wait for these imbeciles to die out and new generations of intelligent people replace them.
General nutrition information is getting better every year, and I think in the next 5-10 years, there will be a mainstream discussion over this issue.
Or 'garnish' as they are otherwise known.
But then the participants (as expected) game the system, doing the minimum necessary to deliver 5000 "things that count as tomatoes". And so the taste and nutrition drift.
Do they have some rigorous definition of when the tomato isn't good enough? Can you define it so that there isn't this drift?
The good news is that it isn't necessarily a trade off, it's just that commercial breeders have ignored flavor and nutrition and focused on productivity and suitability for transport. So we might get vegetables that still work well for modern supermarkets while tasting better.
I'm glad the nutrition field is willing to admit errors and update guidance. I'm a little disappointed with the high frequency.
I did 30 seconds of research, and found out dietitian and nutritionist are not synonyms. Dietitians seem to use nutrition to achieve specific medical or performance outcomes. In that context, it makes sense to have lots of changes as the bleeding edge advances.
She doesn't use fertilizer, but the conditions are quite ideal for a lot of vegetables, including -- yes -- tomatoes.
The difference is astounding. Simply slicing one or two tomatoes is enough to make my whole kitchen smell like tomatoes. My palate is so accustomed to supermarket chicken that I literally cannot eat the ones she raises. I have to drown the meat in spices -- the flavour is so strong (and pretty different from that of "mass-produced" chicken) that it makes me vomit. Fortunately, I don't have that trouble with her tomatoes.
The catch is, indeed, that the yield is fairly low. There's no such thing as more than one crop per year, either -- she has tomatoes throughout the summer, but that's it. The only exception are cherry tomatoes, which will sometimes grow another generation of fruit in early autumn, and they ripen pretty fast, but that's it. Also, the ripening process is fairly slow; by mid-autumn or so, there are still enough unripe tomatoes for her to pickle a few jars.
(What, you don't pickle tomatoes when they're green in the States? You have no idea what you're missing!)
That being said, their color is pretty uniform. I don't have a picture right now, since they're out of season, but they really look OK, most of them are no different, in terms of look, from what you can see in supermarkets. Sometimes they grow in a somewhat weird shape (e.g. some of them get rather bulgy, but maybe that's a distinct cultivar, I don't know; others look perfectly round) but, if you allow them to ripen, they're pretty uniformly red. However, at that stage they're basically impossible to sell in supermarkets or even at farmers' markets, they'll go bad within days of being picked, even if you refrigerate them. People basically pick them right before a meal (worst case scenario, they'll pick a bunch in the morning so that they can chill in the fridge for an hour or two -- summers are pretty hot here, so if you pick them before lunch, you'll be eating really warm tomatoes).
Edit: I've seen someone here claiming that plain yogurt is supposed to be plain.
Fuck no. Plain yogurt is so thick, soury and flavourful that, unless you've grown up with it, it's an acquired taste. My grandmother never raised cattle -- I first tasted plain, home-made yogurt at one of her relatives in a remote-ish village when I was 14 or so. I hated it, despite having eaten plain yogurt from the supermarket before, and it took me a whole summer to get accustomed to the taste. It's also incredibly filling, you can't eat more than a bowl.
In some spots, I know of it in Atlantic Canada and some southern states where green tomato relish or chow is made (it might be an Acadian dish originally, not sure). It's delicious, often served with fish.
I am SO doing this. I love pickled things, and have never seen this in the States. Thanks for the mention. I look forward to a tasty treat.
It's depressing in the extreme.
It's a major upset when a male is born (they're killed after a few days and sold for rendering, probably for dog food.) Any sperm will get a cow pregnant, a 400$ insemination is only worth it for the potential cow sale...
That's cause his biggest source of revenue isn't the milk, it's the cows that produce more, fatter milk than any of his neighbors' on less feed per pound of milk.
And so they're inbred as hell with a handful of bulls (if that) fathering all of his cows and their mothers for multiple generations. But they sure produce a lot.
I don't know - nationwide distribution of spongiform-milk slurry, aka zombie serum.
Personally, I've always seen cow's milk as the quintessential drink of Western Christendom: something that Germans, Scots, Englishmen, Scandinavians, Celts (from the Hebrides all the way to Navarre and Galicia), and provincial Frenchmen consume, but that's all but unknown among foreigners -- including the predatory, Viking-descended aristocracies in London and, especially, Paris. (The English upper class proverbially never trusted an adult who drank milk; the French upper class hardly even remembered that it existed, except as a precursor to cheese.)
My theory is that those who hate milk see it in the same way as I do, but don't share my fondness for Western Christendom. The old-money "Northeastern establishment" in the United States never quite forgave God for how His Book is fine with slavery; Jews and Germans always did feud, but these days the Jews have very good reason to be frightened when they hear talk of traditional voelkisch German-ness (which in any case never did like them); eastern and southern peoples, not all of whom can consume milk in the first place, might reasonably regard milk as a symbol of a society that was as rich as it was xenophobic. And people born into the old Western order but seeking to escape it -- including most Americans, to some extent or other -- might want to escape its symbols, too.
Does this sound about right, or are there other reasons for disliking milk? I can understand personally not drinking it, if you don't have mature lactose tolerance; I can see excellent reasons for disliking industrial dairying with battery farms of miserable, inbred, inadvertently-cannibal cows (I don't touch milk unless it's organic and from humanely-raised cows); but if it isn't for the reasons above, I don't know why people dislike -- indeed, passionately shun and repudiate -- the very idea of drinking milk.
I'm confused. When you say "but if it isn't for the reasons above, I don't know why people dislike [milk]," how do you know that these complaints you've heard aren't for one of those stated reasons? If you know someone who advocates against dairy for reasons aside from what you listed.... you should ask them. (Sorry if that sounds flippant.)
I've been vegan for about 4 years, for ethical reasons, so I fall into one of the camps you've listed. So I guess I can't answer your question.
I think that those are the main reasons, but I don't want to rule out that there are others -- and I don't want to rule out that I'm paranoid and over-thinking things, either. (I also don't want to sound condescending.) Don't worry in the slightest about sounding flippant.
And congratulations on being vegan and sticking to it! I've thought about vegetarianism for the same reasons; I'm fine with humanely-raised milk and eggs (as you've probably already guessed...), but I definitely see the merits of not killing in order to eat. Treating animals humanely before you kill them is better than treating them inhumanely first, but it still has a certain note of absurdity to it...
The problem is lactose is still a sugar, milk still contains caesin, and various hormones that trigger a response in human biology.