Ever since we were little children dairy has been an inseparable component of our diet. Parents, teachers, doctors and media have consistently pressed us to drink more milk. If we refused, they installed fear that we won’t get enough calcium and our bones and teeth won’t be as strong and healthy. Who would not want strong and healthy bones and teeth? So we drank our milk and ate our cheese.
But the popularity of milk was never more prominent than when the California Milk Processor Board launched their “Got Milk?” marketing campaign in 1993, with the intent to increase milk demand. It turned out to be one of the most successful campaign in marketing history. Who doesn’t recall at least one celebrity, actor, athlete or political figure wearing that famous white mustache?! All of the sudden, milk became nutritional powerhouse. Huh???
And then there came along the “Happy Milk comes from Happy Cows” TV commercials. Yet another marketing initiative by California dairy farmers to increase demand for their product. The animated cows auditioning to become the next California Happy Cow (as if it was an American Idol contest) portray image far from what really goes on those dairy farms. If you are naive to believe cows are happy to produce milk for you, I recommend that you watch the latest animal brutality video captured by animal protection organization Mercy for Animals. See for yourself if the dairy cows and their defenseless calves feel as happy as those TV commercials show.
Unfortunately, watching a disturbing animal abuse videos has a temporary effect on our ability to change eating habits. Even those who “have the heart” to see the truth about dairy production in America and acknowledge how wrong it is to treat animals that way, eventually continue buying their milk, cheese and butter as if nothing ever happened.
But there is much more about dairy that you don’t know. Animal abuse is just the tip of the iceberg because the real dangers of consuming dairy are far more damaging to our health. Below I will share with you my video and a detailed explanation of the ugly truth about dairy…all that stuff that parents, friends, doctors and media never told you.
Ugly truth # 1: Lactose intolerance
Lactose intolerance is a condition caused by a lack of an enzyme called lactase. The enzyme is necessary for the digestion of lactose, the sugar in milk, and without it, milk consumption can lead to bloating, flatulence, cramps and nausea. It’s estimated that about 30 – 50 million Americans (adults and children) are lactose intolerant. While this condition is least common among Caucasians (about 15% of adults), it is widespread among other ethnic groups. It is estimated that 70% of African-American, 74% of Native American, 53% of Mexican-American, and 90% of Asian American adults are affected.
Ugly truth # 2: The effects of casein
Casein is the protein molecule in cow’s milk. In his book, The China Study, T. Colin Campbell reports how he discovered, over many years of scientific research, a possible link between animal protein intake and cancer development. Casein was found to adversely affect the way cells, especially their DNA, interact with carcinogens. In fact, the correlation was so strong that researchers were able to “turn off/on” the cancer growth just by altering the animal protein with plant-based protein.
Ugly truth # 3: The prostate cancer link
In a 2001 Harvard Review research reported a positive association between dairy consumption and prostate cancer. Men with the highest consumption of dairy had approximately doubles the risk of developing prostate cancer and up to fourfold the risk of metastatic or fatal cancer in comparison to lower dairy consumers. To read more on this, please refer to The China Study book, page 178.
Ugly truth # 4: The osteoporosis paradox
After looking at 34 published studies in 16 countries, researchers at Yale University found that the countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis – including the United States, Sweden, New Zealand – were those in which people consumed the most dairy and other animal products. How could that be?! That’s because animal protein foods such as cow’s milk are acid-forming which causes the body to borrow calcium from the bones and teeth to counteract the acidity. Over time, the bone structure weakens, making us more susceptible to fractures. To read more about this, go to www.milksucks.com.
Ugly truth # 5: Pasteurization
Pasteurization is a process that heats food to high temperatures in order to kills all the bacteria that causes food to spoil. While pasteurized milk may have longer shelf life than raw milk, all the living enzymes, vitamins and minerals are lost, leaving the finished product void of nutritional value. To make pasteurized milk marketable as healthy food, synthetic Vitamin A and D and Calcium are added later to create the illusion that you can get those vitamins and minerals ONLY from milk. It’s interesting to note that raw milk left out would naturally curdle and would be still edible but pasteurized milk would spoil and stink, which shows again that pasteurization damages foods more than it benefits.
Ugly truth # 6: Hormones & Antibiotics
In 1994, after aggressive lobbying from Monsanto, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of the recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH). According to rBGH manufacturers, injections of rBGH causes cows to produce up to 20 percent more milk. But industry data shows that cows treated with rBGH had up to 80 percent incidence of mastitis, an udder infection, resulting in the contamination of milk with significant levels of pus. Mastitis requires the use of antibiotics to treat, which leaves residues to pass on through the milk for human consumption. With all those hormones and antibiotics in milk, it’s no wonder children today have weaker immune systems and are prone to develop much quicker in the teenage years than generations before. To read more on this, please visit Cancer Prevention Coalition.
Ugly truth # 7: Mycotoxic food
Dairy products from cows, whether pasteurized or raw, are the most mucus forming of all foods. Mucus clogs organs, slows down absorption of other nutrients and causes buildup of additional toxins throughout the body. According to the former director of pediatrics at John Hopkins University, Dr. Frank Oski, the is evidence to indicate that up to half of the U.S. children have some allergic reaction to milk. Milk can lead to persistent problems such as chronic coughs and sinus infections, asthma, and ear infections. Autistic children are always advised to stay away from casein and gluten in their diet. In adults, mucus-forming milk can also lead to hardening of the intestinal walls, which may hinder absorption of nutrients and lead to chronic fatigue. To read more on this, please click here.
Ugly truth # 8: Acidic foe
All animal-based foods are acid-forming and dairy is no exception. In his book The pH Miracle Dr. Robert Young explains that to neutralize one cup of milk we need to take 20 cups of something alkaline such as green vegetable juice for instance. Since it takes 10 pounds of milk to produce a pound of cheese and 12 pounds of milk for a pound of ice cream, that ratio can get out of control! The more acid-forming foods we consume the weaker our immune system becomes, making it easier for bacteria, fungi and viruses to cause havoc in our body. For a list of Alkaline/Acid foods, please click here.
If you are concerned about getting enough calcium in your diet without dairy, here are a few things to consider:
- Protein from animal products is much more likely to cause calcium loss than protein from plant foods. This may be one reason that vegetarians tend to have stronger bones than meat eaters.
- To be absorbed efficiently, calcium has to be paired with an adequate amount of magnesium. Milk does not contain magnesium.
- Caffeine increases the rate at which calcium is lost through urine.
- Diets high in sodium, especially packaged processed foods, increase calcium losses in the urine.
- Diets high in refined carbohydrates such as cereal, candies, pasta and white bread decrease the availability of calcium in the body.
- Alcohol inhibits calcium absorption.
- The mineral boron may slow the loss of calcium from bones.
- Exercise slows bone loss and is one of the most important factors in maintaining bone health.
Plant-based sources of calcium are:
- Green leafy vegetables such as kale, collard, turnip greens, spinach. Just 3/4 cup of collard greens contains more calcium than 1 cup of cow’s milk.
- Vegetables such as broccoli, bok choi, green beans, celery
- Citrus fruit, especially oranges
- Ocean plants/seaweed such as kelp, wakame, arame
- Raw nuts and seeds such as almonds and sesame seeds
- For more complete list, please click here.
Homemade Almond Mylk
- 1 Cup raw, unpasteurized almonds, soaked for 8 hours
- 4-6 Cups filtered or spring water
- 1/8 teaspoon of Celtic sea salt
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Sweetener choices: Medjool dates, honey, agave nectar, stevia
- Measuring cup
- Nutmylk bag (contact me if interested)
- Large bowl
- Glass pitcher
- Drain and rinse the soaked almonds. Discard water.
- Add to blender with salt and 4-6 cups of water, pending how creamy you like your mylk.
- Blend well until all almonds are broken down to fine meal.
- Pour through nutmylk bag and squeeze out the mylk.
- Use the pulp to make nut breads, crackers or cookies.
- Drink as is or pour back into clean blender with vanilla extract and your choice of sweetener. No need to strain this time.
- Store in glass pitcher int he refrigerator. Will keep for 2-3 days.
You can use almond mylk for just about everything – cereal, smoothie, shake, vegan ice cream, desserts, or to wean of a baby from formula. Nut mylk is high in protein and offers superior nutritional profile to dairy milk.
Worried how you’d give up cheese? Check out my blog “Making Fermented Feta Cheeze Without Milk.”
If you are still skeptical about the health dangers of consuming dairy, I encourage you to begin your own research into the matter. Please visit some of the links and books I have recommended on my blog. It’s important to educate yourself so you can make smarter food choices. And if not for you, do it for your family…for your children. They deserve to be healthy and happy.
P.S. Did you know that humans are the only mammals in nature that continue drinking milk beyond the infancy stage AND from another specie?!?!
Copyright © 2010 Zoe V. All Rights Reserved