Milk is good for you. It helps you build strong bones with all that wonderful calcium it supplies. You should drink milk because our ancestors drank milk.
These are all lies, made up by clever marketing tactics to keep Big Dairy in business. Because at least in the United States, we care more about business than health.
Here are some reasons I have accumulated through listening to endless health podcasts, reading books and blog posts from nutrition experts, and most recently my coursework in becoming a Nutritional Therapy Consultant that we should avoid conventional dairy products. Again, this list is not directed at RAW MILK, which I will get to later.
1. Genetically modified cows – yes, GMOs are not just for seeds/plants. Cows have been selectively bred and given genetically engineered growth hormones in order to yield the most milk possible. Who do you think then ingests those hormones? That’s right, it’s you (and your kids).
2. A Ton of Antibiotics – factory farm raised cows live in such close quarters, trampling in their own excrement all day long causing them to be exposed to nasty diseases. How do we treat/prevent diseases? Pump them full of constant antibiotics. Ever wonder why so many of us have a hard time fighting off infections? It may be because of the super high resistance we have to antibiotics from drinking them in our cereal every morning.
3. High Heat Exposure aka the beloved marketing buzzword “Pasteurization” – the process of heating milk from cows to insanely high temperatures is done to ensure that no harmful bacteria show up in the finished product. It also kills all of the good bacteria your gut needs for proper digestion as well as necessary enzymes, vitamins, and minerals INCLUDING CALCIUM.
4. Synthetic Nutrients – Since I just crushed everyone’s soul by dropping the calcium bomb above, I’ll mention here that any vitamins and minerals that claim to be in the milk you just bought at the grocery store was added in synthetic chemical form. Along with chemicals to prevent odor and restore the taste of milk after it was boiled during pasteurization.
5. Processed Cheese – I know what you’re thinking, “but everything is better with cheese”. And alas, I hate to tell you that the processed cheese you consume has emulsifiers, extenders, and hydrogenated oils which give it that taste you so love. Yet they are all inherently AWFUL for you.
6. Digestive Distress – It’s estimated that only 30-40% of the population can even tolerate the proteins and enzymes in milk products – most notably casein and lactose. Ever have to use the bathroom shortly after consuming all that dairy? Yeah, that’s your body’s way of rejecting what you are giving it.
7. It causes inflammation! – Too much inflammation in the body causes your immune system to be constantly on the look-out for what is causing your body harm, and eventually it may turn on your own cells – this is called Auto-Immune Disease (Crohn’s disease, Hashimoto’s, rheumatoid arthritis, etc)
8. No other species consumes another mammal’s milk – our ancestors sure didn’t, and if you think about it, it’s just plain weird.
Now that I’ve gotten all that negativity out of the way, I’m going to shed some light on what many of you may have no clue about – Raw Milk. Raw Milk from Grassfed Cows to be more specific. This kind of milk comes from cows that live in their natural environment (pasture-raised) and fed their natural diet (grass). The cows are not treated with constant antibiotics and hormones. The milk produced contains fat-soluble vitamins we need to thrive such as vitamin A, D, and K2 because it is not put through a damaging high-heat, added-chemicals process. We can only get these vitamins from animal products and consuming raw milk. There is hope for those who are lactose-intolerant in raw milk products as it is said to contain the enzyme lactase, which allows your body to effectively break down lactose. Those sensitive to casein can enjoy delicious ghee (clarified butter) without the worry of digestive upset. The major downfall about raw milk is the lack of availability. Because the government has major interest in conventional dairy bringing in tons of cash, raw milk products are illegal to sell to humans (must be for “pet consumption”) or extremely hard to find. There is a movement though and you can get more info here: http://www.realmilk.com/
I know all of you are smart enough to add this stuff up, and to think twice before buying conventional, grocery store, bastardized “milk” and its mutant offspring for yourself or even more troubling, your children. If nothing else, do some research on your own.
(Most of the information listed here is my own summary of Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon and from Liz Wolfe http://www.realfoodliz.com and in no way did I intend to steal anyone’s ideas – just trying to spread the word!)