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Thursday, September 24, 2009

M is for Milk

It is generally assumed that cow’s milk is a perfect food. This is not exactly true. I am not a fan of cow’s milk and that is an understatement. In past years I always had milk around. I was sure it was good for me. It has good stuff in it, right? Yes! Good stuff for a calf!

Years ago my friend Megan told me about a girl who was a vegan. I had never heard of such a thing. She explained to me that humans are the only animals to continue drinking milk after normal breastfeeding years. They refuse to be weaned. At the time I was very surprised, but later realized that humans were the only animals smart enough to continue to drink milk. Riiiiiiight….

Well here’s what I’ve come to learn:

Cow’s milk is mucus forming. Have you ever noticed that after drinking a glass of milk or (this one might hurt) after eating an ice cream cone you need to clear your throat? That is a friendly little deposit from your friend the cow in the back of your throat. Perfect for breeding bacteria.

Dairy products create an acidic environment in the body. When the body is acidic it then goes to work correcting its PH, as the body is at a slightly alkaline ph. In order to balance the PH of the body certain minerals are released to neutralize this acidic environment. The main one being…calcium. Calcium is released from the body in order to balance out PH and help digest the protein in the milk. Hmmm wonder where that calcium comes from.

Cow’s milk is the best source of casein protein. Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? There is casein in Mother’s Milk, but there’s 300x more in cow’s milk The protein in cow’s milk is made up of 87% casein protein. Casein protein is known to be cancer promoting. Check out any research done by Dr T. Colin Campbell who conducted the largest research project on nutrition ever.

Cow’s milk is intended to double a calf’s body weight in 6 – 8 weeks (human’s usually require 6 – 8 months). God being the genius He is, put in the milk what is necessary to get that cute little calf to pack on the pounds as fast as possible. Strange enough he didn’t put the same thing in human milk…

Now let’s look at Insulin Like Growth Factor. Insulin has properties in it to help your body to grow, but IGF-1’s specific role is to cause the body to grow. IGF-1 tells everything in the body to grow, normal tissue (bones) and foreign tissue (cancers). In cancer research IGF-1 is a VERY hot topic. We make our own IGF-1, but cow’s milk has far more in it than our bodies can appropriately handle. I don’t fully grasp this one, but Dr McDougal does. You can check out his video here. The dairy industry says, “Drink milk it will make you big and strong” and they’re right! In a study published in 2003 participants were given 40 grams of milk protein. Their IGF-1 was increased by 39%. That’s 39% more growth hormones than God put in our bodies. Maybe you’re thinking about switching to soy protein and soy milk options. In this same study participants who got Isolated Soy Protein increased the IGF-1 by 69%! (please note that Isolated Soy Protein is not the same as regular soy products)

Contrary to popular believe, dairy products do not prevent osteoporosis, in fact the countries that have the highest incidence of osteoporosis, have the highest intakes of dairy.

In an article published in the American Journal of clinical Nutrition (1990 vol. 52 pg142-6), they indicate that dairy products may in fact contribute to osteoporosis. “ ……the protein content of milk might have a negative effect on calcium balance by increasing urinary calcium excretion….”

But what about raw milk? Isn’t raw milk supposed to be good for you? All facts listed above are true of both raw and pasteurized cow’s milk. While there are far more live enzymes in raw milk which help you digest the milk, I would still exclude it from the “good for you” category. Now I could go into what actually happens when milk is pasteurized, but that would be A LOT more writing. There are several health, humanitarian and environmental issues closely connected to pasteurizing milk. If you are interested you can search for it yourself. I will say this, my husband tells me if you feed pasteurized milk to a cow it will die.

Now onto my last and favorite objection to cow’s milk. Prepare yourself…this is going to be a big statement. Consumption of cow’s milk is more closely related to Type 1 Diabetes than smoking is to Cancer. Take a moment and read that again. For this very reason the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that children not drink cow’s milk for the first two years of life. I get a bit overwhelmed with this one and could provide you with a lot of information, so if anyone is actually interested in hearing the science and research behind this one I’ll do a separate post on it.

Now when you go out there and begin searching this topic out for yourself please keep something in mind. The dairy industry is BIG and they have lots of MONEY. Check your sources! Make sure you’re getting good info that’s not being funded by the dairy industry or someone who profits from you buying milk.


sarah true said...

any thoughts on soy milk or rice milk? what do you use to cook with?

kyra.nicole said...

So glad to know we aren't the only one against Milk!!!

Anonymous said...

Interesting thoughts, Danie. Sounds like you are learning a lot in your search for better nutrition for your family. Does that mean you are not going to make us Mac and Cheese when I see you in a few weeks;)

Danielle said...

Soy milk is fine as long as there are no soy protein isolates added. Rice milk, almond, oat milk are all good, but just watch out for a lot of added sugar. We never really need milk in any of the food we make. If we do we use whole cream as the main problem with milk is the protein. The higher the fat content the lower the protein.

P said...

Babe you are AWESOME!! That was really well done...

Somedays are Worth Remembering said...

Danielle- Soy isn't that great for younger women or men as it has natural estrogens that can cause reproduction issues. That one deserves some research as well. I did some when I was going through some fertility stuff and now only dring Rice milk. Thanks for this article. Why do Dr. tell us to give our babies Whole milk?

Danielle said...

Christy - I wrote just a few sentences in this article about soy products. Where people run into problems with soy products is when they include isolated soy protein. I included a link to a video that goes into the details a bit more.

Unfortunately, most doctors are uninformed when it comes to the truth about dairy products. The dairy industry is big business. You would be shocked to see how much funding the dairy industry does in medical education.