Since the time we are born, we hear multiple stories about why we should drink our milk. It’s good for your bones, helps you grow and gives you strong teeth. But in reality, this is far from the truth.
Milk that is pasteurized and homogenized leads to so many health problems; mainly allergies, asthma, nasal congestion, constipation, diarrhea, cancer, headaches, skin rashes, hives, eczema, osteoporosis, cavities and ear infections. Milk is extremely mucous forming and is linked to almost every health problem in children (Frank Oski M.D.- Don’t Drink Your Milk). Yes, milk does not do a body good. I’ve read that calves given their own pasteurized milk sometimes die.
Let’s start with milk in general. Most milk found in U.S. grocery stores contain rBGH. This artificial growth hormone is genetically engineered and given to cattle to increase milk production. This hormone has been banned in Europe, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Canada. According to Dr. Samuel Epstein, M.D., a scientist at the University of Illinois school of Public Health, “rBGH milk contains very high levels of natural growth factor known as IGF-1 (insulin-like Growth Factor), increasing this to very, very, high levels of this natural growth factor. When you drink it, the IGF-1 survives digestion and is readily absorbed from your small intestine, into your blood. This increased level of IGF-1 has been shown to increase risks of breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer. He goes on to say that increased levels of IGF-1 block natural defense mechanisms against early cancers.
This is all dairy found in the U.S.; milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt, sour cream. Think about this the next time you take your children out for ice cream or you go into Starbucks for a latte.
But you already knew this, right? So you decided to buy organic milk for your children thinking you would be avoiding the growth hormones. Well, organic milk found in stores is also pasteurized and homogenized, rendering your milk dead and void of nutrition. It may not have growth hormones in it but it still causes all the diseases of allergies, asthma, cancer, bronchitis, colds, skin rashes, heart diseases, osteoporosis, and colic in infants . Why? Pasteurization is the process of heating milk to high temperatures (145 degrees) thus destroying all of the vitamins (B12, B6), calcium, enzymes, antibodies, fatty acids and killing the beneficial bacteria that help with digestion. These fatty acids help fight cancer.
According to Dr. Tom Cowan, M.D. author of Raw Milk (www.realmilk.com/raw.html) “Studies have shown that before heating, milk is a living food rich in colloidial minerals and enzymes necessary for the absorption and utilization of sugars, fats and minerals in milk. For example, milk has an enzyme called phosphates that allows the body to absorb the calcium from the milk. Butterfat has a cortisone-like factor which is heat sensitive (destroyed by heat) that prevents stiffness in the joints, preventing arthritis.” So if you kill these beneficial enzymes, you are going to see osteoporosis, as minerals cannot be absorbed and sugars cannot be digested (allergies). Lactase is an enzyme that allows for the digestion of lactose so without this you will see lactose-intolerance, and fats which are toxic. Also, if you kill off the enzymes, the pancreas works harder to produce digestive enzymes, thus leading to diabetes (Sally Fallon, Nourishing Traditions).
Homogenization is another process that breaks down butterfat globules so that they do not rise to the top. Remember the olden days when milk was delivered in glass bottles to your doorstep with cream on the top. Well, people didn’t like the way this separation looked. Mechanically homogenized milk has been linked to heart disease by scarring the blood vessels leading to increased cholesterol.
So there you have it. You are left with a white, nutritionless, dead substance much like……glue. But it’s organic though! But wait, now they will add synthetic calcium and synthetic Vitamin D, because they’ve killed it off and it’s good for your bones. (By the way, your body doesn’t absorb synthetic vitamins well) That’s what fortified means.
Now where can we go from here? Raw milk contains all of the 20 standard amino acids along with beneficial bacteria, and sixty plus fully intact and functional enzymes. Raw milk contains CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated omega 6 fatty acid which has many health benefits such as raising the metabolic rate, strengthening the immune system, lowering food allergy reactions and is also a cancer-fighting agent among other things. It also contains lactoferrin, which is an iron binding protein for improved absorbtion of iron and also anti-cancer properties. Raw milk contains vitamins and minerals including calcium which has many health benefits in itself including reduction in cancer, decreased risk of osteoporosis, higher bone mineral density, strong teeth and lowered risk of kidney stones. Raw milk contains good bacteria called probiotics which are able to destroy any harmful pathogens. These probiotics are destroyed during pasteurization making your body more susceptible to dangerous bacteria. Keep in mind that you will have to find a farm where the bacteria count is constantly being monitored for pathogens.
Let’s take this a step further; even better than cow’s milk is raw goat’s milk. Goat’s milk is similar to mother’s milk and is highly digestible . The molecules in goat’s milk are 1/5th the size of cow’s milk, making for superior digestibility. If the large fat molecule in cow’s milk is too big to digest, you get residue in the body which causes allergies, lactose intolerance, etc.
Take a look at this chart from Fiasco Farm (www.fiascofarm.com). Molly Laffe has done a nutritional breakdown of goat’s milk and it’s comparison to cow’s milk and human milk. Goat’s milk contains more essential fatty acids and higher short chain fatty acids than cow’s milk, which makes this easier to digest. The fat content (butterfat) which contains vitamins A & D is needed for the assimilation of calcium and protein in the water fraction of the milk. Without them, protein and calcium are more difficult to utilize and possibly toxic. Butterfat is rich in short and medium chain fatty acids which protect against diseases and stimulate the immune system. It contains glycospringolipids and conjugated linoleic acid which has strong anticancer properties (Campaign for Raw Milk website—www.westonprice.com ).
Goat’s milk provides 13 % more calcium, 25 % more vitamin B-6, 47 % more Vitamin A, 134 % more Potassium, and 350 % more Niacin than cow’s milk. Goat milk is higher in chloride, copper and manganese and none of the controversial rBGH. (Goat management: Alternatives in Dairy Goat Product Market by George F.W. Haenlein, Cooperative Extension Dairy Specialist, University of Delaware).
Finally, keep in mind, you really don’t need that much cow or goat milk in general. Everything should be in moderation. Check out T. Collin Cambell’s PhD, “The China Study”. He conducted one of the most comprehensive studies known as the Oxford-Cornell China Project. This study lasted almost 30 years and examined disease and dietary lifestyle in approximately 6,500 adults and children. The main finding was that higher protein diets led to more disease and earlier death rates. He also stated that casein, the protein in milk is linked to high rates of disease, while those who ate the least amount of animal protein lived longer.
So you can see drinking milk doesn’t do a body good. So where do you get your calcium, you ask?
Trust me, if you drink pasteurized milk, you are not getting calcium. It is degraded in the heating process. You are basically taking a synthetic supplement added into it. We get most of our calcium, protein and minerals through plant based greens. For example: 1 pound of kale has more protein than recommended by the USRDA per day. One cup of collard greens has more calcium in it than 1 cup of skim milk. Spinach, kale, mustard greens, turnip greens, cabbage, sea vegetables, and brocolli are all excellent sources of calcium. In her book, Green for Life, Victoria Boutenko states that greens provide protein in the form of individual amino acids. These amino acids are easier for the body to utilize than complex proteins. Look at her charts for calcium, protein and minerals. You’ll see the astounding calcium in kale, lambsquarters , parsley, turnip greens and beet greens. For example, there is 117mg of calcium in beet tops per 100 grams. She goes on to state that greens are the primary food group that match human nutritional needs most completely. Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of “Eat to Live” states, “ Even physicians and dieticians….are surprised to learn that…when you eat large quantities of green vegetables, you receive considerable amounts of protein.”
According to Donna Gates, author of “The Bodyecology Diet,” “Scientists are now saying that we really shouldn’t call it lactose-intolerance because this term implies that you have an abnormality when less than 40% of us retain the ability to digest lactose beyond childhood. Basically, 60% of us do not retain the ability to digest dairy. Of the 40% of us that do have a genetic mutation that allows us to digest milk, 90% are Northern Europeans. However, only 50% of Mediterraneans and as little as 5% of Asians are able to digest it. So when you say you are lactose intolerant, I guess this means we are probably normal. We were not meant to digest a cow’s fat milk molecule.
Let’s take it a step further. Fermented dairy products like kefir, and yogurt are a wonderful addition to health. Kefir is a fermented dairy beverage with ancient roots. It has many probiotics, which means it adds beneficial bacteria and good yeast to help maintain a healthy gut. Kefir doesn’t bother people who are lactose intolerant. The friendly bacteria and yeast growing in the kefir consumes most of the lactose (milk sugar) during the fermentation process. Kefir is far more effective than yogurt at colonizing your intestines. Traditional yogurt does not contain the same lactobacillus and yeast as milk kefir. In fact, you can make it yourself.
I know a lot of families who give their kids huge amounts of milk thinking that they will grow bigger…..and yes, you do grow bigger, artificially bigger, along with all of the other ailments I mentioned. For example: My parents are 5’3 and 5’8. I am 5’3½ and my brother is almost 6 foot (5’11”). For my culture and lineage, my height is correct. People joke that immigrants come here (we are from India), and grow bigger than their ancestors. Well it’s because if you are assimilating and eating the SAD (Standard American Diet), you are artificially grown because you are not correct for your lineage. My brother has always loved milk as a child and drank copius amounts of it. He is always getting sick and has digestives issues including lactose intolerance to this day. I on the other hand may be smaller, but genetically correct for my lineage, and I rarely get sick (I have never really liked milk). So you can see, bigger is not always better and milk does not do a body good.
In summary, avoid all pasteurized dairy products, (milk, ice cream, cream cheese, cheese, etc). Drink only raw grass fed cow or raw goat’s milk ( in my opinion, goat is better, but you will have to get Vit E and folate from another source as it is low in goat’s milk), or drink kefir and drink it in moderation. Get most of your calcium and protein from green (plant-based) nutrition. The way we consume large amounts of greens in our family is through green smoothies and salads. We also take good amounts of healthy fats (cod liver oil, bone broth, butter, ghee, olive oil, avocado’s, walnuts), as without these, your body cannot assimilate the vitamins and minerals from the greens.
SIDE NOTE: You must be careful when using raw milk. You must know your farmer and the bacterial counts. It is hard to find raw milk in the state of California. We recently had 3 babies in our office have severe diarrhea and bloody stools due to consuming raw goat’s milk. There are parasites, so do not take this lightly. I would recommend it for an older child who has good gut microbiomes. I also would recommend a probiotic supplement. The benefits of raw grass fed milk are huge but there are also the safety concerns.