I recently watched a re-run of the show, Frasier, where Roz is pregnant and has a meltdown after realizing that she’s run out of milk. “I’m going to be a terrible mother,” she cries to Frasier. Not knowing what’s upset her, Frasier tries to calm her down. Still aggravated, however; Roz storms to the kitchen and comes out shaking an empty milk carton saying, “See! Milk is a staple, and I ran out of it. My baby is doomed.”
As this Frasier episode shows, our society has bought into the idea that milk does a body good so much so that we believe it’s necessary for our health. When you stop to think about it, however; this is strange. Milk is produced by a mother to nurture her infant. When the baby no longer needs this rich form of nutrients, she’s weaned. End of story, except for humans, that is.
We’re the only animal that drinks milk after being weaned. What’s more, we’re the only animal that drinks another animal’s milk. Nature didn’t intend for this. Can you imagine a 20 or 30-year-old breast-feeding or suckling a cow’s tit? (Sorry for the creepy image) Yet we’ve bought into the belief that milk is good for us and that we must drink it for our health.
I used to believe this too, but now I’m convinced that drinking milk leads to disease. Many research studies and books have brought me to this conclusion. I was most moved by Colin Campbell’s, The China Study, which documents 27 years of research that culminated in Campbell’s conclusion that drinking too much milk promotes cancer growth. But don’t take my word for it, check out the research for yourself: http://www.notmilk.com/.
In addition to believing that milk is good for us, our society has bought into other milk myths as well. Here’s a few:
Myth 1: You can’t get enough calcium without eating dairy.
Reality: A diverse, plant-based diet is rich in calcium. Leafy green vegetables, nuts, oranges, many beans, whole grains, lentils, broccoli and tofu, for example, are great sources of calcium.
Myth 2: You need to drink milk to prevent osteoporosis.
Reality: If you look at the worldwide incidence of osteoporosis, it’s clear that this simply isn’t true. In regions of China, for example, where people consume little dairy, osteoporosis rates are low, whereas in Western countries where diets are high in dairy and calcium, osteoporosis is much more prevalent.
Myth 3: Drinking milk will help you to lose weight.
Reality: There has been a lot of talk lately that drinking milk helps you to lose weight, but milk critic, Robert Cohen, believes this is a dairy industry marketing ploy. “Yea, of course!” Cohen says, “You drink something with a lot of calories and a lot of fat in it with growth hormones, of course you’re going to lose weight!…A weight-loss product – that’s absurd!” For more of Cohen’s argument: http://www.naturalnews.com/002701.html.
Myth 4: Dairy cows live comfortable lives.
Reality: Cows only produce milk when they are nursing, so dairy cows are forced to have a calf every year, which is physically demanding. Further, a dairy cow is expected to produce 10 times more milk than she normally would. A cow cannot produce that much milk on a diet of grass, so she is given high energy feeds that lead to metabolic disorders which can be fatal or cause lameness. Because of their excessively stressful lives, dairy cows can only produce milk for a few years before they’re hung by their back legs and bled to death. For more info: http://nzdairy.webs.com/thelifeofadairycow.htm.
I appreciate anyone who takes the time to say hello! I love receiving your comments and questions, so please contact me. Email: celestedimilla(at)yahoo(dot)com (pardon this funky spelling…it helps prevent spam).
Image courtesy of Baby Loves to Travel.