Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Deceptive Dairy Debate...

You hear a lot these days about dairy being bad for you. It's a pretty hot topic among health food people. However, most of the research is done on pasteurized milk and not raw milk from grass-fed cows. I feel like it's hard to compare the two milks. I am a believer in raw milk, you know, but I'm still interested in the arguments against dairy. So, here are some of the arguments against milk and my rebuttal.

#1 - Humans were not meant to drink cow milk. Cow milk is for cows, not people.
Yeah, well sunflower seeds are meant to grow sunflowers, potatoes are a root of a potato plant, and tomatoes are the ovary of a tomato plant. Can anyone think of a food whose sole purpose is human consumption? I can think of only one. Breast milk.

#2 - Osteoporosis rates actually increase in countries that drink a lot of dairy, so the calcium in milk does not lower the risk of osteoporosis.
The FDA recommends that adults drink low-fat or fat-free dairy products. Calcium, like many nutrients, cannot be absorbed without FAT. So, even though there may be "100%" of the calcium you need in an 8 ounce glass of milk, if you are drinking skim milk, none of that gets absorbed. You need whole, preferably raw, milk in order to reap the rewards of the calcium. So, my argument is that any old milk does not equal calcium absorption, only whole milk does.

#3 - Milk causes cancer.
Powdered milk is a carcinogen. Skim milk and 2% milk contain powdered milk. In fact, even commercial whole milk can contain powdered milk. Gross.

#4 - What's good for a baby cow may not be good for a human.
Okay. I'll give a little on this one. This may very well be true. However, milk has been a staple of the human diet since the dawn of history. Even in the Bible, God tells the Israelites that the Promised Land is a land flowing with milk and honey, signifying that the land would be full of prosperity and health. Historically, dairy has been central in many cultures. Grass-fed raw milk contains an almost perfect ratio of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids for human consumption.

Even if cow milk isn't a perfect food for humans, it's still way better than man created alternatives: pasteurized skim milk (carcinogenic), soy milk (filled with estrogen and most of it is GMO), margarine (filled with transfat), soy cheese (eww), etc. Raw milk from grass-fed, pastured cows who are treated humanely and allowed live the way God intended for them to live produce an incredibly nutritious gift for us to consume. Let's stop criticizing milk and begin criticizing the dairy industry, the government, and the food marketers who have led us to believe that they can create a better product than the cow utter.


1 comment:

  1. I think about the milk arguments a lot, mainly because Jackson and Kyle drink so much of it. I've been buying Organic but know that it's probably not any safer really. This is not an argument against your decision to uses grass-fed cows' milk, but I am really curious (and know you've done a lot of research)...how do you know that you can trust that those cows have really only been fed grass? And another thing I've wondered...because I too know that you must have fat for calcium absorption, but it seems like a catch 22. Obviously, if I were to drink whole milk all the time, I'd be as big as a barn. Too much fat is also a bad thing, so how do you balance it all? These are questions I think about often. I admire you for doing the research and sticking to what you believe in. I always try to make good decisions for Jackson since he has no say in what he is given. It is MUCH harder to cook with fresh ingredients, and sometimes I cringe when I'd rather take the easy way out, but I just remind myself all the time that it's worth it in the end. I don't always do the right things, but I think as long as you do most of the time--you're good.

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