We’ve all been taught that drinking milk makes for strong teeth and bones by providing a rich source of bio-available calcium. If this is the case, then why do world health statistics show that osteoporosis is most common in exactly those countries where dairy products are consumed in the largest quantities? The United States, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom consume the most dairy and have the highest number of cases of osteoperosis.
In 1983, the Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported the results of the largest study of this kind ever undertaken. Researchers in Michigan State and other major universities found that, by the age of 65 in the United States:
Male non-meat eaters had an average measurable bone loss of 3%
Male meat-eaters had an average measurable bone loss of 7%
Female non-meat eaters had an average measurable bone loss of 18%
Female meat-eaters had an average measurable bone loss of 35%
The above statistical data coorelates with the suggested findings that foods rich in phosphates (such as dairy and meat) acidify the blood pH which in turn causes the body to “steal” alkaline minerals (such as calcium) from the bones, thus decreasing bone density. The same situation also holds true if one drinks sodas or consume other products with more phosphorus than our bodies can naturally handle.
So what can be done if you need your dairy fix?
There are vast multitudes of great tasting, healthy, dairy-free alternatives that are easier to digest and healthier, as well as being better for the planet.
Almond milk is one of the most popular cow milk alternatives on the market. Rice milk also has an amazing taste. Most nut milks are fortified with vitamins and minerals and can actually provide you with more nutrients than cow’s milk. Being free of cholesterol, and low or free of saturated fats, nut milks won’t skyrocket your chances or getting Atherosclerosis the way dairy will.
Some other milk alternatives are hemp, oat, quinoa, and soy, (although soy is packed with lots of protein, it has also been shown to possibly disrupt hormonal balances in large quantities). Especially in the case of soy milk, be certain that your milk alternative is GMO free as GMO plants produce pesticides within their tissues. Organic is also the best way to go to prevent the drinking of spray pesticides and petroleum-based fertilizer contaminants.
Great tasting dairy alternatives don’t stop at milk however. Cheese, sour cream, yogurt, and butter all have wonderful, cholesterol-free alternatives that are not only made with good, heart-healthy ingredients; but taste amazing as well! When you use these products, your’e helping to protect not only your health; but the health of the Earth as well. Remember! All the world’s livestock produce more greenhouse gas than all the world’s cars, planes, ships, busses, airplanes, trains, and trucks COMBINED!
Dairy is made from the milk that is chemically and hormonally matched to that species’ baby. Not to us. A bovine calf grows extremely fast and is a very large animal in comparison to us. Cows are kept constantly pregnant via artificial insemination (for lifelong milk production) and their calves are instantly taken from their mothers upon birth. The baby calves are then fed a synthetic milk substitute derived from the blood of slaughtered cattle in order to save the milk for human consumption. They never know the touch of their mothers.
Apart from the horrific treatment of cattle, dairy is way too rich for us to process effectively. The FDA also approves a certain amount of pus & blood to drip into the milk due to overworked and diseased utters. Bon Appétit. Add this to the fact that animal milks have a high concentration of pesticides, heavy metals, herbicides, and other toxins from the “food” that they eat. Industrial cattle feed is an un-natural blend of “poultry litter” (chicken excrement, feathers, antibiotics, etc.), grains (which causes liver problems, acidosis, immune system deficiency (amongst other problems) and thus require the use of routine antibiotics) and ground up bone, eviscera, and blood from slaughtered cattle and other animals.
Many farmers are now also pumping their dairy cows full of sugar in the form of inexpensive candy meant for human consumption (e.g. ice cream sprinkles, hot chocolate powder, candy corn, etc.) as it increases milk production up to 3lbs of milk per cow, per day and is cheaper than corn.
Many dairies use the growth hormone rBGH to increase yields. This hormone has been linked to increased risk of cancers in humans. Finally, even organic milks in which the animals are free of antibiotics has a dark side to it. These animals suffer undue pain and infection because they are denied care and antibiotics to help heal their overworked, bloodied udders. So is antibiotic-free milk really better? Not for the animal. If you must drink milk, use it as sparingly as possible and go with goat. It has been shown to be easier to digest.
If you’re concerned about getting enough calcium in your diet, then try eating kale. Ounce-for-ounce, kale has over 70% of the bio-available calcium as 2% milk.
Here at Lydia’s we don’t use any dairy products in our food period.
Do your part and take a stand for our world. Avoid dairy.