Founder: For a World We Choose Fdtn.
Eliot Jay Rosen LISW, ACSW
Director of For A World We Choose Foundation
A non-profit charitable and educational organization (501c3)
The author can be reached at:
Website: coming soon
Phone: 818 760-6762
Fax: 818 769-8810
"Got milk?" is the alluring refrain from the latest dairy industry effort to streamline milk's image by associating it with the very pulse of the 90's: The cellulite-free, leotarded aerobics instructor with knockout sex-appeal who owes it all to the "perfect food"---milk.
Personally, I liked the dairy industry's last Madison Avenue jingle better---"Milk does a body good." Unfortunately, millions of consumers have no idea of the full story, the pros and cons, as to whether "milk does a body good," or "milk does a body in (for good)."
Before I launch into what may seem like an unwarranted attack on this most hallowed sacred cow of our society---the very liquid with which we wash down the homemade apple pie that Mom baked with lots of TLC---please indulge me as I to bring some perspective to this multi-million dollar "white moustache" ad campaign.
Let's start with the basics. What IS milk? According to Webster's dictionary, milk is a "fluid secreted by the mammary glands of females for the nourishment of THEIR young." If this then is Nature's original design---the suckling of its own young---can you think of any species other than human and humanly domesticated animals that continues to drink milk (of another species no less) after the age of weaning? The correct answer is "no."
My search for a "non-white washed" information continued in the Santa Monica, California Yellow Pages, which yielded the names of hundreds of physicians of all specialties. I let my fingers do the walking to the heading, "Nutritional/Allergy." With a few false starts, I found a physician that would take time out from his busy practice to speak with me. When Dr. Lazlo Belenyessy greeted me in his medical office, he looked both healthy and distinquished, a lot like actor Ricardo Montalban except for his prominent Hungarian accent. His candor impressed me when he said, "Nowadays, the people know that doctors are not gods." He went on to say that "ten years from now, those doctors that do not use nutrition or preventative medicine will have a hard time finding patients. Today, M.D.'s that use nutrition as their primary specialty are sometimes blacklisted by their fellow physicians."
Dr. Belenyessy then told me that for a baby cow, cow's milk was an excellent food, and though he doesn't advise against the use of milk for all of his patients, he doesn't recommend dairy products for general consumption due to the fact that many people have varying degrees of undiagnosed allergic reactions to dairy products. He said that milk in particular is mucus-forming, thus contributing to stuffy noses, runny eyes and upper respiratory problems. The good doctor explained that many people cannot digest milk sugar (lactose), and that if one insists on using dairy products, one should use yogurt since some of the beneficial bacteria present in yogurt aids in lactose digestion.
He also said that casein, the protein found in milk, is extremely hard to digest for many people. I later found out that that casein is a white, chalky, paste-like material that is used as a major ingredient in making Elmer's Glue. It is no wonder that Elmer's Glue is owned and operated by Borden's Milk Company!
Leaving the doctor's office, my real homework began as I scoured through numerous medical journals, library searches and health books. I read horror stories about how the dairy industry has been conducting an incredible cover-up of misleading advertising campaigns&emdash;all in the name of strong bones and teeth. Upon reflection, why should we be surprised&emdash;in a society where nearly 49% of the population is fixated on the mammaries of Dolly Parton, I could see that with some master-mind public relations, clever advertising copywriters and privately funded research scientists on the payroll, that it was entirely possible to transfer this "Dolly fixation" to the mammaries of Elsie the Cow. Not only was it possible, but it seems they've succeeded&emdash;despite the udderly (forgive me) milk-curdling results of published scientific studies which I cite in abbreviated form:
--- A study of 30-year duration by Dr. Svartz of Stockholm that correlated the presence of a germ found in milk with 80% of the rheumatoid arthritis patients.
--- According to Dr. Jellifer of the World Health Organization, in the early weeks in the life of an infant, the intestinal wall is extremely permeable, allowing foreign protein from cow's milk to pass through into the blood stream in an undigested state. This often sets up the conditions for a lifetime of allergies and related syndromes, including milk-induced colitis and even sudden crib death from allergic reactions to cow's milk.
--- Dr. Davies of the Institute Of Child Health in London states that babies bottlefed with cow's milk may suffer from hardening of the arteries and high blood pressure later in life, leading to coronary heart disease.
--- Dr. Babson observed that on a diet high in casein, the major source being dairy, some forms of cancer grew five times as fast.
--- The prestigious journal "Science" reported that based on a large body of evidence now available, there in fact is NO relationship between calcium intake and bone density. In fact, dairy products exacerbates the problem in that dairy is naturally high in protein and actually promotes osteoporosis. This is because high protein consumption causes greater amounts of calcium to be excreted in the urine. The amino acids in protein increases blood acidity, and the body pulls calcium from the bones to neutralize this acidity. Supporting this protein/osteoporosis connection, a University of Florida study found that vegetarian women had greater bone density and less calcium excretion than omnivores.
--- That the process of milk pasteurization came into being not merely as an attempt to protect against diseases found in raw milk, but from the need of large dairy concerns to increase shelf-life and the distance milk could be delivered before spoiling&emdash;hence increasing profits.
--- Investigations reveal that the claims that pasteurization makes milk sterile of dangerous organisms is false. Many types of streptococci, b. coli, undulant fever germs, etc. can all live quite well at pasteurization temperatures. The fact that this heat treatment destroys live elements such as enzymes and vitamins shows either a disregard or ignorance of the superior nutritional value of these nutritional elements.
--- Milk is touted as being high in calcium and protein, but after heat treatment, the fragile molecular structure of both protein and calcium molecules are severely damaged, thus seriously decreasing the assimilation of the once more absorbable calcium and proteins&emdash;which are actually quite low at only 3%.
--- Because cows are allowed to graze on pesticide-sprayed pastures and are given chemicalized feed, antibiotics and hormones, the concentration of pesticides, strontium 90, iodine 131, bio-recycled antibiotics and hormones that end up in milk are at unacceptable levels in terms of daily intake cumulatively over time.
--- Research conducted at Loma Linda University in California with 300 meat-eaters, 300 lacto-vegetarians and 300 complete vegetarians (vegans) showed that the complete vegetarians had the most balanced and healthiest health profiles, including the lowest amount of "bad" cholesterol.
--- Nowadays, more and more people suffer from digestive weaknesses due to low stomach acid (hypochlorhydria). According to Dr. Jonathan Wright, former Prevention Magazine columnist, people with weakened digestive capacity are particularly vulnerable to the effects of milk products, especially after 30 years of age.
--- Finally, but of utmost importance, is the experience of thousands of health care practitioners and health seekers who report the disappearance of many ailments upon the exclusion of dairy products. Dr. Norman Walker, who practiced medicine for over 70 years until he died at the age of 106, explained that pathogenic organisms find an ideal breeding ground in the excess mucus that dairy products generate. He cites the following diseases as being aggravated or caused by mucus conditions in which dairy products is the major offender: Undulent fever, colds, flu, bronchial troubles, tuberculosis, asthma, certain types of arthritis, hay fever, sinus trouble and pneumonia.
--- If, despite the above-listed research, you still choose to drink milk&emdash;for whatever reason&emdash;here are some helpful guidelines:
- Disregard the scare tactics and negative propaganda fostered by pasteurized milk interests&emdash;only use raw milk products, but make sure they come from clean healthy cows and certified dairies.
- Drink milk with respect, which means "drink it alone, or leave it alone"&emdash;milk does not mix well with other foods.
- Do not "guzzle down" milk as if it was water&emdash;salivate milk in your mouth (Follow the health law, "Chew liquid foods, liquefy solid foods," for Mother Nature castigates those who do not masticate!)
Based on a combination of all these factors, it is would be hard to deny that there isn't a substantial risk involved in consuming dairy products. And it's good to remember that from a nutritional standpoint, there is nothing irreplaceable or magical about the nutrients found in milk and dairy products&emdash;in fact, they can be found in greater abundance in many other non-animal, plant-based sources.
After this preliminary research was completed, I admit I was overripe for a debate as I dialed up the Dairy Council of California. With as much neutrality in my voice as I could fake, I wanted to create an open dialogue between a physician-led citizen's group and the California Dairy Council. Throughout the heated 45 minute discussion that followed, I was shocked---not so much from what I heard, but from what I didn't hear acknowleged: It wasn't that the dairy industry nutritionist to whom I was speaking disagreed with me, but she had never been exposed to any research on the negative effects and properties of dairy products. It really peeved me at the thought that dairy industry nutritionists like her (nothing personal towards this well-meaning but underinformed soul) were teaching schools and hospitals a one-sided version of the glories of milk, and perpetrating the lingering myth of the four basic food groups, even though recent improvements have been made in food group design. But let's be realistic, to expect the Dairy Council to objectively teach the full story of the health risks of dairy foods would be like asking a liquor chain to represent the temperance movement!
Speaking for myself, based on the my own experience as a former heavy milk drinker in childhood and my research as an adult in the health field, I am too much of a COWard to use dairy products anymore. I suggest the following substitutes for pasteurized dairy products (in this order):
- Non-dairy seed-milks, nut yogurts and seed cheeses (Viktoras Kulvinskas' book, Survival into the 21st Century, and Dr. Gabriel Cousens' book, Conscious Eating, both have recipes for these preparations)
- Soy or rice-based "milks" if they agree with you.
- Raw goat's yogurt, milk or cheese, which are much closer to human mother's milk in nutritional profile than cow's milk)
Whether my strong opinions on dairy products milk wins general acceptance in society remains to be seen. However, the state of affairs that allow unquestioned, partial truths to be disseminated in masse to undereducated consumers is the larger issue at hand. So how can we better alert the unsuspecting consumer to the dangers of blind consumption? I don't know, but I know that it won't happen until the well-being of the members of our society is treasured above the present overriding concern for profits.
In conclusion, despite the fact that there are hundreds of people who drink milk for every one who abstains, does not lend support to the wisdom of this practice. The checkered past of humanity's blind spots in almost every field of endeavor show that the majority have been wrong time and time again. There is no organized conspiracy to undermine the health of the American public, only self-seeking (at best, marginally well-meaning) interests like the dairy industry that have time and again chosen profits over providing us better nourishment. Perhaps they have unwittingly transformed America, this land of milk and honey, into a land of milk and money.
Health food stores have soy and rice based milks that resemble milk in taste but do not have the risk-factors of milk. Please note that these dairy substitutes are not to be used as a infant formula.
Or you can make your own almond milk at home. See below recipe.
Almond Milk Recipe
Soak whole raw almonds overnight. Pour off soak water. Remove hulls by blanching almonds in boiling water for one minute. Drain and pinch off hulls. Put blanched almonds in blender with sweetener (honey, barley malt, etc.) and add water to desired consistency. You can put a touch of vanilla extract or cinammon for added flavor. If you throw in a banana into the blender, you no longer have almond milk&emdash;technically, you've just created a "smoothie."
To learn more, please write or call:
Center For Science in the Public Interest
1755 S. Street. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009
Eliot Jay Rosen