The Dairy Debate

Eight Reasons to Avoid Dairy Products

1. Hormones – Naturally present hormones in cow’s milk are stronger than hormones in human bodies. Cows are also routinely given steroids and other hormones to plump them and increase milk production. These hormones can disrupt our natural hormonal balance.

2. Bovine diet – Commercial cow feed contains ingredients that include genetically modified corn, GM soy, animal products, chicken manure, cottonseed, pesticides and antibiotics.

3. Acid-forming – Dairy products are acidic. The calcium in bones is alkaline and our body takes the calcium from your body to combat excessive acidity related to your dairy intake. Over time, your bones can become fragile with too much acidic food, including dairy products.

4. Pasteurization – This process destroys vitamins, proteins, and enzymes, which assist with the digestion process. Milk then becomes harder to digest, causing inflammation and diarrhea.

5. Mucous-forming – Dairy products can contribute to respiratory disorders like bronchitis, sinus troubles and asthma. Hay fever and seasonal allergies are also exacerbated by dairy.

6. Homogenization – Most milk is homogenized (fixed so it does not separate). This process denatures milk’s proteins, making it harder to digest. Many people’s bodies react to the proteins as though they are “foreign invaders” causing their immune systems to overreact.

7. Pesticides – found in cow feed make their way into the dairy products we consume.

8. Added sugar – Low and nonfat commercial dairy products have been stripped of their whole nutrients and replaced with added sugars and vitamins.

What about raw milk?

Raw milk is a good option if you are still want to drink cows milk. The ideal raw milk is taken straight from animals fed only fresh, organic, green grass, rapidly cooled to somewhere around 36-38 degrees F and bottled. That’s it. No processing. Most milk produced today undergoes some form of processing before we drink it due to the conditions in which the cows are raised and fed.

Most people who are lactose intolerant find that raw milk is just fine – because all the enzymes are still intact.

A few things to remember if you decide to drink raw milk – know the source of your raw milk and make sure it is from grass-fed animals, preferably organic.
We all break down and digest foods differently, so choosing to drink raw milk is a personal choice. It may agree with some, but not with others. Experiment with it.

Consider these pros and cons to raw milk:

Pros

– Beneficial probiotic bacteria
– Enzymes that aid in digestion
– Abundance of vitamins, including vitamin C
– Is heavily regulated
– Has all eight essential amino acids

Cons
– Consuming an animal product instead of a vegan food
– Has potential for containing harmful bacteria
– Should not be used in cooking

What about raw milk versus fresh raw almond milk?

This is a personal choice. Try each of them for one week to a month and see how your body responds. Fresh almond milk is absolutely delicious, easy to make and it is surprisingly versatile. You can use almond milk on cereal, in milk shakes, warmed for lattes, fermented as a yogurt or made thick as a cream. You can make big batches and freeze the extra so you have it on hand. Plus, you will have pulp leftover to use in breads, crackers and other dehydrated staples.

Raw cow’s milk has all the enzymes and essential amino acids that your body needs. It has a slew of vitamins and minerals in it including calcium and protein. It is still acidic. Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon gives great insight into the history and tradition of drinking raw milk. For more information on raw milk refer to this websites: http://www.realmilk.com/ppt/index.html

Raw vegan almond milk has the essential fatty acids you need and protein, but no amino acids or calcium. It will help you lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol and it has Vitamin E, an antioxidant. Almond milk is lactose free and doesn’t involve animals and has flavonoids that helps protect the heart.

Cooked almond milk that you buy at the store is completely different than fresh almond milk. It has been pasteurized, and nutrients have been added to give it a similar nutritional profile to pasteurized cows milk. Boxed almond milk does not taste nearly as good as fresh raw almond milk. As with anything processed, the ingredients are not as high quality. Boxed almond milk has been heated, encased in plastic and come from a manufacturing plant rather than directly from the ground.

As you buy raw almonds to make almond milk, know that many almonds in the market are label as raw when they are not. Buy raw almonds from a farmer at the farmers market, or from a place like Whole Foods Market that labels their almonds accurately.

by Krissa Schwartz & Heather Haxo Phillips

2 Comments

  1. sunshine
    Posted April 6, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Please also consider raw goat’s milk. it is easier digestible and even richer in vitamins, minerals and enzymes. also, it is a great alternative for babies that cannot be breastfed since the protein structure is closer to the human milk than cow’s milk!

  2. Myroon halpern
    Posted April 6, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for confirming my milk education. I love almond milk and start making freah!!

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