As a family we have always enjoyed dairy as what I thought was a rather important part of our diet. Even if it I thought it wasn’t important it would have still had a place in our fridge just because we enjoy consuming it. Milkshakes, cheese and bikkies, yoghurt, milk in our coffee, it is such a normal part of life. Not so long ago, before I knew what I know now I would have never thought that I would be working towards cutting dairy out of my family’s diet. Here’s why:
- Dairy is not a good source of calcium: Yes it contains calcium, but for it to be absorbed, calcium needs vitamin D and equal amounts of magnesium to be absorbed. Milk has very little magnesium or vitamin D so most of the calcium is unused by our bodies. http://www.enerex.ca/en/articles/calcium-to-magnesium-ratio
- Dairy weakens your bones: Everything we consume creates a certain PH level in our bodies. We need an alkaline environment to have a state of good health, when our bodies are acidic, we are vulnerable to disease. Dairy is one food which creates an acid environment in your body. To counteract this, your body will leach out calcium from your bones to neutralise it. It seems no co-incidence that the countries which consume the most dairy have the highest rates of osteoporosis. http://actualcures.com/bone-loss-calcium-vitamin-low-ph.html A good ph level food chart: http://www.drscottgraves.com/naturopathic/alkaline-acid-diet/
- Dairy may cause cancer: Casein, the protein in milk, has been proven to promote cancer. In ‘The China Study’ Dr, Colin Campbell fed 2 groups of rats either a 5% or 20% amount of casein in their diets. The 20% group ALL developed liver cancers… and subsequently lost the cancers as the casein was decreased back down to 5%. This was continued and used almost like an on/off switch for the cancer as the casein was increased and decreased. There are people trying to disprove this theory. Personally, I’d rather not take the chance if there is evidence like that supporting that it is true. 1 in 4 people get diagnosed with cancer these days. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_China_Study_(book)
- The inhumane treatment of dairy cows: I cut meat out of my diet 6 or 7 months ago and decided at the time to keep dairy in my diet because dairy is not a dead animal. Now I have learned that this does not mean the dairy industry is nothing short of abominable when it comes to the treatment of their cows. The cows get artificially inseminated every year. When born, the baby gets taken away within 12-24 hours, breaking the already strong bond between mother and baby. The mother frantically bellows for her baby which she will never see again. Dairy calves are considered a ‘waste product’ when they are not required for herd replacement and their meat is substandard to beef cows so they are not used as veal. The baby then endures fear, bewilderment, rough handling and hunger as he gets transported to the slaughterhouse, and waits to be killed. The mother is then left to a life of sorrow and agony from mutilation, the milking machines, ligament problems, mastitis and general mistreatment and then has to repeat the heartbreaking baby procedure over and over while the milk intended for her babies goes to us. Please read more: http://www.animalsaustralia.org/factsheets/dairy_cows.php
- Pus and blood and other stuff: You may or may not be aware or care that there is blood and pus in your milk but it puts me off quite a bit. Because of the extra hormones the cows are injected with (which are passed on to us) they produce 10 times more milk than they naturally would for their calves. This leads to a lot of mastitis in the cow’s udders. It is an infection of the breast tissue. This delivers pus and blood to our milk. We also get the antibiotics that the cows get injected with to counteract all the infection and disease they are so susceptible to… which is a whole other problem altogether! This is no secret, google it and there are a lot of results, they just don’t include this information in the marketing campaigns:
‘Got milk?’should be ‘Got pus, blood, hormones and antibiotics?’ P.S. Pasteurisation does kill the cells, but does not remove them, you still have up to 100 million dead pus cells floating around in one glass of milk. Different areas have different standards but any is too much if you ask me. http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/how-many-pus-cells-are-in-your-milk http://www.livingsafe.com.au/food/262-milk-lactose-intolerance-and-more
- More reasons: Dairy is linked with iron deficiency, anemia, allergies, diarrhea, heart disease, colic, cramps, gastrointestinal bleeding, sinusitis, skin rashes, acne, increased frequency of colds and flues, arthritis, diabetes, ear infections, osteoporosis, asthma, autoimmune diseases, and more, possibly even lung cancer, multiple sclerosis and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. http://www.livingsafe.com.au/food/262-milk-lactose-intolerance-and-more
- And the environment: Dairy cows produce a lot of methane, drink a lot of water, take up a lot of land and do a lot of poo. Very bad for our environment. http://www.animalsaustralia.org/factsheets/dairy_cows.php
Just want to say I think ghee, which is clarified butter from pasture fed cows, and probiotics from cultured yoghurt is good for you but this does not help those poor cows. I will talk about ways to get probiotics from other sources and why they are so important in a future post.
Well, I hope this gives you something to think about, and lots of useful links for further reading to get you on your way if you are thinking it makes sense to give dairy the flick. Feedback is welcome, but if you disagree, please keep it courteous. I’m writing this with good intentions to help people make educated decisions about their and their family’s health and to provide awareness about the treatment of dairy cows. I did not know any of this a few months ago. I’m glad I do now. I know more people would want to know too so I’m keeping the momentum happening. Please do not think you have to cut all dairy out all at once immediately. That might be too daunting. Great if you decide to but making small changes was the way we went and it is working for us. With 2 kids I was feeling overwhelmed at such a big dietry change. But I’ll get there soon.
During our transitional stage I have been buying our dairy in smaller quantities from the local farmers markets. The milk is organic and the cows have better lives, eat grass, less disease, but their babies still get taken away at 2 weeks old and usually are slaughtered and I don’t want to be a part of that, especially to consume a product which is not good for me. There are also plenty of dairy alternatives these days so you can still enjoy most of the favourite meals you are used to.
Another article with different information on the regular milk from supermarkets: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/skip-milk-5-reasons-why.html?page=1
Please, please watch Earthlings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ce4DJh-L7Ys
Other good viewing: Food Inc, Food Matters, Forks Over Knives, Vegucated.
Have a look here to browse non dairy sources of calcium: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-6611/Top-Sources-of-PlantBased-Calcium-Infographic.html
A great website whose recipes are all non dairy and also gluten-free and have no preservatives. I have the kids recipe book, it is fantastic. http://www.cutoutthecrap.com.au/
Lots of recipes which I think look beautiful: http://www.godairyfree.org/dairy-free-recipes
A great Facebook page i follow, The Bloody Dairy Industry: http://www.facebook.com/#!/BloodyDairy?fref=ts