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I hope you do, because if we listened to the Government and health authorities in most “rich” countries, milk is simply essential for health.
But is that really the case?
Is Your Milk Just Milk?
If you live in the US, you have access to milk that’s usually way cheaper than in Canada, and that’s produced very fast.
But this high-speed and low-cost business comes with a price: the toll it takes on the dairy cows’ health, and the contaminants it leaves in your milk.
Antibiotics: they are used across the board in dairy cattle, to make up for the fact that these animals’ immune systems are pretty affected by the crazy milk production they must sustain.
Do these antibiotics end up in your milk? The truth is that no one knows, not even the dairy farmers or the regulatory agencies.
That’s because milk is only tested for four to six antibiotics that are commonly used on dairy farms, while dairy farmers use many more drugs that are not regularly tested.
Pretty concerning, in my opinion.
Pesticides: to be as cost-efficient as possible, big factories feed their cattle commercially-grown grains instead of the grass diet they are supposed to eat.
Again, efficiency comes with a cost.
In the last years, the USDA’s Pesticide Data Program (PDP) found a dramatic increase in the number of hormone-disrupting pesticides found in milk.
Banned Hormones (rBGH, rBST and growth hormones): while Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Israel and all European Union countries turned down rBGH for approval on the grounds that it was not safe for animals, this hormone is still used in all 50 states to double the amount of milk a dairy cow can produce.
Because these hormones are not labeled, we can safely conclude all milk contains them unless proven otherwise.
Not only do these hormones cause 16 different harmful medical conditions to dairy cattle, they also increase the IGF-1 levels in the milk by at least 6 folds, which may increase risks of various cancers.
The Real Question: Can You Tolerate It?
Because commercial milk is pasteurized, most of the beneficial probiotics and enzymes naturally contained in its raw state are gone, making it hard to digest.
Actually, 60% of all adults simply can’t digest milk properly because they lack the proper enzyme to do so.
According to Chris Kresser, certain groups of people should also avoid milk:
- People who are allergic
- People with gluten intolerance (10-60% of the population depending on which expert you listen to)
- People with a damaged gut barrier (around 20% of the US population suffer from digestive diseases)
- People with small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
The above reasons explain why most people – in my own experience – report feeling better when they quit drinking milk. They could never digest it properly, and felt digestive distress and inflammation after every glass.
Is Raw Milk Better?
Let’s look at the facts:
- Raw milk usually comes from grass-fed cows and packs more of the natural fat burner CLA than regular milk
- Raw milk contains 66% more vitamin A, D and E
- Pasteurization renders certain nutrients ineffective – including copper, manganese, iron and B6
- The Weston A. Price Foundation conducted an informal survey of over 700 families and determined that over 80% of those diagnosed with lactose intolerance no longer suffer from symptoms after switching to raw milk
The bottom line – raw milk is more nutritious and is probably less likely to cause you digestive problems than the commercial pasteurized milk.
That brings us to the question… why is raw milk illegal in most states in the US and several other countries? Is it that dangerous?
According to many experts, growing evidence shows that fear about its safety might be totally unjustified.
Like any food on Earth, raw milk contains certain pathogens and can be a potential source of food-born illnesses. But has anyone ever taken the time to put things into perspective?
Considering the fact that raw milk is now consumed by more than 9.4 M people in the US alone and that there hasn’t been a single death related to raw milk consumption since the 1980’s – it seems like the raw milk scare is a big mess created by the milk industry and the media.
And in case the above didn’t convince you:
- Seafood is 29X more likely to make you sick than dairy
- Poultry is 15X more likely to make you sick than dairy
- Eggs is 13X more likely to make you sick than dairy
- Beef is 11X more likely to make you sick than dairy
- Pork is 8X more likely to make you sick than dairy
- Produce is 4X more likely to make you sick than dairy
So… Should You Drink Milk Or Not?
Like most foods, milk has its pros and cons.
Here are my personal recommendations after researching the subject thoroughly:
1) Only drink milk if you can tolerate it. Make sure you monitor your reactions closely, because a large majority of the population (me included) will have a hard time digesting it properly.
2) Because of all the contaminants that can be found in commercial milk, I highly suggest you only drink organic milk.
3) If you can legally buy raw milk, pour yourself a “cold one”. It’s a great alternative to the commercial-produced pasteurized milk and it’s probably safer than most other foods you already consume every day.
4) If you don’t drink milk, getting enough calcium is not has hard as the milk producers would like you to believe.
Eat plenty of broccoli, spinach, almonds and fish, and you’ll be fine.
Power to the consumer,
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