The consumption of milk began approximately 7,500 years ago in central Europe. Milk was seen to be a rich source of vitmains and minerals. People were struggling to get these nutrients from food due to harsh winters and crop failures. It has since evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry with ads and campaigns at bus stops, in schools, and on campuses — the most famous being Got Milk?
Celebrites are pictured with milk mushaches encouragnig people to drink milk to build strong bones. Does science show this to be true though? Do people who consume more milk really get less fractures and broken bones in comparison to non dairy milk-drinkers? Let’s find out!
Researchers in Sweden decided to see if this was in fact true. In a study of 100,000 men and women milk drinkers were seen to have higher rates of bone and hip fractures as well as increased rates of death, heart disease, and cancer for each glass of milk they consumed. This means that people who had 3-4 glasses a day had a significantly greater risk of these health concerns over people only drinking one glass per day.
Milk contains a sugar called D-galactose. This sugar has been shown to cause aging in animals. This makes sense considering the milk of a mother cow is meant to be consumed by her calf so that it can grow at rapid rates. So yes, if we have forgotten the evolutionary funtion of milk, it is meant for the offspring of that specific mammal to grow big and strong. Each mammal’s milk is customized with nutrients and minerals for the needs of that baby.
Does this mean that milk could contribute to obesity and other obesity related dieases? If cows milk is meant to turn a 70lb calf into a 1,000lb cow in a matter of 2 years what is that milk doing to our human body over the course of a lifetime? A cross secional study of over 9,300 children done in Germany found that children who were breast fed showed less prevalence of obseity the longer they were breast fed. The researchers concluded that prolonged breast feeding of children may help decrease the prevalence of obesity in children.
Obese children have a significant risk of being obese adults which also puts them at risk for cardiovasular disease, diabetes, and other weight related conditions.
There is also something else in milk that people are not normally aware of, pus. That’s right! Normally disguised as the ‘somatic cell count’ in research and publications, the pus in milk real and you’re drinking it! So where does it come from? Dairy cows are subject to non-stop poking, proding, and milking.
They are artificially inseminated, milked through pregnancy, and most of the time live in deplorable conditions increasing the risk for infection and disease. Once the calf is born it is taken from the mother and we drink the milk. Mal calves are used for veal and the females will end up just like their mothers. Mastitis, or udder infections, is the source of these pus cells in your milk. 1 in every 6 dairy cows is affected by this type of infection.3 Does this stastistic really matter when all of the milk goes into a large vat to be pasteurized?
Pasteurization is the dairy industry’s answer. Is this good enough though? Is drinking sanitized pus acceptable?
Plant and nut milks are safer, contain more than enough calcium, and are pus free! They contain no growth hormones that can interfere with yours or your children’s. They are less detrimental to the environment and they cause less pain and suffering for animals and humans alike. Try out a dairy alternative next time you go to the grocery store. There are a vraiety of types and flavors that everyone in your family will be sure to love!
K Michaelsson, A Wolk, S Langenskiold, S Basu, Warensjo Lemming, H Melhus, L Byberg. Milk intake and risk of mortality and fractures in women and men: cohort studies. BMJ. 2014 Oct 28;349:g6015.
von Kries Rüdiger, Koletzko Berthold, SauerwaldThorsten, von Mutius Erika, Barnert Dietmar, GrunertVeit et al. Breast feeding and obesity: cross sectional study BMJ 1999; 319 :147
Greger M. How much pus is there in milk? NutritionFacts.org. https://nutritionfacts.org/2011/09/08/how-much-pus-is-there-in-milk/. Accessed August 11, 2017.