MYTH: “Milk and dairy build strong bones.”
The most powerful industry in America is the dairy industry, earning over $50 billion and spending over $200 million annually to spread the lie that dairy products nutrition is necessary for human children’s health. They’re smart enough to target mothers (and they started, very successfully, with our grandmothers), because they can create habits for life if a child is drinking cow’s milk at an early age.
So the revelation:
our mothers were conned! The idea that the milk of another species is an appropriate and necessary source of calcium is a serious thinking error that has led to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and autoimmune disease in epic numbers. Statistics today show that the U.S. has the highest rate of osteoporosis (and massive dental decay, despite the best dental-care system) in the world. Clearly drinking milk is not leading to strong bones and teeth.
Colin T. Campbell, PhD, one of the most preeminent nutrition researchers in the world, conducted the most comprehensive, longitudinal research study in history (still ongoing) known as the Oxford-Cornell China Project. The New York Times dubbed it “the Grand Prix of Epidemiology.” Published in 2004, The China Study examined dietary habits and disease rates in 6,500 adults in China over almost 30 years. Campbell started with animal studies duplicated by other researchers all over the world and progressed to his enormous human population.
The researchers documented massive evidence that casein (the protein in milk) is linked to high rates of disease when ingested at a rate of 20% of the diet, which is the American average. He documents very low rates of those same diseases in subjects eating only 5% or less animal protein. The protein in all the studies, animal and human, was casein. Eight thousand statistically significant correlations resulted from this study. (“Statistically significant” means the likelihood the finding is due to chance is less than 5%.) These findings definitively debunk American mothers’ nutrition beliefs that feeding their children dairy products will build strong bones and good health.
Human calcium deficiency diseases are extremely rare for those on natural diets. Our need for calcium is relatively low, in fact, and mothers needn’t worry about pushing on their children massive amounts of cow’s milk (often genetically modified and full of hormones and antibiotics).
Some savvy mothers will feed their children a little raw goat’s milk and homemade goat yogurt as they wean them from breast milk—it more closely resembles human breast milk. It also has a smaller fat molecule that permeates the human semi-permeable membranes without being mucus-forming. Additionally, fermented milk proteins like kefir and yogurt are predigested and cause few problems even for the lactose intolerant. Be aware that Dr. Campbell reminds us that his research did not address goats’ milk—so we’ll want to practice moderation even with it.
Cow milk’s large fat molecule is acid- and mucus-forming in humans; thus we’re all “lactose intolerant” to one degree or another. Our grandparents, with their strong genetics, withstood it well. Unfortunately, our own children with three generations of weakened genetics, aren’t doing well. When we see a child with green snot running from his nose, we wish we could in some socially acceptable way beg his mother to get her child off cow’s milk (which would probably go over like a lead balloon).
Mothers who ARE open to this advice, though, have reported that the mucous problems disappeared as they eliminated dairy products from their families’ diets—related athsma and allergies dramatically decreased as well. (Eliminating or seriously decreasing sugar at the same time, as well, is a very wise idea. It, too, is highly acid—and therefore mucous-forming. )
Baby humans need human breast milk until their eyeteeth come in at about 18 months (at which time they begin producing digestive enzymes to break down table food). Only baby cows need cow milk
. Nothing replaces human breast milk for infants 0-18 months. The best alternative, if breastfeeding is impossible, is raw goat milk (and definitely not
soy milk). Get your
calcium from leafy greens — dairy products nutrition is bioavailable to cows but not
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