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There is this idea that milk is healthy and beneficial and under certain conditions it can be. However, those conditions are currently illegal.
“Milk is good For You”
How many times have we heard that statement? We watch commercials and read research (put out by the dairy industry) that is designed to help us understand the importance of milk. As Milk ads make their way into popular magazines they get mixed in with our beliefs and then we walk away thinking that milk is a nutritional wonder food.
Think about what we’re told for a moment. As children it’s drilled in to us that we are to drink milk for strong, healthy bones and teeth. But in commercial milk we forget that the calcium is much harder to absorb.
In adulthood we are told that we should continue drinking milk to prevent brittle bones and other health problems. People who exercise are told that milk is a great recovery drink because of the balance of carbohydrates and protein, just what the body needs after training. But we forget that in commercial milk the very enzymes’ needed to digest milk are killed in the pasteurization. Funny how people who can’t tolerate commercial milk have no problems digesting raw milk?
Milk as we know it today is not the super food the industry would like us to believe it is. In fact, it is a beverage that is so filled with problems it can actually cause a host of illnesses. So when people drink milk as we know it – the kind that is found in supermarkets – it’s causing more harm than good.
What the Cows Eat
A cow’s natural diet is grass. Imagine changing the natural human diet from things that are hunted, fished and gathered to things that are processed and packaged. Oh wait, that’s happening everyday and the result is a lot of sick humans that have conditions ranging from heart disease to diabetes.
Changing a cows diet from grass to grains (or soy) has a similar effect to the cow. Cows get sick too! Because cows get sick antibiotics are needed.
Corn or soybeans are used because it’s cheap. There has been a popular promotion of ‘organic grain feed cows’ and its ridiculous as cows are not meant to eat grains to begin with. Every time I see “organic grain fed cow” on a menu or in a supermarket I take this as the ultimate insult to the consumer.
When cows are grass fed the health of the cow (and milk) is optimal. These cows have a higher amount of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), vitamins and minerals.
A diet of soybeans is bad for the cow in other ways. Farmers do this because it is another factor that helps the cows to produce more milk. However, it can cause major health problems in the animal including liver problems and ultimately shortens the life span.
One raw meat eater and author of Muscle, Smoke and Mirrors, Randy Roach noted when eating cow liver from a corn fed cow, the liver looked sick and didn’t have the same firm texture as a healthy grass fed cow. The corn fed cows liver was runny and almost liquid like when the grass fed cows’ liver was firm in texture and quite tasty. The point here is not to get you to start eating raw liver but show you that there is a big difference in corn verse grass fed cows.
Giving up the white stuff
Farmers are under enormous pressure to do it “cheaper and faster”. Because mainstream keeps telling people ‘milk is healthy’, there is a fairly high demand for milk. If you think about it, milk is a staple food for most people. Just ask Andrew or Andrea Average what they have for breakfast and they will tell you, cereal with milk!
News flash – cereal for breakfast is JUST a western tradition that was popularized and promoted by the wheat and dairy industries who really do not (not, not, not) care about your health!
And God forbid having a coffee without milk! Most people would rather give up coffee entirely than have it black without milk.
Hormone Free Cows
For whatever reason (money), some farmers use Bovine Growth Hormone or rBGH to help cows produce more milk. However this does not occur in Australia (or Canada) as cattle drugging laws are fairly strict (this mainly occurs in the US). Canada banned it for animal activist reasons as it’s not seen as a humane practice.
Pasteurization is not all it’s Cracked up to Be
On the surface, it may seem like pasteurization is a good thing. The very process is designed to rid the milk of any diseases and bacteria. Since people don’t want to get sick, they believe that the food they eat needs to be pasteurized. This ultimately means that the milk will be processed using high temperatures.
The first problem with this method is that it is not a guarantee that the milk will be free from disease. The process itself can cause outbreaks of food born illnesses like salmonella. There have been reported outbreaks of pasteurized milk so thinking pasteurization is the ultimate food safety processes is false.
The interesting thing about outbreaks of pasteurized milk is that raw milk actually contains bacteria that helps protect against things like salmonella and other pathogens (infectious agents). However, when the milk is pasteurized, this substance is killed which then leaves the milk vulnerable. When pasteurized milk gets old, it is rendered useless. When raw milk gets old, it turns sour but is still drinkable. In fact many ancient cultures not only drank raw milk, they drank sour raw milk.
Another problem with this process is that heat changes the amino acid structure of the milk itself. For example, you would never microwave a protein shake because heat ruins the structure of the protein. (Actually microwaves ruin the structure of anything). This is what happens when milk gets pasteurizes. Pasteurization also causes the fat in the milk to become rancid a lot faster than it usually would.
It also makes the minerals and enzymes in the milk less available. Lipase, for example, is naturally present in milk and helps the body digest the fats that are in the milk. This enzyme gets destroyed in the high temperature pasteurization process.
Now with added Calcium!
Ever wondered why these days’ food companies are adding Vitamin C, D and Calcium to milk? It’s because when milk gets pasteurized these things get destroyed or altered. Milk in its raw state does not need to be fortified.
I believe that raw milk has a lot more health benefit than pasteurized milk. However I cannot test this theory as in Australia it is illegal to sell raw milk. I would like to see our ‘freedom of choice’ for raw milk return to Australia.
In the United States very few states are allowed to sell raw milk. In fact just recently in California, the ‘Governator’ Arnold Schwarzenegger passed a bill to illegalize the selling of raw milk. Remember this is the same Arnold who built his body drinking raw milk from Austria.
Watch this passionate video for more details:
All I can say is shame on you Arnold.
The modern, pasteurized version of milk is devoid of milk’s original nutritional benefit. It makes the body more susceptible to allergies, chronic fatigue, and other problems. To preserve your health, it is best to avoid pasteurized milk. If you are struggling with weight loss and are still consuming dairy, go cold turkey for 2 weeks. Nine times out of ten, weight loss occurs from this change alone
Other Problems with Milk
There are other problems with milk that people face. For example, some people aren’t equipped with the ability to digest milk properly. The culprit is often the milk sugar, or lactose. The human body produces the lactase enzyme but in some people that capability is either non-existent or it disappears after childhood.
So Can we Have Dairy at All?
I would avoid all milk that has been pasteurized, fed hormones and antibiotics, and a diet of grain or soy.
Keep in mind that it is illegal to sell raw milk almost everywhere. Your alternative would be to find a private farmer who is willing to give raw milk. For those who have the practical means, you may even look at purchasing your own dairy cow to get fresh milk whenever you need it (and sharing it with me).
If you can’t find a raw milk source near you, stick with full-fat dairy products such as yogurt or kefir that has the active cultures or probiotics. Low fat dairy sucks.
And just to note, there are other sources of calcium – you don’t have to have dairy (despite what the diary industry wants you to believe).
Putting it All Together – Action Steps
- Look for a local supplier of raw milk.
- In the event that you can’t find raw milk consider upping your intake of cultured dairy products such as kefir or yogurt or give it a miss entirely as I do. Removing dairy from your diet is not a big deal folks!
- If must have dairy, have only a little bit every couple of days.
Remember that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to dairy. It isn’t the healthy beverage that people would like you to believe unless it meets the conditions mentioned. If you would like to take one positive step in the direction of increasing your overall state of health, fitness and strength, eliminating unhealthy, processed dairy products is a very good start.
Remember, anything that takes away from our health will inevitably take away from our performance in the gym.
The Quality of the food we eat is only as good as the quality of the food it eats.
By Maximus Mark Ottobre
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