The Got Milk campaign retired and with its departure went my consumption of milk. Yes, it was hard, in my world cookies and milk are a package deal-there is no separating them. I know, my head slumps as I write this, my cookie addiction is bad for me, and I am aware of the harm sugar can have on my body, but I am human and can only tackle one bad habit at a time. As a kid, I remember adults refusing dairy because of something called lactose intolerance; a term that flew way over my head. I let that term fly like a balloon released to the sky on a windy day. Yeah, keep going!!! Never thinking I would visit that term again I waved it goodbye, until one day when I began to feel the dark forces of milk on my digestive system. What was going on with my stomach?! My curiosity and my ignominy at the sounds created in my gut propelled me into investigating dairy and the health sensitivities onset by consuming it. Did I see a specialist, well no, but I’m sure someone out there considers google search some sort of specialist*. You know the drill, a person types in their symptoms into google, and the results leaves them with feverish nightmares and a diagnosis that says they have only a few more months to live. It’s best to focus on the topic at hand and not get into the culture of humans googling for health advice. I urge that if you suspect anything gravely wrong with you that you seek the advice of a medical expert. Now, back to the issue, in my reasearch I searched through articles and studies in academic journals written by doctors, health writers, and dermatologists. The more I read, the more perplexed I became on how American consumers have been indoctrinated all these years to include dairy into their diets. Let’s not digress on why milk is aggressively pushed on to consumers or for what pay out. My purpose is not to dissect the business of the industry; I’m selfishly concerned about my health–nothing more. What I discovered in my readings is that we humans have no nutritional requirements for animal milk, and the side effects are alarming. Alarming? Like, what do you mean alarming Gogafa? I’m stressing here!! Okay, no need to freak out. Just keep reading. In a study conducted by two of the nation’s leading nutrition scientists from Harvard, Dr. David Ludwig and Dr. Walter Willett, they found that milk isn’t all the health hype promoters make of it. Positive nutritional change comes with education and the alternative milk revolution is in its first stages of this paradigm shift. Sue Quinn, of The Guardian, recently reported that milk alternatives have risen by 40%, and while I appreciate her article, it doesn’t take a hard-nose investigation to see the truth in her article. Just walk into any story and you will see milk alternatives taking up chunks of space right next to good old milk. Attention! Trendy folks, a visual transformation of a new dairy market is happening this very moment, and you can witness it in live flesh at your local supermarket. Retrospectively, dairy evolved on the nutritional charts of the American diet as a fundamental part of a balanced diet; so, to unhinge milk’s endorsement from avid milk lovers is an up-hill battle. So, what is milk? Some people will say, milk is milk it is rich with calcium you drink it the end, yet there is much more to milk. Milk isn’t just milk, it has added ingredients like protein and hormones–not a good thing. Americans consume more cheese, more yogurt and more milk every year, and all this has resulted in outrages protein consumption, according to Dr. Thomas Campbell, an American biochemist who specializes in the effect of nutrition on long-term health. He has advocated that humans indeed need protein, but not excess. Campbell was a lead scientist on the 1980 China-Oxford-Cornell study that tested the relationship between cancer, nutrition and heart disease and according to the findings of that study: excessive amounts of protein turns on cancer. Um, that right there is enough to make me reconsider the nutritional benefits of milk.
Growth Hormones in cows.
Milk isn’t all bad. Yes, calcium exists in milk; however, there are other additives in it that outweigh the benefits of calcium. It prevents osteoporosis cries the angry mob of bingo grandmas, true, but according to research the small amount of calcium has no true effect on it.
Alternative Sources of Calcium: Baked Beans, Bok Choy and Collards.
Milk and Acne: So, is there really a connection or not? Well, according to a 2008 study in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology, a group of dermatologists looked at the diet of teenage boys. The male teenagers that consumed more milk in their diets tended to have worse acne.
Lactose intolerance: Unfortunately, some of us have yet to evolve the proper genetic code to digest the lactose in milk.
This blurb of health education brought to you by Gogafa is just scratching the surface. Feel free to do your own investigation and please consult* a doctor before any diet changes. Health does a body good, and my goal is to expose my fellow beings to topics that promote well-being. Here are a few of our favorite Dairy Alternatives:
Alternatives: Coconut Milk, Almond Milk, Hemp Milk
One of my favorites is Pacific Natural Foods Organic Almond Non-Dairy Chocolate Milk