The myth of milk being an important source of protein and calcium is one of the most successful propaganda in the history of marketing. Effectively promoted by a multi-billion dollar dairy and drug industry (included on top of the list are companies like Monsanto). Globally people have been so brainwashed, or are so religious about it, or so addicted to milk (or even more so the convenience of milk), that very few stop to question it.
Milk as an important source of Protein: False
The main protein found in milk is casein. Casein protein molecules are bound (latched on) to calcium. In order to break the casein away from the calcium, the body produces an enzyme called rennin. That is… while you are still under 4 years old. After you’re 4 years old your body stops producing rennin. Since the body can no longer separate out the protein it rejects it, and this undigested protein appears as mucus. When in excess, it is stored in joints resulting arthritis, and even as kidney stones.
There is absolutely no shortage of sources of protein from plants. Pulses and grains like chana dhal, mung dhal, kidney beans, raagi (finger-millet), bajri (pearl millet), quinoa, amaranth,… are also a excellent sources of protein and calcium. See also the link “Good Foods” at end of article for much more sources of protein and calcium.
Milk as an important source of Calcium: False
- It is true that milk has calcium, but we have no way of absorbing it compared with the excellent sources of calcium found in many vegetables.
- Our body also does not make lactase which is needed to digest lactose. This is probably why our body is more tolerant towards yogurt (curd, buttermilk), as it contains lactobaccillus bacteria which helps digest the lactose.
- There is no shortage of sources of calcium from plants. Green leafy vegetables like varieties of spinach, kale, collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, cabbages, broccoli, are all an excellent source of calcium.
- Most animals stop nursing their young within 1 year, and yet they all have strong bones and muscles.
- There are native cultures that are completely dairy-free and yet have strong bones and muscles.
- The USA, Sweden, Finland have the highest consumption of dairy products and yet also the highest occurrence of osteoporosis.
Milk as an important source of Vitamin D: False
Contrary to what marketing leads you to believe, milk as it occurs naturally is also not a good source Vitamin D. Only milk fortified with Vitamin D is a source of Vitamin D. Even here it is not a good source. The best source is the Sun.
The body can produce 3,000-20,000 IU of Vitamin D in just 15-30 minutes of exposure to the Sun (just the arms, hand, face). That’s at least 30 times the amount in fortified milk (100 IU) and 15 times the recommended daily amount (200 IU).
So you decide, tell me what is the best source of Vitamin D? The industry is not going to tell you this, as they can’t charge you for sunlight.
Note that darker skin people need about 2-3 times more exposure to sunlight than fairer skin people. Also, since the body can store the excess Vitamin D, you need just 2-3 days per week of 15-30 minute exposure to the Sun. The half-life of Vitamin D in the body is about 2 weeks (significantly less for people who are obese, as the Vitamin D becomes trapped in the fat).
Milk is important for healthy brain development/function: False
In recent days, there’s been a new propaganda about milk being important for healthy brain function. Question: even if it were true, did they really just now only find this out?? All these decades they talk about milk as an important source of calcium and vitamin D, then suddenly in past few months I’ve seen every milk carton (regardless of which company) carrying labels like “Important for healthy brain function”. Total FUD tactics. So there is no other food that is important for healthy brain function (to also warrant carrying such a label)? Problem is most people are very gullible to such marketing. Like herded sheep, you just scare them using FUD tactics, without even any credible data supporting your claim, and the whole herd moves in the direction you want them to. Even if one were to tell that the raagi/bajri or mung porridge (described below) has much more beneficial nutrients for healthy brain development, people will still get bought over by the FUD that is created by the milk industry.
The Bantu women of Africa live on a sparse diet of vegetable sources. A diet completely free of dairy foods. Their average intake of calcium is 250 to 400 mg a day. This is far lower than the 800 mg. recommended by the RDA. They give birth to as many as ten babies during their life. Each child is breast-fed for ten months. Although childbearing causes an intense calcium drain, osteoporosis is unknown to these people. When Bantu women migrate to the city and adopt a protein-rich diet, osteoporosis and other diseases become a threat to their health.
From: Milk and Cookies
The American Dietary Association stated in its 1992 paper, “Eating Well – The Vegetarian Way”, “Vegetarians do not need to combine specific foods within a meal as the old ‘complementary protein’ theory advised. The paper states: “The body makes its own complete proteins if a variety of plant foods – fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds – and enough calories are eaten during the day.”
From: Protein and Calcium Myths
Milk + poison
In addition to the ill effects of milk itself, cows are continuously pumped with drugs and Bovine Growth Hormones (see Monsanto) to produce “super cows” that produce milk for months at a stretch.
- Franken-Cows: Fifty years ago cows averaged 2.3 tons of milk per year, now BGH treated cows produce as much as 30 tons of milk per year.
- This results in severe strain and torture to cows. An average dairy cows life expectancy was 25 years, but today’s cows are disposed of in 3-5 years when they become weak and “spent” (when the udders burst or become lacerated).
- BGH: The dangers of BGH are so well known that many folks are switching to organic milk. BGH is a growth hormone which is very similar to the human growth hormone. It results in onset of puberty in children at a very early age (like 8-12 years). This causes tremendous hormonal changes in children, raging hormones resulting in a baggage of emotional problems at a young age. Children no longer for example deal with problems with a lightness that children normally do, but become very emotionally sensitive, and go into depression. Probably a reason (or another factor) for the increase in gun violence, depression, and suicide rate among young children.
- Antibiotics and Super-Bugs: 70% of all the antibiotics produced in the USA are fed to cows – not for treatment of illness, but to increase the milk yield (ever since farmers found out antibiotics dramatically increase the milk yield). This produces super resistant bacteria – that the human body has never witnessed before. This will render antibiotics ineffective as the bacteria now have already been trained to it and have evolved into super-bugs. So what do pharmaceutical companies do? they engineer even more sophisticated drugs that assault us when have an illness – and so on, a vicious cycle, producing another generation of even more sophisticated and bizarre bacteria and viruses. It is no surprise so many dangerous mutations and epidemics are coming from farms (like Mad Cow Disease).
- Pus and Infection-Borne: Factory cows are continuously pumped by machines, often resulting in their teats developing mastitis – becoming inflamed and infected, which results in a lot of white-blood cell (i.e. pus) content in the milk. Because of this alone milk produced in factories can be deadly without pasteurization (compared with milk from free-roaming cows).
- Not Grass Fed: In addition factory cows are not fed grass, they are fed grains. Cows have been fine-tuned in over 10,000 years of evolution to digest green plants, not grains. Milk from grass-fed cows have a very beneficial group of fatty acids called Conjugated Linoleic Acid, as well as natural antibiotics (that prevent milk from being infected).
Today’s cows are also artificially impregnated multiple times a year, and the bellowing calves are forcefully dragged away and locked up in a cramped dark room where they are starved — so as to be weakened (to softened their muscles), for a meat specialty called veal.
In the villages they practice phukan. A stick is poked into the cow’s uterus and wiggled, causing her intense pain. Villagers believe this leads to more milk. In the cities they are given two injections of oxytocin every day to make the milk come faster. This gives her labor pains twice a day! Her uterus develops sores and makes her sterile prematurely. Oxytocin is banned for use on animals but it is sold in every cigarette shop around a dairy. Every illiterate milkman knows the word. In human beings, oxytocin causes hormonal imbalances, weak eyesight, miscarriages, cancer. Recently, Gujarat started raiding dairies for oxytocin. In one day, they found three-and-a-half lakh ampoules in Ahmedabad alone!
From: The White Poison
“[But] Indians have been drinking milk for centuries. All of them did not fall sick.”
It depends on what you call illness. Most people regard arthritis, osteoporosis, asthma, headaches and indigestion as normal for the body and look on cancer as an act of god.
From: The White Poison
I’m not into the belief of cows in particular being sacred (see article Holy Cows), but there seems to be a little bit of karmic truth in the saying that the ill treatment of cows will be our own undoing. Increase in deadly super-bacteria, heart disease, colon cancer, BGH related physiological and psychological problems in children, etc. – are due to meat or milk consumption (things that wouldn’t have been in a vegetarian society).
Ayurveda and Milk
A major component of Ayurveda is the chemistry of food. Each food can serve a beneficial purpose when used correctly. Thus, you’ll find in Ayurveda that even normally toxic or poisonous plants have their beneficial uses when used properly (it seems also that Ayurveda lists milk as one of the “five white poisons” — though I haven’t been able to find the original source of this quote).
Thus Ayurveda does not elevate milk into an essential food that is to be made part of our diet. Milk is a dispensable food, and to be used only for therapeutic properties. Milk has its beneficial properties when consumed in limited amounts and when specially prepared. Here are some recommendations:
- Milk should be boiled high, then brought down to a slow boil, and taken while warm. Boiling breaks down (denatures) the protein in the milk making it easy for us to digest, and to further facilitate that it has to be drunk while warm. Cold milk (like people are used to in western countries) is very bad and should be avoided.
- Milk should be boiled with cardamom, a stick of cinnamon, or a pinch of turmeric. And for those who are not used to milk or find it difficult to digest, it can be boiled with a pinch of ginger. This helps digestibility and reduces mucus production. I recommend doing it like preparing chai, add all: cardamom, cinnamon, clove, ginger, and a pinch of black pepper and turmeric.
- Milk boiled with a pinch of black pepper and turmeric has cooling properties.
- Ayurveda recommends buffalo or goat milk over cows milk. Buffalo milk is highly regarded in Ayurveda for various properties.
- Warm milk taken with mangos can be used to increase body mass (probably the enzymes in the mango aid in digesting the milk protein).
- Warm milk taken with almonds, dates, and saffron (all three soaked overnight) increase fertility.
- Milk should not be taken with bananas.
- Milk should never be taken with sour or salty foods. So it is better to take milk a few hours before/after your regular meals.
- Milk can be taken as buttermilk – prepared from organic yogurt (from non-homogenized milk obtained from free roaming grass fed cows). The buttermilk is specially prepared by churning the yogurt (which removes a significant amount of milk protein), and adding sauted (in sesame oil) mustard seeds, curry leaves, pinch of black-pepper, and ginger, and pinch of turmeric.
- Today’s Ayurveda advocates say that homogenized milk is no longer to be considered as milk (it is no longer the same milk that is referred to in Ayurveda texts). Homogenized milk can cause cardiovascular problems, like arteriosclerosis.
Alternatives Beverages to Milk?
Definitely avoid soy milk (it’s another brainwashing — soy beans were never meant for human consumption; countries like India and China have been aware of soy bean thousands of years, and while they consumed hundreds of other beans, soy beans never made into human diet; and guess who’s behind soy bean industry also? the same evil giant behind the milk industry — Monsanto).
Here are just a few popular alternatives before milk came along:
- brown rice mik
- raagi (finger millet) malt/porridge
- bajri (pearl millet) malt/porridge
- coconut milk
- mung dhal juice (germinated mung, steamed, and mashed)
- toor dhal porridge
- almond milk (soaked overnight, then blended)
- chana paste (germinated, steamed, and mashed)
Tips for malt/porridge preparations:
Add proper sweet spices to these drinks, like cinnamon, cardamom, saffron, ginger. This is not just for aroma/taste, but for proper digestion and absorption.
Add some coconut milk to any porridge preparations, it has very beneficial properties (for brain development, heart, stomach, joints).
Use different varieties of sugar sources (vellum, crystalline brown sugar, palm sugar, crushed dates, raw sugar cane juice).
Remember to soak your nuts (and beans like mung). Soaking removes enzyme inhibitors (phytic acid / phytates) which prevent many of the nutrients from being absorbed by the body. For example, soaked almonds increase bio-availability of proteins in it by 30%. The extensive changes in chemistry are very visible: unsoaked almonds, mung, peanuts are oily. When they are soaked, they are milky and sweetish.
There is no shortage of foods for protein or calcium. Only excuse is laziness (the convenience of just pouring milk). If all of the aforementioned beverages were ready-made then after reading all this about milk, people wouldn’t be bothered/attached to milk: they would be moving away from milk as fast as they could.
Personal Experience Quitting Milk
In the past I have observed some strange symptoms when consuming milk. In particular in the form of whey protein supplements (a protein powder derived from milk). Two scoops of that, and I get mucous congestion in my chest which lasts as much 2-3 days before getting back to normal.
So, I decided to really experiment, to stop my milk intake for a month. But I quickly found I didn’t need to wait a month to realize the benefits; I felt it within a week. So, I did couple of trials lasting two weeks each (with/without milk) – the effect was so clear that I didn’t need any more trials. Note that I used to drink approximately two 16 oz cups of milk a day.
Each of these problems went away promptly without milk, and reappeared just as fast with milk. Note that I noticed it only with milk (whether cold or boiled). There was no effect from yogurt or buttermilk. Also noticed milk blended with ripe mango (and a 1-2 cardamoms) has a much milder effect in mucous congestion than milk alone. Probably enzymes in the mango breakdown components of the milk that cause the congestion (just as the bacteria in the yogurt).
These are just my observations, which were good enough for me to stop milk. There are many other long term benefits.
- The first and most productive thing that I noticed and which I am happy with is that it completely “switched off” my drowsiness. I used to always feel very drowsy when driving to work. All these years I used to think it was some sort of sleep deprivation (even though I get a full 6 hours of sleep).
- Within 15-30 min of drinking 1/2 cup of milk, I’ll started getting mucous congestion in the throat — which lasted the entire day. Otherwise I’m never prone to mucous congestion (I get sick or cold very rarely — like once in every couple of years). Also, when I took 1/2 cup of milk at night before sleeping, the congestion continued throughout the morning the next day. I repeated this 3 times (in gaps of about 2 days between each to recover from congestion). Believe it or not most people are lactose intolerant (because most people are humans, and humans cannot digest milk).
- I used to speak from the “pit of my stomach” like with not proper breathing or full utilization of my lung. By stopping milk, the effect is an immediate improvement and freshness in the tonality or vocalization of my voice (sorry don’t know how to explain it more clearly, but the effect was very clear). I can now easily correlate this with the congestion when I took whey protein.
Also, for anyone who has asthama problems, you definitely might want to try stop drinking milk (at least try it out for 1-2 months).
- Milk Sucks
- Milk and Cookies
- Protein and Calcium Myths
- The Facts about Dairy Cows
- Dairy Monsters
- The White Poison