Why Drinking Milk Is Just Not Right

Besides the fact that no one in their right mind would walk up to a cow’s udder and start suckling, the New York Times has an article that lists all the other reasons our dairy habits make absolutely no sense:

  • About 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant; that’s only about 17% of the entire country, but 90% of asians and 75% blacks, Mexicans and Jews. Why? Because the milk-drinking culture came from Northern Europe, where for some unknown reason — probably famine — people started drinking another species’ milk, as adults, and those whose bodies could still process milk as adults tended to have more kids than normal people. That mutation eventually became mainstream, and a few thousand years later pretty much all European adults are lactose tolerant; so, we make things like cheese and ice cream and the milk they sell in stores — which bears little resemblance to actual milk — and treat it like a sort of tonic that we actually need for our health.
  • Milk (even the non-fat kind) contains an amount of calories on par with soda, and half of it comes from sugars in the form of lactose.
  • Besides lactose intolerance, there’s a common food allergy called milk allergy, which most people have never heard of and which causes things like indigestion, constipation, headaches, and rashes. If you consume dairy often and have problems like that, try stopping for a week to make sure you don’t have an allergy or intolerance.
  • From a doctor quoted in the article: “It’s worth noting that milk and other dairy products are our biggest source of saturated fat, and there are very credible links between dairy consumption and both Type 1 diabetes and the most dangerous form of prostate cancer.”
  • Milk production is propped up by the Big Milk industry, which is composed of factories filled with tens of thousands of cows, since that level of production is the only way to make a living selling milk. The 9 million dairy cows in this industry live miserable lives and pollute the environment with a ton of methane.
  • But it’s good for you, right? Actually, you would get more calcium from green, leafy vegetables than from milk. And all your bones need to stay strong is exercise and sunshine, from which you get vitamin D.

The modern milk farm/factory. Photo from The Daily Mail.

 

Milk products like yogurt and cheese are a little better, since they’re easier to digest. But — with the exception of yogurt, which has been shown to help with weight loss — dairy should be treated more like a guilty pleasure than a tonic. And in the end, let’s face it: if you wouldn’t drink human milk, you shouldn’t drink bovine milk either.

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From The New York Times, via Lifehacker

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