Detox Your Life

Kicking the Sacred Cow: Does Milk Really Do Your Body Good?

In case you hadn’t noticed, the dairy industry is spending millions of dollars every year to convince you that you need to drink milk, like superman here.

When I was a kid their slogan was, “Milk, it does a body good,” and since 1993 they’ve paid hundreds of celebrities to pose with a “milk mustache” (made of ice cream) for the “Got Milk?” ads.

In fact, “Got Milk?” has been such a legendary and successful ad campaign, there are even books about it.

So while the milk industry is telling us that milk is good for us, scientific research has shown the opposite to be true.  The media isn’t talking about it because there are too many advertising dollars at stake.

The problems with processed milk startat the commercial dairy operations. Although many of them are still called farms, I can assure you there are no milk maids sitting on wooden stools, milking the cows by hand each morning.  These places are not farms, they are factories.

Depending on where you go, this is what you’ll see:  A massive facility filled with hundreds to thousands of Holstein cows confined to small pens; hooked up to milking machines 10 months a year. They are fed unnatural diets of grain, soy, and scrap feed.  They use Holstein cows because they produce the most milk.

Mutant Milk

These cows are injected with growth hormones and antibiotics.  The most controversial one is rBGH aka recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone sold under the brand name Posilac. It’s a genetically-engineered hormone introduced by Monsanto in 1995 that increases milk production in cows by about 20%. rBGH also increases Insulin Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) in cow’s milk.  Elevated levels of IGF-1 can promote cancer in humans, specifically prostate, breast, and colon cancer along with risk of sterility, infertility, birth defects, and immunological derangements.

rBGH has been banned in All 25 European Union Countries, Canada, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.

A European Commission report stated that “Avoidance of rBGH dairy products in favor of natural products would be the most practical & immediate dietary intervention to… (achieve) the goal of preventing cancer.”

In addition, udder infections and mastitis are common in over-milked rBGH cows which adds pus and bacteria into the milk along with the antibiotics and hormones given to the cows.

Note: Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly bought the patent from Monsanto in 2008 and is now the sole manufacturer of rGBH.

Commercial dairy cows must be impregnated every year to keep them producing milk, but they are not allowed to nurse.  The calves are taken away from their mothers immediately after birth.

These commercial dairy operations literally suck the life out of their cows in 3-4 years, compared that to a normal pasture fed cow that can live up to 25 years.

Seeing the horrible treatment of cows in a commercial dairy firsthand is enough for many people to stop drinking this kind of milk.   But even if you don’t care about cows, you need to understand that unhealthy mistreated cows cannot produce healthy milk; and that affects you.

All this is definitely a problem, but it doesn’t stop there. Once extracted from the cow, the nutritional value of milk is hijacked by pasteurization and homogenization.

Pasteurization is the process where the milk is heated to “sanitize” it and increase shelf life.  Standard pasteurization involves heating the milk a to 161 degrees fahrenheit.  Ultra-Pasteurization (UHP) heats the milk to 275 degrees fahrenheit destroying 99.99 percent of living organisms in the milk, so it can be actually stored unrefrigerated for 6-9 months.

Both processes dramatically change the composition of milk.  Even standard pasteurization decimates the immune supporting digestive enzymes, beneficial bacteria, and nutrients like vitamins C, B6, and B12. It makes the calcium and other minerals insoluble and very difficult for your body to absorb; alters the proteins, and makes lactose harder to digest.

Why do they do it?

The problem is not that the milk coming out of the cow is bad. Milk straight out of the cow is perfectly structured to nourish a growing calf.  The problem is the bacteria and pathogens that breed in large milking operations.  When these large operations began to spring up, there was no health regulation. They were disgusting, unsanitary, disease ridden places and they were unknowingly selling dirty milk.  So it’s no surprise that people were getting sick and dying.

Homogenization

If you were to go milk a cow and then put that milk in the fridge, the next day you would see that the fat rises in fresh milk and a layer of cream forms at the top.  That doesn’t happen anymore thanks to a process called homogenization, which began in the 1920′s.

Homogenization is forcing milk through a tiny filter at high pressure, between 2000-3000 lbs per square inch.  This process breaks up the fat into tiny particles that remain suspended in the milk without rising to the top; something that would never happen in nature.

When these fat particles are broken up they are able to pass through your intestinal walls directly into your bloodstream along with proteins, hormones, and enzymes that would normally be broken down in digestion.

One noteworthy enzyme is Xanthine Oxidase (XO).  XO attaches itself to the tiny fat particles and hitches a ride into your bloodstream.  Once there, it  attacks the interior walls of your arteries causing your body to produce cholesterol to protect itself.  This is a recipe for hardened and blocked arteries down the road.

Finally processed milk is highly acidic, mucus forming, and has been linked to a host of health problems. The proteins alone in processed milk have been linked to over 60 different diseases including Allergies, Autism, Cancer, Crohn’s Disease, Arthritis, and SIDS.

So what’s the solution?

Raw Milk

Raw Milk is one of nature’s perfect foods designed to nourish a calf, goat, or baby human when it comes out of their mother.

So am I an advocate of adults drinking human breast milk?
No. Come on, that’s beyond icky.

If you haven’t figured it out already, pasteurization and homogenization do not make milk better, they make it worse.  These processes destroy its nutritional value.

And because raw milk producers don’t pasteurize, the standard of cleanliness for them is much higher than conventional milk producers.  So yes raw milk from a conscientious producer is safe. We buy and drink raw milk and have never gotten sick from it.

Did you just say something about a goat?

Yes!  Goat’s milk is the healthiest milk you can drink because its composition is very similar to human breast milk.  And compared to cows milk it has more vitamin A and easier to digest. Still seem weird?  You may surprised to know that over two-thirds of milk consumed on planet earth comes from goats.  
There’s even a goat’s milk protein powder I buy called 
Goatein!

Goatein™  by Garden of Life

Scientific Research

In his book Pottenger’s Cats, Dr. Francis M. Pottenger, Jr. chronicled his research on more than 900 cats over a 10 year period and found that diets containing raw milk and raw meat produced optimal health:  good bone structure, straight teeth, shiny fur, no parasites or disease, reproductive ease, and gentle temperament.  Conversely, a diet of cooked meat and pasteurized milk resulted in severe physical degeneration.  The cats on the cooked food diet died out completely by the fourth generation while the raw food cats continued to thrive.
The changes Pottenger observed in cats on cooked diets paralleled the human degeneration that Dr. Weston Price found in his groundbreaking study on the deteriorating health of indigenous tribes that had abandoned their traditional diets for modern processed food.

This is why I stopped drinking processed milk in 2004.

Vegan opponents of milk love to cite “The China Study” which claims that milk is harmful to health and that casein (milk protein) has been linked to cancer. What they fail to mention is that every negative study on milk is using processed milk, not raw milk. And studies showing that casein causes cancer in lab rats are using isolated casein, not raw milk. Isolated casein is completely unnatural! Feed a living organism enough of something unnatural and it will eventually get sick. It’s no wonder the rats are getting cancer. 

The Biblical Perspective
You may recall that in the Old Testament book of Exodus, God delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and led them to “The Promised Land”, which was a fertile land described by God five times as “a land flowing with milk and honey”.  That’s because milk and honey were good things! And I think it’s pretty safe to assume they were drinking raw milk. (References: Exodus chapters 3 and 33, Ezekiel 20). Incidentally, “the land of milk and honey” is mentioned another 14 times in the Bible by people describing the promised land.

Here’s a quick recap: (P&H= Pasteurized and Homogenized)

Commercial Dairy P&H Cow’s Milk = Terrible

Organic Hormone-Free P&H Cow’s Milk = Less bad, still not good.

Organic Pasteurized, Non-Homogenized Cow’s Milk = slightly better, some grocery stores have this.

Pasture-fed Organic Raw Cow’s Milk =  Great for calves, great for you.

Pasture-fed Organic Raw Goat’s Milk = Argueably the healthiest milk you can drink, but hardest to find.

The best sources of raw milk from are local dairy farms with pasture fed cows and goats that are happy and live long lives.  Most local dairies will give you a tour of their farm and facilities if you ask.  I even know folks that have bought their own goats just for the milk.

Note:  The sale of raw milk for human consumption is illegal in some states like Tennessee.  BOOOO!
However, many farms have a “herd share” program, which allows you to buy a tiny share of ownership in the livestock, usually for a very small fee.  As an owner, you have the right to purchase raw milk from the dairy.

There is growing demand for legalized raw milk across the country and outdated laws are being rewritten thanks to the work of the Weston Price Foundation.

To find a local raw milk dairy near you, visit realmilk.com. or localharvest.org

Your local farmers market is another place to check if you don’t find a local raw dairy listed on those sites.

For my Memphis area friends there is a local raw milk dairy you should definitely check out called Evergreen Farm.  They have Jersey and Guernsey cows on their farm. Jersey and Guernsey cows produce less milk than Holsteins, but the flavor is incredible.

That’s one of their bottles on my kitchen table. They bring fresh raw milk, butter, eggs, and kefir to the Memphis Farmers Market Downtown and Botanic Garden Farmers Markets every week in the spring summer, and fall.  In the winter I meet them at one of several delivery drop points around town.

Super Sad Addendum 1: Evergreen Farm closed April 9th 2011 due to pressure from the TN Agriculture Dept.  Here’s their statement:

“The TN Ag Dept has tried in every way possible, including threatening local farmers markets that they will pull their funding if we sell our products there.

We believe we have been targeted by the TN Ag Department because our raw milk and raw milk products were handled in a manner that exceeded Grade A Dairy standards. Our threat was that we could produce a better, healthier, unadulterated, fresher product in a healthier container than our local pasteurized dairy providers.

We will still have raw milk for ourselves, but you NEED to fight for your right to eat anything you choose. Don’t let your state and federal governments make decisions about your food choices. The decisions they make are NOT in your best interest.”

:(

Happy/Sad Addendum 2:  After a few months we found another raw milk source!
But for my Memphis friends I should note that this is a woman with three cows. She supplies milk to a dozen families or so and she barely had enough extra for us.  So it’s not someone I can refer you to.  But trust me if you ask around you’ll find some.

(((c)))

Recommended Reading:
Don’t Drink Your Milk
The Raw Milk Revolution

 

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  • Melissa Jaynes

    You know what I love about your posts? They are not only full of good information, but you always tell us how to do it/where to get it. Which is extremely helpful!! 11 years ago when my daughter was born I started preaching about cows milk. My husband thought I was crazy because I would only buy organic cows milk (organic was really not “cool” 11 years ago and very expensive). I would like to get away from it all together (especially after reading your post!!) but at least I am steering clear of the hormones and antibiotics. People think “oh I drank cows milk as a kid and I am ok”. What they don’t realize is that when we were kids they were not injecting cows with hormones. You can see the affect of these growth hormones in our children, especially girls who are developing extremely early these days.

  • Jason Staggers

    I can’t even stand to see the word Monsanto after watching Food, Inc. That company makes me really angry.

  • hank

    Curious.. what about cheese? I’m guessing that’s another post entirely?

    hank

    • http://chrisbeatcancer.wordpress.com chrisbeatcancer

      Hey Hank, yeah processed cheese is just as bad, which is why we buy raw cheese alot. Dude I bet there are a ton of raw milk and cheese producers in montana!

  • Jim

    Once I gave up drinking cow milk (I now drink soy milk), my sinus infections went away! From what I’ve read, milk is a mucus producer. Guess that’s the cause and effect of it.

  • megan

    you mentioned ricemilk in an earlier post. i love milk; but in the past few years, after reading information similar to what’s in this post, have managed to whittle down my consumption to mainly my morning coffee. it’s organic, but i’m sure it’s probably also ‘p&h’. i guess my question is, healthwise, is it worth it to seek out pasture-fed raw cow or goat’s milk? or should i go on and make the switch to ricemilk in my coffee? (also, out of curiosity, what does pasture fed raw cow’s milk or goat’s milk taste like? is it good, in your opinion? was it hard to get used to?) thanks!

    • http://chrisbeatcancer.wordpress.com chrisbeatcancer

      Hi Megan! I love rice dream, but it’s not really like milk, it’s sort of it’s own thing…try it and see if you like it in your coffee.
      “Taste” is a weird thing, because everyone’s so different.
      I would describe raw cows milk as a creamy more delicious version of the milk you’re use to. Goat’s milk is just a slightly different flavor.
      Impossible to for me describe, you really just have to taste them!

  • emily

    I have never been a milk drinker but eat the hell out of some cheese and I cannot bare the thought of giving it up. I have purchased raw cheese from Whole Foods twice after reading your blog about it. I am still slightly worried about it due to all the horrible things you read about it and how it can be dangerous to our health. I need to do more research. I will read your suggestions. Thanks Chris!

  • jeanne

    So Chris, what about Lactose free milk? What are your thoughts about that?

    • http://chrisbeatcancer.wordpress.com chrisbeatcancer

      Hi Jeanne! Thanks for the question!
      Unfortunately, lactose-free milk, although easier to digest, is just as bad as normal processed milk.

      :)

      chris

  • Terri

    Hi, this is such a great and informative blog. Do you have an opinion on organic Greek yogurt? I love the stuff, but have pretty much given it up since I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Thoughts? Just as bad?

  • Wendy

    Sad to say, Evergreen went out of business. The government literally regulated him to the point that he just could not afford it any more. I literally cried when I found out. We’re now buying from Westwind Farm, but my kids don’t like their milk as well (not to mention they package in plastic instead of glass).

  • Wendy

    Oh, and I love that the cream rises to the top of raw milk. I skim it off (and have skim milk left) and use the “heavy cream” in recipes. :)

  • almond milker

    Thank you for sharing your experiences and research. The subject matter of conscientious dieting is so well framed that I believe my relatives may take it to heart hearing it from you!
    Best of wishes.

  • Kelley

    What are your thoughts on raw animal milks vs. almond milk? Recently moving to Australia from the US, it’s hard to find raw milk in the area I live. I’ve been thinking about switching to Almond Milk as an alternative. Thoughts?

  • Jay

    Where im from the raw organic milk was illegal for human conpusumption so the company had to put a label on the milk saying it was so bathing in only and not drinking.

  • Kellas

    I really want to write a research paper about this topic. Do you have any reliable sources you could send my way?

  • Vicki

    I think you need to be careful what you post, Chris. Love your approach to good health thru good food. And whether people drink milk or not is their choice. I don’t know what happens to milk after it leaves the farm…BUT…we ran a small dairy farm of 100 cows and our cows…as any dairy around ours…got royal treatment. If you don’t treat a cow well, they do not produce milk. And if you don’t feed them the highest quality of feed, they don’t produce milk. If you get a cow nervous, she doesn’t produce milk, so she obviously has to be treated very gently. Every dairy has mandatory testing of any milk that leaves the farm for any antibiotics and any mastitis or infections. If any antibiotic of any kind is detected, the milk can not be picked up from the farm and must be discarded. All milk that is sold for human consumption has very strict regulations of every kind. What happens to milk after it leaves the dairy, I do not know. But I know, for a fact, that the dairies are not run in the manner that you posted. Please know your facts before posting any random things. I really loved your site, but am not questioning what you are putting out there.

  • http://drlisamallen.wordpress.com Lisa Allen

    Hi Chris,

    Congratulations on taking your health into your own hands and being a brave pioneer in the strange world of cancer. I hope you’re continuing in remission.

    I am very interested in raw milk’s health value but have a nagging question. My acupuncturist makes a good point that cow’s milk is designed for rapid growth of baby cows, so this is not a good idea for cancer patients, who want to avoid tumor growth. Specifically, the IGF-1 is a concern. I’d love to get your take on this and be able to point to any studies that show why this is not an issue. She does believe goat’s milk is fine, which is confusing. Wouldn’t this be for rapid growth of baby goats?

    Thanks!
    Lisa

    • Peter

      Hi Lisa

      I share your concern and am also not able to find a categorical answer to the baby goat question. I would love to be able to give my wife nutritious goat milk but am worried about the effect of IGF. Not so concerned about the goat milk casein as it is A2.

      The articles I found re: IGF & Cancer on the Web (incl. Wiki/PubMed/NIH) have persuasive evidence and arguments in either direction so difficult to decide and so will stay away from milk until convinced.

      Thanks
      Peter

  • Carcinoid-Cancer.com

    Just a thought but, milk is a high sugar, high protein drink designed to make baby cows grow up big and strong so it seems to be a bad choice for cancer patients. (My Opinion) The biggest reason I am on a veggie based diet is because it is low protein and is not “feeding” my cancer. I’m sure it’s a fine drink if you don’t have cancer but, I don’t think you should drink it if you have cancer. (thoughts?) :-)

  • Paula Daniels Roberts

    I realize this is a very old post, but I need to say thank you anyway. I’m late to the table, yet I’m here now and your site is truly a blessing for me. I believe you may have saved my life and also my children’s. Thank you for providing all of this fantastic information. I especially appreciate the links, you have made a radical lifestyle change doable. I had no problem changing because I’m ill. But I’m able to present this information to my 18 year old twins and my husband based on factual information and now everyone is on board. Your a exceptional human being.

Hi there!

My name is Chris Wark.
I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2003, at 26 years old.
I had surgery, but refused chemo.
Instead I used nutrition and natural therapies to heal myself.
By the grace of God, I'm alive and kicking, and cancer-free!

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