Before I get into this post, I’d like to clarify that food by itself is not something that is either “good” or “bad.” That’s subjective. However, there are foods that are better for you than other foods. That’s science. Though the title of this post might seem like a moral valuation, it’s simply used as a play on words from the dairy industry “Milk does a body good” campaign. I will always include links to any information I’ve provided. I want you to be able to trace the information back to its source and decide for yourself. Ultimately, my goal with this blog is to inform… Nothing more.
It took a few weeks for the dust to settle after I got my IgG test results. I stopped all dairy products and within three weeks, all of my sinus issues had resolved, and my reflux had vastly improved. I began to wonder why milk, in particular, had caused such an inflammatory sh*t storm in my body. I vaguely remembered my mom telling me that as an infant I had a difficult time with my baby formula. I also had horrible colic. So I called her. She laughed and said “Yes, you used to vomit baby formula out like a fire hose.” It seems milk has always given me issues. As a teenager, it gave me severe stomach cramps, and ice cream, well we won’t talk about that. When Jason our son was a baby, he suffered from severe gastrointestinal issues once I quit nursing. We removed dairy and gave him hemp milk. It tasted good, and he needed its high fat/protein content. Eventually we re-introduced cow milk, but when he got to Elementary school, we took him off of it once more, because he had symptoms of ADHD. (There is a large body of evidence linking ADHD and autism to the cow milk protein “casein”). Once he was free of dairy and gluten, all of his physical and behavioral symptoms disappeared.
Thinking about all of this, I felt like I was really on to something. I sat down with a chopped salad and my homemade vegan ranch dressing, and Googled milk allergy. According to Google a cow milk allergy is “an abnormal immune system response to milk and milk products.” Aside from milk being one of the “Big 8” allergens, it is by most accounts the biggest allergen of them all. Over the course of the next few weeks I spent hours and days, reading article after article about cow’s milk. I realized something that gave me great pause: Did you know that humans are the only animals in nature who “voluntarily” drink the mother’s milk of another animal? Think about that for a minute… Yes, mother’s milk. We are the only animal that drinks mother’s milk as an adult.
When asked the question, “Are Humans The Only Animal To Drink Milk From Other Species?” Oliver Craig, a specialist in bi-molecular archaeology from The University of York, replied that, “All juvenile animals can drink milk and that’s because they have the enzyme lactase to digest the milk sugars. But the genome that makes the enzyme gets switched off when they get to a certain age, so as adults, they can’t drink it.” They CAN’T drink it. So was my response to cow’s milk really abnormal?
The problem with humans drinking cow’s milk begins with the actual milk proteins themselves. The two proteins contained in milk are casein and whey. Human milk contains these in a ratio of 40:60 respectively; while in cow’s milk the ratio of casein to whey proteins is 80:20.
The protein content of cow milk is double that of human breast milk. And guess what? Excess protein in the body causes amino acids to convert into glucose and is typically stored as fat. Growing calves need more protein to enable them to grow quickly. Human infants on the other hand need less protein and more fat as their energies are expended primarily in the development of the brain, spinal cord and nerves.”(1) A baby cow doubles its birth weight every 40 days. Baby humans on the other hand double their birth weight every 180 days. In the first year of life a baby cow grows 180 times faster than a baby human. The casein protein in cow’s milk is also double the casein protein in human milk. (2) Casein is also very difficult to digest. It is a sticky protein, and a baby cow comes with a special enzyme in their stomachs called rennet, which is designed especially to break down casein. Humans do not have rennet, so casein is very hard for us to digest. (3)
And this my friend, is where things get weird, like really weird. With food allergies, auto-immune diseases, obesity and cancer rates on the rise, I wondered what in the world was going on? I mean, we’ve been drinking milk for thousands of years, (13) so why all of a sudden are we getting sick? I began watching documentaries about the food industry and modern day agribusiness. What I discovered made me sick, then angry, then scared.
Next on “All Shook Up,” Part 2: THE COW