Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Cleaning Up Our Diet: Chapter 6: Milk

posted by Paulette

You would think that there wouldn't be much to say about milk. But after doing the research, I was blown away by the information. Two years ago when I'd been allergy tested, my panel said that I was allergic to cow's milk. While my family was still drinking cow's milk from the grocery store, I was trying out alternatives.

There were so many choices in alternative milks. I tried hemp milk. 
 It had a grassy taste to it that I didn't like. Moving on.

Then soy milk got it's chance.

We liked the taste. The vanilla was like eating melted ice cream. But the more I looked into it, the more I realized that there were several reasons why we shouldn't be drinking this milk. The first one, was because it's made of soy, which has phytoestrogens. It's a plant based estrogen. It's not a good idea to mess with mother nature. Excess estrogen in women can cause perimenopause symptoms, and in men it feeds prostate cancer. I don't even want to think of what it was doing to my boys while in adolescence, while their bodies are changing! The other reason to avoid it was because much of the soy grown in the US is GMO. Silk specifies on their products that they are non GMO, but they are also one of the companies that fully support Monsanto, the company that engineers GMO seeds. I'm not sure I can trust their non GMO claims.

Then we tried coconut milk.
One of the reasons this one appeals to me, is that there are so many brands. You can buy it refrigerated, or in shelf stable cartons. It's delicious! And you can get it flavored with vanilla and sugar, or plain. Using milk in cartons reduces exposure to BPA which can leach from cans into the milk. This milk is also very high in calories, so it's a treat, not an every day, or even twice a day thing for us. We may have some in some herbal tea, or maybe even a glass when we are eating spicy foods to calm down the heat in our mouths.

Rice milk is also a yummy alternative to cow's milk.
It tastes yummy, but as far as the nutritive value, I found it lacking. It can also be bought in a shelf stable packaging.

Almond milk is delicious, can be bought refrigerated and in shelf stable packaging and has good nutritive value. At one time I thought I might be allergic to tree nuts, and so avoided this milk. But time soon showed me that there was nothing to fear, and we began drinking it again. It's the best substitute to use when baking because it has a flavor that's closest to cow's milk, and when unflavored, can even be used for gravies and sauces.

And now we come to my favorite, goat's milk.
I was first introduced to goat's milk when I began my search for milks. I'd tried powdered in my baking, and I'd found that the canned milk was excellent for soups and macaroni and cheese. And the Goat's milk yogurt was awesome! I had to hide it from David, my husband. To drink, though, I found that it had a slightly tangy taste. And then my friend gave me a sample of the milk from her goats, and it was creamy and delicious! I was sold! Later I found out that there were many benefits from drinking raw goat's milk. Too many for me to detail here. But there's a few articles floating about the net, if you care to read them.

It's more expensive that the above alternatives. I pay $4 a quart. We get 5 quarts a week for our family of 7. It's usually gone within the first two days. When I bring it home everyone gets excited to have their first taste. It's by far, the best alternative. 

We no longer drink cow's milk. I've since discovered that the dairy industry does some pretty dastardly things. The cattle are fed corn, which is GMO, and they are given antibiotics on a regular basis. Recently most dairies stopped giving their cattle BGH (bovine growth hormone) to up the milk production. It was causing male children to grow breasts! It is common for milk to have a certain amount of puss in it. It's allowed. Nasty! And the reason for pasteurization is to kill the bad bacteria present in the milk, which also kills the beneficial bacteria, leaving it a blank slate to grown bad bacteria again. Anytime I hear the slogan from the 90's "Milk, it does the body good." I think YUCK!
Since there are so many alternatives, we don't miss it. We do still eat cheese. It's a whole different product, changed by bacteria and enzymes.

I am not a healthcare professional. Any information expressed in this blog are the opinions of it's author, and are not a cure for disease.

Next time: Eggs

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