Category Archives: lactose

The shocking truth about Milk – it does NOT do a body good

I had not planned to write about this today, but a little back ‘n’ forth on Facebook has pushed me forward on this subject.

You see, I’ve never been a fan of social media.  I’m a fairly private person and don’t want to spread my personal life in public.  However, since I wrote the book, it seems I’m expected to put myself out there more to promote my writing.  So, the first step was Facebook.   To continue to embrace healthy choices, I ‘liked’ a few sites that appeared to have healthy concepts to share.  Two of the three are excellent and I have learned something new every day just from reading their posts.  The other though?  Oh, my!  They are espousing ideas and concepts that are supposed to be healthy but in fact, are far from it.  I suspect they’re either (1) on the payroll of factory farmers and the companies that sell products laced with GMO’s or (2) they aren’t truly interested in doing the research that it takes to provide facts for those interested in true wellness.  Many of these sites are heavily driven by advertising so if you look at WHO advertises with them, you can then judge their content more clearly.

I guess this is just a lesson to all of us to never take anything at face value.  If we want to move forward with our wellness goals, it’s important to question everything.  This particular site many times has pushed ‘chocolate milk’ as the ultimate health food.  I mean, seriously?  Milk is far from healthy.  As I mentioned briefly in my ‘Cheese, glorious Cheese‘ post a few days ago, milk is actually bad for most people. Humans are the only species that drinks milk after they are weaned and we’re the only species that drinks the milk of another animal.  That in and of itself is hardly natural.  But let’s put that information aside for a few minutes and look at what milk really is and the damage it does.

First, the manner in which it is produced is always in question.  Generally, dairy cattle are NOT allowed to graze in the sunshine like these lucky cows are in the first photo.  Dairy cattle in pasture - the right way Instead, most are forced to live in barns 24/7, they’re tied to an area where they cannot move,  they sleep on concrete and are nothing but production machines.  They have no quality of life to begin with (see the second photo below.)  There is no way that this bad treatment doesn’t transfer to your food!  When you support this type of operation, then you are supporting the poor treatment of a species and that makes you part of the problem. When you buy the products, you enable these operations to prosper and continue to do great harm to the animals and to us all.

Dairy Farming - The WRONG way

The second group pictured is feeding on whatever feed is provided.  They are commonly fed GMO feeds and of course, those poisons and toxins now go into your milk.   There is a chance those grazing in the pasture are also getting GMO’s, but it’s not as likely.

Now we get to the actual value of dairy or lack thereof, to your health and well-being.  Suffice it to say that the entire advertising campaign about how healthy dairy is for you is nothing but fraudulent.

Cows’ milk is great for calves, but it is not formulated for humans.  The dairy councils advertise that milk provides calcium, but not only does the calcium not absorb, it MILK BADactually depletes calcium from your bones.  Even doctors don’t seem to know this, but that isn’t surprising since they have very little working knowledge of nutrition.     MILK does the body HARM!

Scientific studies show that milk actually increases fracture risks.  Studies show that those who consumed milk at age 20 have a higher risk of fracture when older.

Dairy consumption has also been linked to ovarian, breast and prostate cancers.   Understanding the Problems with Dairy Consumption

Type 1 Diabetes has been linked to dairy consumption.

And again, back to the whole contamination issue:  Milk is highly contaminated with rBGH, a bovine growth hormone, which is used to increase milk production in dairy cattle.  Once you add that, the cows end up with inflammation of the mammary glands simply because their bodies were never MEANT to produce in that manner, and so they must be given antibiotics.  That, plus the GMO’s and pesticides all show up in the milk that you and your loved ones may be drinking.

When I have a recipe that calls for milk, I now use organic coconut milk.  I like the SO Delicious brand of unsweetened coconut milk.  I’ve used it for years in casseroles, sauces and baked goods and no one has ever noticed that I don’t use dairy.   You can use canned coconut milk, refrigerate it and then, carefully skim off the cream portion and whip it as you would whipped cream for a great dairy-free topping.

As for the drink du jour?  How about fresh, purified water?  We can never get enough of it!

If you wish to find out more about the excellent sites that provide the best health information as well as those that are more questionable, please comment or ask questions!

 

Cheese, glorious cheese!

I generally do not eat dairy.  Think about it.  Humans are the only species that drinks the milk of other species.  And humans are the only species that drinks that milk of other species, after weaning.  Our systems aren’t made to process it well.  Those of us who have fine-tuned our diet have an even greater problem with dairy.  I don’t crave it and don’t want it – except for CHEESE!!!!

CHEESEActually, cheese has some excellent nutritional benefits, as long as you don’t overdo it and overload on the fat content.  And, cheese doesn’t give me a problem!  While I don’t think we’re technically ‘lactose intolerant’, those who are lactose intolerant have no problem with cheese.  Why?  When milk turns to cheese, it goes through a process called acidification, which is a souring process.  The lactose in the milk converts to lactic acid.  It becomes a different entity altogether.   By the time a cheese is aged, most if not all of the lactose is gone.  The more aged or the firmer the cheese, the safer it is to eat if you’re lactose intolerant.

WHEW!  I’m really glad to know all of that.   Both Mark and I are cheese lovers, but we do limit ourselves, AND as always, I read every label when buying cheese.

There are organic cheeses that are really good and easily available in the States. Organic Cheese Horizon and Organic Valley make some good basic  cheeses and they’re reasonably priced.  But if you want something really special, you should be looking at cheeses that are not made in the US.   Knowing the contamination factor of GMO’s in this country, as always, you should go organic.

And knowing that Europe is very anti-GMO gives me a better feeling about their cheeses.  There are some excellent Canadian cheeses as well. I could spend hours in the cheese section of Whole Foods or any other store that has an excellent cheese section. Trader Joes?  Just read the labels.  Trader Joe’s has inexpensive food, but it’s often NOT organic and NOT non-GMO.

When it comes to labeling, like anything imported into the US, the country of origin should be displayed on the product.  In my case, I’m not looking to eliminate the product from viable choices.  I’m looking for something that is a better choice than most cheeses in the US.

Until fairly recently, you could count on the type and name of a cheese to know where it was produced based on the PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) , PGI (Protected Geographical Indication and TSG (Traditional Speciality Guaranteed).  The European Union protects the name of regional foods and it is enforced within the EU and internationally via bilateral agreements with non-EU countries.  This protects the reputation of regional foods and insures a consistent quality for those items.  Wines, cheeses, hams, sausage, olives and beer are governed by this.  Some examples of cheeses that fall into this category are Gorgonzola, Parmigiano Reggiano, Asiago and Roquefort. But cheesemakers nationwide have begun to infringe on these protections. If you ask me, it makes them look really bad.   Yes, they make some tasty (and some organic) cheese in Wisconsin but can’t they create their own styles? Why do they feel they have the right to take something that is not theirs?

The US hasn’t been particularly helpful in this legal process, protecting these lovely foods, and thus, you see more and more US-made ‘imitations’ of European cheeses.  Without the particulars of the location that they are traditionally made in, you aren’t getting anything remotely close to the original.  For example, to be named Roquefort,  Cheese.Wikia.com says, ”  cheese must be made from the milk of a certain breed of sheep, and matured in the natural caves near the town of Roquefort in the Aveyron region of France, where it is infected with the spores of a particular fungus (Penicillium roqueforti) that grows in these caves. “

Interestingly enough, what’s good for the goose doesn’t seem to be good for the gander.  Cheese producers in Wisconsin infringe on EU PDO products constantly.  You really have to read the labels to know what you’re getting, because the people in Wisconsin have adopted Italian, Dutch and French names for their companies.  Here is a prime example and if you ask me, it should be illegal. Those who know no better could be easily duped into buying a product that is in fact NOT Gorgonzola and NOT Italian.  WisconsinItalianCheeseNOYET, many regions in the US feel they deserve the protections that the US denies European producers.  Some examples:  Georgia feels that to be labeled a Vidalia Onion, it must be produced in the area of Vidalia, Georgia.   Idaho feels the same way about their potatoes and Florida is very protective of their Florida Orange Juice moniker.

So again, we’re back to reading labels.  On my trip to the market yesterday, I took some pictures of cheese labels to illustrate what we’re talking about.

Note how BelGioioso uses an Italian Name, claims to be an Italian Blue Cheese, yet it’s made in Wisconsin.

 

Also, this Feta, WisconsinGreekCheeseNOwhich is traditionally a Greek cheese, uses a more Mediterranean company name and yet it is made in the US.

And finally, I found this interesting little gem (Castello) in the cheese section at the local supermarket.  I’ve turned it inside out and found no country of origin.  So I bought it, since I love this type of cheese, thinking perhaps that once it was opened, the magical country of origin would be revealed.  Nope!

Now, I suspected it was from Denmark since I saw a small stamp on it that said DK.  But again, it didn’t meet the requirements for labeling in the US.

 

As it happens this is a delicious cheese and I’m sure it’s from Denmark, CheeseNotProperlyLabeledbut still, this proves that you must read every label, every day to know what you’re putting in your body.

And shame on Publix for not adhering to the law that requires that anything they sell is properly labeled as to country of origin.   I might have passed this by, assuming it was another deception by a Wisconsin cheesemaker, if I’d not seen the DK in the small circle on the back.  And most Americans don’t know the symbols for European countries.

Finally, the entire time I’ve been writing this, a commercial jingle from the 80’s kept rolling around in my head so I am including it below.  Now it will probably embed itself in YOUR head for the rest of the day.  Enjoy!

(Edit:  Now after posting, I realized that this ad was for the American Dairy Council and our dairy products in 1987 were already soaked in pesticides.  Oh well.  All we can do is demand better for ourselves and our family. )