THE DAIRY INDUSTRY'S TARNISHED ANGEL
by LORI LIPINSKI
is published with the permission of the
Weston A. Price Foundation
of milk sparks just about as much controversy as the subject of
fats. Many alternative practitioners feel that it's not necessary
for humans to consume cow's milk and link its consumption to health
problems, such as ear infections, allergies, cancer and diabetes.
On the other hand, the medical community has convinced us that
if we don't drink enough milk our bones will disintegrate while
the American Dairy Association wants us to think we'll be cool
like celebrities with milk moustaches if we drink lots of milk.
of this article is not to convince you to drink milk or not to
drink milk. Instead, it addresses those who do --or would like
to -- drink milk and consume dairy products. If you fit into this
category, then you need to know where your milk has come from
and what it has been through.
CONDITIONS – THE PASTURE MYTH
were to ask you to picture a cow, you would most likely see in
your mind a cow grazing in an open pasture, like one you'd probably
seen before on a small family farm. That's a lucky cow, compared
to most of the cows bred for dairy production in this country.
The majority of commercial dairy cows don't have the luxury of
grazing on open fields. Instead they are kept in intense confinement,
in individual stalls, on hard cement floors, hooked up to milking
machines, forced to produce milk ten months out of the year, in
an overcrowded building. This is how the average commercial dairy
cow spends her short, miserable life -- 42 months on average,
compared to 12-15 years for a cow on pasture.
only is the unnatural building environment a problem for the cow,
but it can be a huge problem for the people around it as well.
The massive amount of waste produced on a factory farm is overwhelming
and can have devastating effects on the surrounding environment.
Over one-fifth of the country's dairy products are produced in
the central valley of California where confinement operations
create as much waste as a city of 21 million people! Much of that
waste is forced unnaturally into the environment, polluting our
lakes, rivers and streams. On the other hand, small farms are
able to recycle manure back into the earth to enrich the soil.
- THE HARD FACTS
natural diet consists mostly of grass, but since there isn't enough
grass to go around on the factory farm, today's factory cow is
fed a diet of mostly grain, and other things that they would not
The bulk of the feed consists of corn and soy, which receives
80 percent of all herbicides used in the US.
we think of pesticides we usually think of produce, but animal
products can contain up to 14 times more pesticides than plants!
Simply switching the cow's diet from grass to grain can cause
many problems, but that's only the beginning. According to a
recent article in US News & World Report, Some 40 billion
pounds a year of slaughterhouse wastes like blood, bone and
viscera, as well as the remains of millions of euthanized cats
and dogs passed along by veterinarians and animal shelters,
are rendered annually into livestock feed
manufacturers and farmers also have begun using or trying out
dehydrated food garbage, fats emptied from restaurant fryers
and grease traps, cement-kiln dust, even newspapers and cardboard
that are derived from plant cellulose. Researchers in addition
have experimented with cattle and hog manure, and human sewage
I first read this I thought there were probably only a handful
of farmers crazy enough to feed dead cats and dogs and other animals
parts to their vegetarian cows, but I was dead wrong! During the
BSE scare, the FDA ordered a halt to feeding all slaughterhouse
wastes to cattle and sheep in the US. At that time 75 percent
of the nation's 90 million cattle had been eating feed containing
humans, animals need nutrients to thrive and be healthy. Obviously
the feed given to factory farmed cows is not intended to provide
proper nourishment. Instead, farmers, or shall I say food manufacturers,
are interested in stuffing whatever they can into the cows to
bulk them up as quickly as possible. This can quickly lead to
sick animals and heavy doses of drugs. Like pesticides, these
drugs end up in the milk of the dairy animals, as do trans fats
from bakery wastes, undigested proteins from soy and animal foods
and aflatoxins from mouldy grain. To make matters worse, levels
of vitamin A and D drop off precipitously when cows are given
any feed other than green growing grass.
like a growing number of people today, you would rather not take
antibiotics when you get sick. You may even be proud of the fact
that you haven't had to use them in years.
However, if you drink commercial milk or eat commercially raised
meats and poultry, you could be consuming antibiotics on a daily
basis ,without even knowing it! Over 50 percent of all the antibiotics
produced in this country are mixed directly into animal feed.
antibiotics should be used in farming only when necessary to treat
infection. However, due to the sickly nature of factory farmed
animals, they are fed a constant supply of antibiotics from birth
until the time of slaughter.
resistance is a serious issue that has gotten a lot of press in
recent years. Basically, bacteria are mutating and outsmarting
the antibiotics, making them ineffective. (The same phenomenon
is occurring on farms where bugs are mutating to withstand pesticide
applications.) We criticize medical doctors for over-prescribing
antibiotics, but that is only part of the problem. Not only are
antibiotics overused in this country, but they are also over-consumed.
People are unknowingly consuming more antibiotics than they are
actually taking by choice. Due to the heavy doses of antibiotics
used on factory farmed animals, your steaks, hamburgers, chicken,
and hotdogs are all laced with antibiotics.
contains traces of up to 80 different antibiotics!
in 1930, the average dairy cow produced 12 pounds (about a gallon
and a half) of milk per day. In 1988, the average was 39 pounds
per day. This was accomplished by selective breeding to obtain
dairy cows that produced a lot of pituitary hormones, thereby
generating large amounts of milk. But the industry was not satisfied
with this output. Today rBGH, a synthetic growth hormone, is used
to get even more milk out of the dairy cows, bringing the average
up to 50 pounds (over 6 gallons) of milk per day.
sounds like a great thing for dairy farmers, right? However, when
you mess with Mother Nature, you will suffer the consequences.
FDA documents show that cows injected with rBGH are 79 percent
more likely to contract mastitis. In 1991, a report on Monsanto's
BGH test herd at the University of Vermont found the same kinds
of problems identified by the FDA, plus an alarming number of
dead and deformed calves born to cows treated with BGH. Other
problems include reproductive difficulties, increased need for
antibiotics, digestive problems, enlarged hocks and lesions, and
to the Humane Farming Association, The FDA admits that BGH injections
increase sickness and drug use in dairy cows. Consumer's Union
reports that because of increased udder infections, it is more
likely that milk from treated cows will be of lower quality --
containing more pus and bacteria -- than milk from untreated cows."
is a process of heat treating milk to kill bacteria. Although
Louis Pasteur developed this technique for preserving beer and
wine, he was not responsible for applying it to milk. That was
done at the end of the 1800s as a temporary solution until filthy
urban dairies could find a way to produce cleaner milk. But instead
of cleaning up milk production,
used pasteurization as a way to cover up dirty milk. As milk
became more mass produced, pasteurization became necessary for
large dairies to increase their profits. So the public then
had to be convinced that pasteurized milk was safer than raw
milk. Soon raw milk consumption was blamed for all sorts of
diseases and outbreaks until the public was finally convinced
that pasteurized milk was superior to milk in its natural state.
if you mention raw milk, many people gasp and utter ridiculous
statements like, "You can die from drinking raw milk!"
But the truth is that there are far more risks from drinking pasteurized
milk than unpasteurized milk. Raw milk naturally contains healthy
bacteria that inhibit the growth of undesirable and dangerous
organisms. Without these friendly bacteria, pasteurized milk is
more susceptible to contamination. Furthermore, modern equipment,
such as milking machines, stainless steel tanks and refrigerated
trucks, make it entirely possible to bring clean, raw milk to
the market anywhere in the US.
does pasteurization kill the friendly bacteria, it also greatly
diminishes the nutrient content of the milk. Pasteurized milk
has up to a 66 percent loss of vitamins A, D and E. Vitamin C
loss usually exceeds 50 percent. Heat affects water soluble vitamins
and can make them 38 percent to 80 percent less effective. Vitamins
B6 and B12 are completely destroyed during pasteurization. Pasteurization
also destroys beneficial enzymes, antibodies and hormones. Pasteurization
destroys lipase (an enzyme that breaks down fat), which impairs
fat metabolism and the ability to properly absorb fat soluble
vitamins A and D. (The dairy industry is aware of the diminished
vitamin D content in commercial milk, so they fortify it with
a form of this vitamin.)
all been led to believe that milk is a wonderful source of calcium,
when in fact, pasteurization makes calcium and other minerals
less available. Complete destruction of phosphatase is one method
of testing to see if milk has been adequately pasteurized. Phosphatase
is essential for the absorption of calcium.
dairy industry has become more concentrated, many processing plants
have switched to ultra pasteurization, which involves higher temperatures
and longer treatment times. The industry says this is necessary
because many micro organisms have become heat resistant and now
survive ordinary pasteurization.
reason for ultra pasteurization is that it gives the milk a longer
shelf life -- up to four weeks. The grocers like this but many
consumers complain of a burnt or dead taste. The milk is virtually
sterile -- if that what you want to drink?
producers are not advertising the fact that they are ultra pasteurizing
the milk -- the word is written in very small letters and the
milk is sold in the refrigerator section even though it can be
kept unrefrigerated until opened. Horizon, the major organic brand,
is ultra pasteurized, as are virtually all national brands.
straight from the cow contains cream, which rises to the top.
Homogenization is a process that breaks up the fat globules and
evenly distributes them throughout the milk so that they do not
rise. This process unnaturally increases the surface area of fat
exposing it to air, in which oxidation occurs and increases the
susceptibility to spoilage. Homogenization has been linked to
heart disease and arteriosclerosis.
TO DRINK OR NOT TO DRINK?
how modern commercial milk is produced and processed, it's no
wonder that millions of Americans are allergic to it. An allergic
reaction to dairy can cause symptoms like diarrhoea, vomiting
(even projectile vomiting), stomach pain, cramping, gas, bloating,
nausea, headaches, sinus and chest congestion, and a sore, or
scratchy throat. Milk consumption has been linked to many other
health conditions as well, such as asthma, arteriosclerosis, diabetes,
chronic infections (especially upper respiratory and ear infections),
obesity, osteoporosis and cancer of the prostate, ovaries, breast
you understand how modern milk is produced and processed, it seems
logical to just avoid it altogether. But Real Milk -- full-fat,
unprocessed milk from pasture-fed cows -- contains vital nutrients
like fat-soluble vitamins A and D, calcium, vitamin B6, B12, and
CLA (conjugated linoleic acid, a fatty acid naturally occurring
in grass-fed beef and milk that reduces body fat and protects
against cancer). Real milk is a source of complete protein and
is loaded with enzymes. Raw milk contains beneficial bacteria
that protect against pathogens and contribute to a healthy flora
in the intestines. Culturing milk greatly enhances its probiotic
and enzyme content, making it a therapeutic food for our digestive
system and overall health.
answer to the question is -- go ahead and drink milk only if you
can get unprocessed milk from pastured cows. In the meantime,
here are a few steps that can help you make the transition to
more natural dairy products.
COMMERICAL MILK FROM YOUR DIET
I propose a step-by step process for making a dietary change,
but considering where commercial milk has come from, and what
it has been through, it is best to just remove it from the diet
altogether. Instead use some of the better quality dairy products
such as raw cheese, good quality whole yoghurt, butter and cream
that has not been ultra pasteurized.
A SOURCE OF REAL MILK IN YOUR AREA