Get Everything You Ever Wanted : Dairy



The subject of cow’s milk dairy could fill a whole book itself. As a society, we have
grown up with the idea that milk and cheese should be staples in the American diet, primarily
for the calcium they purportedly provide. What researchers now know is that the quality of our
milk supply has drastically changed over the past century, thus changing the daily recommended
requirements for dairy from three to none. Also, many Americans now suffer from lactose intolerance
and thus resort to nondairy alternatives, which often end up causing problems worse than
the dairy itself.

In this chapter, I explain the changes in our dairy supply and the possible implications of
conventional dairy consumption.

The Raw Alternative

My theories and beliefs about dairy products (i.e., milk, yogurt, and cheese) surprise
many people. I believe that the only dairy products humans should consume is unpasteurized
and unhomogenized, from free-roaming grass-fed cattle. Although some people fear becoming
ill from raw dairy, thousands of people in this country (my family included) consume it, and not
only are we not becoming sick from it; we’re healthier than people who consume pasteurized
dairy products.

Raw dairy can be difficult to obtain. You may have to find a raw dairy co-op that would
allow you to buy a share in the ownership of a cow; in most states, the law allows the consumption
of raw milk from a cow that you own, just not the sale of that milk to the public (for sources,
see the Food Shopping Guide).

From an economic perspective, raw milk is more costly to produce (because of the extra
care given to the cows), and consumers may not be willing to pay the higher price for raw milk
when cheap pasteurized milk is available. This difference is equivalent to spending more money
on organic food, which may be more costly to produce but is significantly more healthy than conventionally
grown food.

Conventional Milk Processing

In the early 1900s, milk pasteurization began for fear of tuberculosis, botulism, and myriad
other diseases being spread through the milk supply. Whereas this concern may have been
legitimate at that time, many health professionals were (and still are) against pasteurization. For
example, in The Medical Mafia, Ghislaine Lanctôt points out that the bacteria that cause typhoid
and tuberculosis are not killed by the temperatures used in pasteurization (because they are not
high enough), and a good number of salmonella poisoning epidemics have been traced to pas
teurized milk (Lanctôt 1995, 165). In fact, all of the many incidents of Salmonella-contaminated
milk in recent decades occurred in pasteurized milk. One Illinois outbreak of salmonella poisoning
in 1985 sickened 14,000 people and resulted in at least one death (Fallon 2001, 34).

Because it contains bacteria that protect it from pathogens, unpasteurized milk probably
does not cause illness; unfortunately, it is pasteurization that kills off this beneficial bacteria.
Whereas raw milk eventually turns to buttermilk or sour cream, pasteurized milk can cause serious
illness when it has gone bad.

Modern milking, packaging, and distributing methods are more sanitary than they were
when pasteurization was first thought to be necessary. In my opinion, pasteurization is unnecessary
and harms the milk. Lanctôt states that pasteurization destroys milk’s intrinsic germicidal
properties as well as its healthy enzymes (most of which are necessary for proper digestion). She
goes on to state that 50% of pasteurized milk’s calcium is unusable—the body cannot assimilate
it (Lanctôt 1995, 165). It is no wonder that the United States, rated highest in the amount of milk
consumed, has a higher incidence of osteoporosis than any other country.

Many people experience extreme digestive discomfort (lactose intolerance) after consuming
pasteurized dairy, which also may be laden with chemicals (added to suppress odor and
restore taste) and synthetic vitamin D2 (toxic and linked to heart disease) or D3 (which is difficult
to absorb) (Fallon 2001, 35). In raw milk and raw milk products, the enzymes that aid in
digestion are intact—as are the vitamins (Chek 2004, 66). Most people who have experienced
sensitivity to pasteurized dairy can tolerate raw milk.


Homogenization is a process whereby milk is passed through a fine filter that makes the
fat molecules smaller. It enables the fat molecules to bypass digestion, increases the chances of
incomplete protein digestion in the small intestine, and allows some of the milk proteins to be
absorbed into the bloodstream intact, which can sensitize the immune system and lead to milk
allergy and intolerance (Chek 2004, 66).

Growth Hormone and Antibiotics

Another problem with commercially produced dairy is that cows are commonly injected
with growth hormones to increase milk production. Normally, a cow produces milk for about 12
weeks after giving birth. It’s a strain on her organs to produce milk that quickly. During this time,
she loses weight, is infertile, and is highly susceptible to diseases such as mastitis (i.e., inflammation
of the udder). By injecting a cow with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), a
farmer can extend milk production for another 8–12 weeks—putting the cow under additional
stress to produce milk for this extended period (Chek 2004, 66).

The administration of rBGH also increases a cow’s risk of infection by 80%. If a cow
gets mastitis yet is forced to continue to produce milk, pus from the udder may end up in the
milk supply. If the farmer gives the cow antibiotics to treat the infection, then those antibiotics
also end up in the milk.

You may wonder why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA) would approve
such a horrible practice as administering rBGH to dairy cows. The FDA states, “There is
no difference between milk from treated and untreated cows” (Chek 2004, 67), but the minimal
research that has been done was performed by the company that produces rBGH. Of course, that
company would be reluctant to release any information that may be damaging to it or its product.

Chek mentions one specific study conducted by this same company. He explains that all of the
animals treated with rBGH got cancer—even those that ingested it orally. This study was reviewed
by employees who had previously worked for the rBGH company but were working for
the FDA at the time the study was conducted (Chek 2004, 67).

The practices of pasteurization, homogenization, and rBGH administration in the United
States will continue because the dairy industry has become a big money-making business. Many
farmers are not willing to spend the time, effort, or money to raise cows naturally and ensure that
they roam free and eat healthy clean grass. Because the dairy industry attempts to produce as
much milk as possible (to make as much profit as possible), the cows become sick and toxic, in
turn necessitating the pasteurization of their milk—purportedly to protect the health of consumers.


What about yogurt? Yogurt can be one of the healthiest foods if it contains live cultures of
acidophilus and Bifidus, which are “good” bacteria—beneficial to the colon—in large amounts.
These friendly bacteria are necessary to produce several vitamins and for healthy digestive function.
The presence of these friendly bacteria also helps in the prevention and treatment of yeast

Many people who are lactose-intolerant (cannot digest milk) can consume yogurt with no
negative effects. Yogurt is easier to digest than milk because the live cultures create lactase, the
enzyme that lactose-intolerant people lack.

However, as with other foods, yogurt can only be as healthy as its source, and added
ingredients can change it from good to bad. When purchasing yogurt, always choose an organic
brand, which will be free of antibiotics and rBGH. Also pay close attention to the sugar content.
Plain yogurt will have the lowest sugar content, and fruit-added or sweetened yogurt will have
the greatest amounts. Most yogurts today contain more sugar and flavorings than candy does!

Action Steps

• If you consume dairy on a regular basis, try to buy raw (unpasteurized) certified organic

• If you can’t obtain raw dairy products, purchase the next best thing: certified organic.
Although the milk may be pasteurized, homogenized, or both, it won’t contain antibiotics,
hormones, or pesticide residues.

• If you can’t obtain or afford raw or organic dairy products, avoid dairy altogether. Most
of the calcium in dairy is not absorbed by the body anyway, so dairy is not necessary
for a healthy diet. Obtain calcium from other sources, such as leafy green vegetables,
broccoli, sardines (with bones), and salmon.