I Don’t Give My Kids Milk…
The great dairy debate – making sense of propaganda….
It has been about 10 years now that my children and I ditched the dairy. They are now in their 12th year of life. So, they have not had dairy since they were quite young. I made this choice for us for a number of reasons. I am not going to lie… countless people have judged me for it over the years.
Making bold dietary changes is definitely not easy. Coffee or no coffee? Milk or no milk? Wheat or wheat free? Meat or no meat? I recently went to a bricks and mortar Barnes & Noble and couldn’t help but notice the array of books about food and diet on display. How does one make a smart choice in this sea of information.
So, I did a little research and found what I suspected all along. I googled and easily found several links telling me the reasons why I should remove dairy from my diet. Then I googled “advantages of dairy” and also found several links telling me why I should drink milk. Propaganda is everywhere. Facts are malleable. Every side makes a compelling argument. Some of the points overlap.
Here are two opposing links just for argument sake:
Ironically, both articles will tell you that following their advice will help your skin look better and lose weight. Hmmmmm…
So, here is what I believe. We don’t need dairy. Maybe in the old days we did but not anymore. So, here are my top 5 reasons I am completely comfortable standing on the no milk side of the fence:
1 – Years ago, before the advent of Trader Joe’s and health foods in every supermarket I used to go to a mom and pop health food store in my neighborhood. These just don’t exist here any longer…but I digress. I became friendly with one of the guys who ran the store because I would walk there with the kids a ton and was at the beginning of my new healthy eating life. I always had lots of questions and he always had good advice and recommendations. We were talking about t he topic of milk one day and he said something so simple and yet so wise.
Cow’s milk is made for baby cows.
Ah yes, that’s right. Cows produce milk just as women do – for their offspring. Some one a long time ago decided to take some for themselves.
2 – The cows of today are not the same as the cows of yesteryear. Today’s cows receive lots of hormones and antibiotics. The milk is then homogenized. Lots of processing.
3 – “Alternative” milks are fortified. There are so many great choices – rice, almond, soy, cashew, macadamia.
4 – There are plenty of the same vitamins and minerals we need in real food – leafy greens and broccoli, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and sesame seeds, quinoa, sweet potatoes, beet greens, tomatoes and mushrooms to name a few.
5 – Dairy is not good for the immune system. Since we eliminated it we are much healthier. My children and I rarely get sick and when we do we make a speedy recovery.
I share this so you can get perspective. Eliminating foods or food groups from your diet is a big deal. Always make an effort to educate yourself on the points of view on both sides. Assess your health and try it out for a month. Take notes. See if you feel lighter, less bloated, more energy. Just make sure to assess how YOUR BODY is reacting. Your health is ultimately in your own hands.
Love and light,