Vegans wouldn’t dream of drinking cows’ milk or eating dairy. But for those newbies who might be wavering or undecided; here’s why you should swerve away from the cow juice.
1. Animals’ milk is for baby animals, not humans. Research has shown that if you fed a calf cows’ milk that has been homogenized and pasteurized, it would suffer ill health and probably die within six months. And these processes are supposed to make milk safe for human consumption?
2. When milk is homogenized, its structure is so damaged that the cream no longer separates properly from the milk. The fat cell walls are broken down enabling the fat to be easily absorbed by our digestive system and distributed around our bodies by the bloodstream. You might as well just drink straight cream!
3. The long held belief that milk was high in calcium and therefore good for our bone development has been consigned to the myth bin by research. The processes of pasteurization and homogenization render the calcium contained in cows’ milk virtually useless as far as our bodies are concerned. In fact, those countries which consume the highest quantities of processed milk also have the highest rates of osteoporosis.
4. Keen biology students will have heard of the study on Pottenger’s Cats which was carried out between 1932 and 1942. Two groups of cats were fed diets of raw and cooked/processed food respectively. The group fed on natural, untreated milk thrived whilst the other which was fed homogenized and pasteurized dairy showed signs of calcium deficiency and were mostly sterile after three generations. Could there be a connection between this research and the fact that here in the West, infertility rates are soaring.
5. A recent Canadian study has shown that drinking too much cows’ milk can lead to iron deficiency in young children and that supplementing the diet with vitamin D does not alleviate the problem. Human babies are physiologically designed to drink human milk, not cow's milk.
Fortunately for those who miss their milk fix there are alternatives out there. Most supermarkets offer soy, rice and nut milk, although the safest way to be sure of exactly what you’re drinking, is to make your own.
The following recipe is for very simple almond milk but you can add Brazil nuts, walnuts or any other unsalted nuts you fancy for a change. There are other recipes out there but this is about as quick and simple as it gets.
- 1 cup almonds or other nuts and 4 cups spring water.
- Put the nuts and water in a blender and blitz until well broken down but not totally smooth.
- Take a nut milk bag and strain the mixture through it.
- And there you have it: nut milk.
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.