For years, we have witnessed the American food and nutrition pyramid plug its approval for drinking more milk, citing better bone health and the dietary benefi ts of calcium. With hosts of advertising ploys, like the �Got Milk?� campaign, who would believe that milk isn't all that great for you? If athletes and top models endorse it, it must be true, right? Wrong.
Let�s start with the fact that humans are the only mammals on the planet that continue to drink milk, and consume anything dairy-made for that matter, after infancy. The idea that we require calcium that only dairy can provide is a myth in and of itself. There are other sources, like marine calcium, fortifi ed cereals, or soy, that can supply the same amounts of calcium that we believe to be nutritionally sound for our bodies. Bone-in fi sh, like sardines, or omega- 3-rich salmon is a start. And if you aren't fond of eating fi sh, products like tofu, collard greens, and molasses are your best bets. Lest we forget about Vitamin D�it has for years been cast to the side as second-rate, when in reality it works hand-in-hand with calcium.
I have this free-spirited friend to whom my husband and I refer as �the hippie� (she's fi ne with it). This friend once told me about a tribe in Papua New Guinea that lived solely on sunshine and water. As utopian as the concept sounds, I highly doubt they lived very long. While my friend may have been missing key components of the tribe's visceral diet, the one thing that made the most sense was the bit about sunshine. Solar energy is the number-one source of vitamin D for humans and animal life combined. We are said to receive 90% of our daily vitamin D allotment from the sun. Between fi ve and 30 minutes of sun exposure on your unprotected face, arms, legs or back between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. two to three times every week is enough for your body to produce all the D3 it needs. Studies have concluded that Vitamin D is perhaps the most powerful element in bone and heart health, not calcium.
Scientifi cally speaking, in certain studies, calcium has been documented to increase the Vector I cancer promoter in human beings, which leads doctors to believe that the risk for men developing prostate cancer is increased anywhere from 30% to 50% with copious calcium consumption. Dr. Pedroza Escipion , an endocrinologist in the New Orleans area, explains, �Whether a chemical in the foods we eat today or the hormones and animal proteins in dairy products, I have witnessed an increase of cases in young males 20 to 25 years old, where a decrease in testosterone production is the primary issue.� Animal proteins are a major concern.
Consider this: in the age of the caveman, there were no domesticated animals. There was no drinking the milk of cow, sheep, or goat. There was no cheese or yogurt. Like us, cows produce milk to nurture their young. It wasn't intended for us to drink. We survived just fi ne in the safe confi nes of our rocky abodes without it. It wasn't until man decided to domesticate cows 10,000 years ago for food that we began to drink milk at all. And even then, the means by which we acquired it were amateur, unsanitary, and only for profi t. With technological improvements and evolution, we have �fi gured out� how to �safely� homogenize and cultivate dairy and its byproducts and realized what a necessity it is for humans�according to the dairy industry, anyway.
Keep in mind that the dairy industry is subsidized by the American government. They want you to drink milk so they stay in business. What you don't read on the milk carton or whipping cream labels is that the animal proteins in cow, sheep, and goat milk may promote: bone loss, allergies, type I diabetes, anemia, and early puberty in children. Add to that FTC investigations showing that 75% of the world's population cannot properly digest milk.
Local pasteurized, non-homogenized whole milk, skim milk, creams, chocolate milk, and hard and soft cheeses can be purchased at the Crescent City Farmers� Market, which hosts suppliers Mauthe's Dairy of Folsom, LA, and ryal's rocking r Dairy of Tylertown, MS. The two vendors showcase natural dairy products as well as free-range chicken eggs, cheeses, and cheesecakes. Hollygrove Market & Farm proudly states that without local farmers and foodmakers, their market would not exist. The gracious hosts offer vendors the opportunity to sell free-range chickens, eggs, and baked goods made with organic milks. A variety of North Shore farms contribute to the Covington Farmers� Market in the form of plants, prepared foods, honeys, condiments, and homemade soaps. St James Cheese Company has a plethora of organic cheese produced using nontreated cows and organic milk. Ask the cheesemonger or dairy department attendant next time you have questions concerning dairy products. Chances are they'll be happy to recommend and educate you on their favorites.