The general public and the public society at large tend to think of milk as unquestionably healthy food; a belief which is not based on knowledge, but on propaganda. The dairy industry is commercially important - too important to be allowed to be challenged in a serious way.
Within certain circles, however, dairy products are controversial. Milk, especially industrial milk, is questioned for a number of reasons. We will look at some of them here.
In this text "milk" means cow's milk, unless otherwise is stated.
"My illness is due to my doctor's insistence that I drink milk, a whitish fluid they force down helpless babies."
(W. C. Fields)
Natural milk, milk from the cow, just as it is, is a much more natural substance than industrial milk - and it certainly makes better (or less harmful) food. That is, were it not for the infection risk. Yet industrial milk is what is available to most of you, and that is what we will mainly concern ourselves with here.
Industrial milk is characterised by:
1. Separation and Standardisation. Skim milk and cream (fat) are separated from each other, then a certain amount of fat is returned to the milk, to give it a pre-defined fat percentage.
2. Pasteurisation. The milk is heated and then chilled again. This kills disease-causing bacteria. Non-pasteurised milk can carry infection, and it once was a major source of tuberculosis.
Unfortunately pasteurisation kills the natural enzymes too, which makes the nutrients harder to utilise. With time, natural milk turns sour, pasteurised milk is rotting.
3. Homogenisation. The fat is divided into particles, small enough to prevent the cream from separating. This also makes the milk appear fatter than it is.
A professor Oster has a theory, which is not unquestioned. He means that homogenisation is contributing to atherosclerosis. On the outside of the fat particles there is an enzyme, XO. For non-homogenised milk, XO breaks down by digestion; when it is homogenised, however, the particles are so small that they reach the blood as they are. There XO harms the vessels, and cholesterol is deposited to repair the damage.
Milk is the most common allergen. If you are allergic, there is 50-80% probability that you react to milk. The reaction can be caused by the protein, or some other constituent.
This is a problem I have discussed in detail in a previous article, Lactose Intolerance, Vandals & Germanic Migration.
Milk inhibits the transformation of essential fatty acids to prostaglandins. This affects the immune system negatively, and probably everything else too. Prostaglandins are involved in all biological processes of our body, also mental ones.
In theory, milk is a good source of protein; in reality, it is questionable if protein from industrial milk can be properly utilised. There is the problem with pasteurisation and the death of enzymes, but another question is related to fat.
Protein-rich natural foodstuffs are rich in fat too. It is a matter of doubt whether the protein can be utilised if it is not accompanied by the related amount of fat. If it cannot, skim milk and standard milk are both bad protein sources; and if protein enters the body without being properly utilised, it strains and harms it.
There is a good deal of high quality minerals in milk, and it is commonly held as an important source of calcium. But there is a problem associated with what it does not contain: a sufficient amount of magnesium.
To be properly utilised by the body, calcium must be accompanied by the right amount of magnesium; otherwise it is deposited into various tissues, where it blocks normal functions. Unfortunately, milk does not contain more than a small fraction of the magnesium it would need to uphold a good calcium-magnesium balance. Unless that is corrected by a magnesium supplement, milk is a close to worthless - or even dangerous - source of calcium.
Milk forms mucus, and mucus in the body blocks various functions and stimulates the growth of fungi. It has to be cleansed out somehow, otherwise it leads to disease, including cancer. A regular use of milk makes mucus accumulate uncontrollably.
In the stomach, milk curdles and envelops its (the stomach's) other contents, thus preventing the digestive juices from reaching the material and fulfilling their task. This leads to indigestion. (If you vomit up milk, it comes as pieces, as cheese!)
Fermentation of milk gives a number of valuable products, by which the most well-known is yoghurt. Which type of sour milk you get is determined by which type of micro-organism you use for the fermentation.
The fermentation produces lactic acid, which is good for the intestinal microflora, and it breaks down various nutrients so they are more easily digested. Sour milk does not rot, and it does not coagulate (curdle) in the stomach. If you throw up sour milk, it comes as liquid - if you throw up ordinary milk, it comes as coagulated pieces (cheese).
To be truly beneficial, sour milk must contain living lactobacilli or lactococci. Consequently it must be pasteurised before the fermentation, not after.
According to the current level of knowledge, the most beneficial sour milk is made by the use of Lactobacillus acidophilus.
Cheese is made from curd, coagulated by rennet and separated from the whey. Pure curd cheese, or cottage cheese, is made by sour milk, and it contributes to a sound intestinal microflora. Otherwise cheese is too rich in (saturated) fat and protein to be used more than occasionally.
Whey can be used to make a cheese-like product called whey-cheese. Its nutritional value is superior to ordinary cheese.
Whey, the serum of milk, is the watery liquid that remains after cheesemaking. It is very nutritious, but contains very little energy (calories). Fat, protein, and most of the excess calcium are gone (they are in the cheese), most of the other nutrients are found in the whey. (Note: whey contains all the lactose.)
Under certain circumstances, whey can be pure superfood, with healing, cleansing and regulating qualities. Concentrated, fermented whey can be applied externally against various forms of dysbacteria, fungi, eczema, etc.
Ingested it normalises the microflora, stimulates digestion, combats cancer, regulates the pancreas (combatting diabetes), and much more.
Butter is made by churning the fatty part of milk. It is extremely high in saturated fat.
The liquid that remains when butter has been extracted, is called buttermilk. Some people appreciate that as a refreshing beverage.
If for some reason you need solid fat - as in certain baking, or for confectionery - butter is a better choice than any form of margarine. Even if its level of saturated fat is extreme, it is still something that can be neutralised, because butter is a relatively natural substance. Margarine is an entirely artificial product and all its bad effects cannot be neutralised or repaired. Otherwise, coconut fat is the superior solid fat, and the best fat for cooking and frying. (For more on fats, see Understanding Dietary Fats Part 1 (of 2) & Understanding Dietary Fats Part 2 (of 2).)
All mammals lactate; the mothers produce milk to sustain their babies. The composition of the milk is unique for each species. Getting milk from another species than its own can kill a infant mammal, who is made to digest the milk from its own sort only.
This goes for humans too. Unless there is no other possible choice, a baby should never be given cow's milk. The real mother's milk is indispensable for the child's future health, while cow's milk could harm it. (For instance: Substituting mother's milk for cow's milk increases the risk for the child to develop asthma.)
Some studies suggest that even the mother's consumption of cow's milk during lactation might harm the breast-fed child. It will become more disposed to colic.
Actually, breastfeeding is important for the mother too, whose womb will not otherwise recover fully after pregnancy and childbirth.
Various parts of the body are connected via nerve channels, and there is such a connection between the breasts and the female sexual organs. When the breasts are stimulated, there are muscular constrictions in the female sexual region. This is why the breasts are so erogenous, the constrictions cause pleasure. And in the other direction, the nervous channel explains why there can be pain and tension in the breasts during menstruation or ovulation.
The stimulation of the breasts during breastfeeding is part of the restoration of woman after childbirth. In the same manner it causes constrictions, for the purpose of restoring normal size and elasticity in the sexual area.
As a short digression: Another very erogenous area of the female body is the upper lip, which is connected to clitoris by a subtle nerve channel. In Indian tradition it is called the Wisdom Conch-like Nerve.
In Old India, gold-dust and honey were sometimes applied to the upper lip of a baby girl, to ensure that she would grow sensual and beautiful.
Just to mention one more nerve connection, there is one between feet and kidneys. If your feet are cold, the kidneys will be too. Since the latter are sensitive to cold, keeping the feet warm is important for your kidney health.
As we have seen above, there are many reasons to call into question whether cow's milk is suitable food for humans.
My opinion is that it is not; it is food for babies, and only babies of the same species: cow's milk is for calves.
If you want to use milk, sour (fermented) milk is the best choice. On the whole, the products derived from milk, used sparingly and with common sense, are far less harmful than the milk itself.
Lactose Intolerance, Vandals & Germanic Migration
Understanding Dietary Fats Part 1 (of 2)
Understanding Dietary Fats Part 2 (of 2)
The Body's Inner & Outer Surface (and its inhabitants)
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