Milk, it does a body…

Jamie Oliver has a show on TV where he has been documented trying to change the behaviours of students, teachers, school nutritionists, school board members…well actually an entire state, er…country.  But the show is based at an elementary school in Huntington, West Virginia.  Check out the website (link at the end of this blog).  This week it showed the strawberry and chocolate milk he had removed from the school had made it back into the food lines.  Why would he want the milk removed?  Sugar…those flavoured milks have more sugar in them than pop!

But Jamie! Why stop there? What about the 2% or full fat 3.25%…or any milk for that matter.

Very few people understand at first why I tell them to get themselves and their children to cut back on drinking so much milk.  Then, when I hit them with, “Oh yeah, and watch all your dairy intake…take it easy on the cow products period.” Gasp! (is the collective sound I hear.)  How can I say that when everyone else, including other health professionals, are saying just the opposite thing.

Answer.  A hard fact we need to consider is that most cows are being given an excess of growth hormone just to keep them producing massive amounts of milk. This, in turn, makes them sick, at which time they are given antibiotics. The growth hormone and antibiotics get into their blood stream and then into the milk they produce. Who drinks this chemical laden milk? We do! (Actually, I don’t and maybe you’re starting to consider whether you do).  Here are some facts to consider.

1. North Americans drink the most milk of any other countries, yet we still have the highest rate of osteoporosis.

2. Pasteurization kills off all the necessary digestive enzymes in the milk. (This is why so many people are now suffering from lactose intolerance).

3. Pasteurization also makes the major part of the calcium contained in milk insoluble, meaning it makes 50% of milk’s calcium unusable by the body. (Thus contributing to the high rate of osteoporosis).

4. Milk sugar (lactose) converts into sugar your body uses very quickly, leading to blood sugar roller coaster ride (highs and lows) for you and your kids.  Start the day with a lollipop lately?

How could this all be true? Haven’t we all been told, “Milk, it does a body good!”  Well, yes it does/did, but milk was really only intended to be consumed in its natural state (unpasteurized–raw) by it’s providers offspring.  You know, goats drink goats milk, cows drink cows milk, humans drink…ok bad examples.  Humans drink both and sometimes they even drink human milk.

We don’t need or really want milk.  We have been told that’s where we get great amounts of calcium.  So the real questions is “How do I get enough Calcium?” As I said, most of the Calcium in milk is not absorbed by the body. More calcium is absorbed from foods such as green leafy vegetables, spinach, broccoli (This makes sense that more calcium comes from greens since cows preferably eat grass and they have a lot of calcium inside their bodies) and some sea food, sardines (with bones preferably) and salmon.

Milk moustaches are not cool!

Here is what I use instead of cows milk…I use un-sweetened almond milk.

From the almond milk I have no bloating, no indigestion.  There is no lactose in almond milk and it has 1/3 of the calories of milk. It blends great in my protein shakes and my kids drink it too–it truly does taste great!

Here is a list of other sources of calcium.

Food Amount Calcium (milligrams)
Collards, frozen, boiled 1 cup 357
Spinach, frozen, boiled 1 cup 291
Black-eyed peas, boiled 1 cup 211
Canned salmon 3 oz 181
Calcium-set tofu 3 oz (¼ block) 163
Cheese food, pasteurized American 1 oz 162
Trail mix (nuts, seeds, chocolate chips) 1 cup 159
Baked beans, canned 1 cup 154
Iceberg lettuce 1 head 97
Green peas, boiled 1 cup 94
Soy milk 1 cup 93
Oranges 1 cup 72
Almonds 1 oz (24 nuts) 70
Soy 1 cup 50
Mung 1 cup 35
Alfalfa 1 cup 25

Click here to see Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution

Finally, here are two more reasons to maybe avoid the cow juice…WARNING…not for the weak stomachs….

Did you know?

5) Dairy is puss-itively scary. There’s more to that glass of milk than you think. Dairy products are commonly contaminated with blood, pus, pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics.

6) Milk is bad to the bone. Contrary to a popular milky myth, studies have suggested dairy as causing, rather than preventing, osteoporosis, due to its high protein content actually leeches calcium from the body.

So, tell me what you think. Agree/Disagree?  Let me know.  Do you have an alternative for milk that you like.  I’d love to hear about it.




  1. Thank you for this!!! So much to think about. You really opened my eyes to why milk is not the best for me! That’s what I’ve been waiting for! All the times I asked you “Why can’t I have my latte!?’ Now it all makes sense! Thanks Carrie 🙂

  2. It is illegal for Canadian milk producers to use growth hormone to increase milk production in their cows. Also, if a cow is being treated for an infection with antibiotics, it’s milk is removed from the general milk collection tank and there is a specified time period after antibiotic use has finished that this milk remains removed from the milk that is being sold to the milk processing plant. When milk is picked up from a farmer, it is tested for specific substances, to ensure its quality, if it doesn’t pass, it is thrown out. Please, there is nothing wrong with Canadian milk, white milk sold in Canada, is free of RBST, BST, RGBH or any other artificial growth hormone. However Canada does import some flavored milks from the US where these growth hormones are legal. Watch where the milk comes from not just where it is distributed from.

    1. LO;
      Thanks for the information that you provided. It is great to know that the Canadian Milk Industry and our farmers have higher standards than those in some other countries. I know people who swear by milk and nothing that is said will ever convince them otherwise. I’m just not one of them and have adverse reactions to milk and dairy products. I find it better to get my nutrition from places other than dairy. Just like what you are doing, education and awareness is something that needs to be shared.

  3. Never been a fan due to an intolerance. Can not drink soy – allergic. So Almond Milk is an option. I will try it… My kids do not drink milk much just for cereal so I will try that with them also. It upsets their tummies too.

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