Why are so many people convinced that dairy products are the best source of calcium? The cunning marketing campaign of the dairy industry is trying to tell us that drinking milk protects our bones from devastating osteoporosis, but perhaps the opposite is true.
They start with children: the dairy industry is implementing a curriculum in schools that teaches children about the ‘nutritional value of cow’s milk’. Also, most doctors in the West teach their patients about ‘three glasses of milk a day for healthy bones’. And how is the dairy industry so successful in spreading false information campaigns? Perhaps this is due to the high sums they spend on lobbying efforts – in the United States alone, they spent $ 8 million in 2013 alone. In addition, subsidies for the dairy program totaled $ 5.3 billion from 1995 to 2012, including $ 171,578,059 for milk marketing. That’s right, Americans are paying to be misled by the dairy industry, and the hidden price may be endangering health.
And what false information is spreading by these campaigns? Although cow’s milk products do contain calcium, our body does not fully absorb it. The body needs a similar amount of another mineral, magnesium, to absorb calcium. Because milk and dairy products contain only small amounts of magnesium, only 25 percent of the calcium in milk is absorbed, and the excess is harmful to the body.
According to The China Study, those countries that consume the most milk tend to have the highest incidence of osteoporosis. Dr. Mr Colin Campbell, the world’s leading epidemiologist on health and nutrition raised on a dairy farm, says: – from research and education to politics and public relations – and they tried to convince us that cow’s milk and its products are manna from heaven. Let’s be clear, the dairy industry is almost completely in control of all health information that comes under public scrutiny at any time. “Campbell continues.”
Contrary to the data spread by the dairy industry through cunning marketing, milk and dairy products may not be the healthiest source of calcium for other reasons. The high content of saturated fats in many dairy products is a risk factor for heart disease. According to research conducted at Harvard, milk may increase the risk of ovarian cancer in women and the risk of prostate cancer in men. As they say on their website: “Obviously, although more research is needed, we cannot be sure that consuming large amounts of milk or calcium is safe.” For many people, especially those of non-northern European descent, an additional problem with milk is lactose hypersensitivity. In these, eating or drinking dairy products causes problems such as cramps, bloating, flatulence and diarrhea.
Cow’s milk is intended for young cows, not humans. We are the only species that regularly drinks the milk of other species, even in adulthood. We make sure that dairy cows are constantly pregnant and that they are separated from calves as soon as they give birth, so that the milk intended for them can be sold to us. In the 1940s, the average dairy cow produced about 2,500 liters of milk in one year. Today, the average cow produces an average of 7,000 liters of milk per year. In the last ten years alone, the amount of milk has increased by 15 percent. Cows often change their genes, fertilize them artificially, and inject drugs into their bodies to force them to produce about 4.5 times more milk than they would naturally produce to feed their calves. Industrial farming has proven to be extremely profitable for the dairy industry, but it pollutes the air, the surface and water, and causes unnecessary suffering to millions of animals. Cows can live up to 25 years, but in the dairy industry they are usually slaughtered for low quality beef around their 5th birthday. Many young males are slaughtered for veal, while most young females suffer the same fate as their mothers.
Adequate, lifelong calcium intake is needed to reduce the chances of osteoporosis. Eating enough calcium and vitamin D and exercising regularly with weights are also important factors in building optimal bone density and strength. Today, with all the delicious dairy substitutes, we can easily eliminate milk from our diet. We have a huge amount of plant foods that can supply us with an abundance of calcium that is easily absorbed by the body: legumes, green leafy vegetables such as kale, mustard leaves, beet leaves, Chinese cabbage, parsley and broccoli, cabbage, oats, beans, sesame seeds, almonds, asparagus, as well as fortified vegetable milks and juices, and solid tofu with calcium sulfate.
So the next time you hear an ad for milk talking about the need for calcium for healthy bones, think about everything they don’t tell you. There are alternatives that are not only healthier but also friendlier to cows, calves, and the environment.