Food for Thought - Are You Sabotaging Your Health with What You Eat? Part 4 - Milk

By Karla Jones Seidita, Home Economist

There is nothing more controversial than milk.

Some believe it is vital to good health.

Others believe that milk is good for children but not adults.

Then there are those who believe that only raw milk should be drunk.... that pasteurizing and homogenizing milk changes a healthful food into a killer.

While the debate over milk continues, here's what we do know.....

Cows are routinely injected with hormones to keep their milk flowing and those hormones wind up in the milk you are drinking.

But it doesn't stop there. The hormones also wind up in foods that are made with and from milk... cheese, yogurt, butter, ice cream, pudding and baked goods.

Like all mammals, a cow produces milk to feed her calf.  The milk naturally stops flowing after her calf has been weaned.  Milk production can be extended by continuing to milk her and/or by injecting her with hormones.   Hormone injected cows will continue to be produce almost indefinitely.  This is what's known as a "factory" cow.

The hormones the cows are given wind up in their milk.  The dairy industry maintains that levels of hormones in milk products for human consumption are so low that they are insignificant.   That may be... but add to that all the other hormones in our foods (like beef) and medicines (like birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy) and you wind up with a very powerful hormone cocktail.

Here's what to do.... switch to organic milk and dairy products.   It's that simple.

USDA certified organic dairy products do not contain milk from cows that have been given hormones. Always look for the green icon on the package.

The term "natural" on dairy products doesn't mean anything.

Got a dairy near you?
Ask them if they give hormones to their cows.   If not, that would be a great place to get milk, too, even if it isn't certified "organic".  Ideally the cows should be 100% grass, hay and/or pasture fed.

Eliminating hormones from the milk and dairy products you eat is a huge step toward better health.


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