The two articles on raw milk in the April 8-14 issue [“Raw Deal: Asheville’s Taste for Unpasteurized Milk” and “The Raw Milk Debate: An Interview with Food Activist David Gumpert” Xpress] neglect a critical question: Why are humans drinking cow’s milk in the first place? The idea that people should drink cow’s milk has gone the way of Donna Reed and TV dinners. Today, the only proponents of drinking cow’s milk are the American dairy trade associations, the dairy producers they represent and small producers who seek to profit from cows.
We know better now: Consumption of dairy products has a strong link to breast and other cancers, heart disease, Crohn’s disease and obesity. Moreover, dairy products cause our blood to become acidic. The blood actually leaches calcium from our bones to restore alkalinity. Calcium is best absorbed when obtained through plant sources. Cow’s milk contains a large amount of pus cells resulting from the stressed cow’s udders developing an infection called mastitis. The USDA allows 750 ppm pus cells per liter of milk, and pasteurization heats the pus but doesn’t clear it.
Mammals drink their mother’s milk until they are weaned and able to transition to solid foods. Humans are weaned by the age of 3 at the latest; after that, they have no need for anyone’s milk. Cow’s milk is designed for baby calves only. Dogs and cats, too, should never be given cow’s milk as it causes diarrhea and other intestinal problems. Unweaned puppies and kittens should be given milk-replacer formulas specifically designed for them. Were cow’s milk suited for consumption by nonbovines, it wouldn’t need to be pasteurized in the first place.
Regardless of the size of the operation, the use of land and water for milk production is an unsustainable practice. A cow produces an average of 120 pounds of waste daily. Cows are repeatedly impregnated and their calves taken away until the milk cow cannot produce anymore and is slaughtered. Do we really want to support this?
Let’s everyone grow up, give up the teat and switch to soy, almond, coconut or hemp milk!
— Robbie Coleman