Milk is bad for you. You must stop consuming all dairy products immediately. It will destroy your health, your GI tract, your immune system, yada yada yada. I mean it! Are you on board?
No. I don’t mean it at freaking all.
You’ve heard these arguments before, but they don’t hold up to scientific scrutiny. Follow the statements to the research and you find one or a few small sample studies conducted under dubious conditions that themselves are often difficult to verify having ever actually taken place. As opposed to the 10’s of thousands of studies showing milk to be healthy, and safe fo large segments of the human population. So where does all this dairy hate come from?
Like the hate for sugar, salt, gluten, and until recently, eggs, much of the hate stems from misapplied causality. Many people are, in fact, lactose intolerant, which affects about half the world population upon reaching adulthood. This does cause great discomfort because the milk sugars (lactose) cannot be properly digested by certain individuals, causing “gastric disturbance”; ie bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, etc. if you suffer these effects when consuming dairy products, it is easy to conclude that dairy is unhealthy. Proponents of this misapplied causality like to use instant logic to bolster their claim by pointing out that no other species on planet earth consumes milk into adulthood, and no other species consumes milk from another species, therefore it is self evident that cow/goat/other milks should not be consumed at all. Logical. Right?
Wrong. First, never consume any food that causes you gastric disturbance if you can help it. For me, that’s broccoli. If it causes gastric problems, that means your body cannot properly digest it, and that further means whatever nutrients that consumable food source contains is not being effectively absorbed by your body anyway, so the calories are empty and wasted. Should I conclude that broccoli is unhealthy for the entire human race? After all, I’m far from alone in my broccoli intolerance. Of course not. Broccoli is quite healthy for those that digest it properly. Just like gorillas eat leaves and other flora that would leave us dying of malnutrition, we need to select foods that work for us, thru trial and error.
What about the lessons from nature, proving that we shouldn’t consume milk past childhood and never consume other animals milk regardless?
Also pure bullshit. First other animals can and often do ween animals from different species when the circumstances are right. Dogs have been known to ween kittens, and cats to ween puppies. Search YouTube and you can find cats that ween ducklings, and tigers getting weened by dogs. There are even types of ant that herd and milk certain kinds of worms, while protecting the worms from other predators.
Well, okay, you might say, but not into adulthood! Every adult animal stops drinking milk at some point. It obviously becomes unnatural!
Let’s look at other “unnatural nutrition” and unnatural activities no other species engages in besides us:
- Using fire to cook. All other animals eat all food raw in nature.
- Agriculture. No animal besides humans farm.
- Locomotion. No animal uses any means of movement beyond what nature gave them except humans. We unnaturally invented the wheel. No other species on earth uses wheels. Then we domesticated horses, mules, oxen, etc to first pull carts carrying us and then to ride directly upon. We invented canoes and ships to let us travel across water. Submarines to let us travel under water. Then we invented bicycles and motor vehicles to travel across land faster, then airplanes to give us flight. No other animal has ever done any of these things.
So, getting back to food, you want to eat your chicken raw? Your beef? Your eggs? Try eating raw potatoes or squash. No aboriginal society has ever not cooked their animal derived food since the discovery of fire. How did this stop being self evident? We are discoverers. Our brains allow us to figure out how to do things better.
Milk? For me the answer is: Yes please, can I have some more? For you? Maybe, maybe not. But please avoid the blanket condemnations please.
And no human culture possessing access to either cow or goat milk hasn’t discovered many healthy uses for it. That’s what’s natural for humans to do, that no other animal can do; discover new things, to think outside the bounds of typical animal behavior.
Stop “demonizing” foods that may not be healthy for you but are just fine for others. Sugar is fine. Gluten is fine. Eggs are fine. Milk is fine. If there’s a problem, the problem is yours, and yours to deal with.