Over two years ago, I wrote about the ickiness of milk for my old blog. The title, 'Milk: The Devil In A White Dress' (posted below) attracted some attention, and one of the people it attracted was Alisa Fleming, founder of godairyfree.org and author of the newly released book: Go Dairy Free.
We have been in regular contact over the last two years and I do hope we soon get to meet in person. When Alisa asked if she could post my anti-milk article on her site I, of course, said yes. When she asked if she could use one of my recipes in her book, again, I was more than happy. So when Alisa emailed me with a copy of the manuscript for her book asking me to read it and write a comment if I liked it, I was absolutely willing.
When I read it, I was completely blown away by the thoroughness of her research, not just about milk and milk alternatives but about the need for many people to avoid dairy. She discussed health conditions related to dairy, allergies, IBS, and IBD. The book offers a complete guide to living a life without dairy and given the state of our dairy supply, this is not a bad way to go. The dairy free icing on the dairy free cake is the amazing collection of recipes that Alisa has sourced and put together in this fabulous book.
Of course I wrote a glowing review for the book. If you know me, you know that I can only speak the truth and so that is what I did. I was so excited when Alisa sent me a copy of the book in the mail, loved that I had not one but three recipes inside aaaaaaaand that my comment founds its home on the back cover!
So if you are looking for a really great holiday gift for that lactose intolerant or casein sensitive love in your life, get this book! It is super. The one and only wee little thing I would recommend, as some of the recipes do call for a vegan margarine, is to just sub in with apple sauce and/or coconut oil and you are good to go.
The book, though readily available on Amazon.com is not yet available on Amazon.ca. If you are in the Toronto area and want a copy, let me know and Ms. Alisa will send some up for us.
Below are excerpts from my original article that planted the seed in mine and Alisa's dairy free friendship.
Milk: The Devil in a White Dress
I never really had anything against milk, and up until I was struck down with a dreaded bug while in Africa, milk and I got along just fine. I was never one to sit down and drink a whole big glass of milk as the idea was always a bit icky. We generally have aversions to foods that do not work with our bodies.
... Milk can wreak havoc on the intestines of the healthiest individuals. Marketing efforts have lead the public to believe that milk is good for us. That we need it. And an image of Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy with their cute little milk moustaches asking “Got Milk?” makes us think it is a healthful beverage to consume as an excellent source of calcium....
Is milk really good for us? This is the first question.
We assume that because a mother’s milk is considered the most complete food a newborn can consumer, that as we grow older, a cow’s milk can naturally take over as a nourishing wholesome food choice... Cow’s milk is a different substance all together, with much higher proportions of carbohydrates and proteins, as well as calcium and sodium. And like human milk is ideal for newborn babies, a cow’s milk is designed for the needs of newborn calves. People are not cows... Why do we keep trying to drink their milk?...
Milk is the number one allergen... Milk is a greater allergen in North America then elsewhere in the world, as our milk is far more highly processed, pasteurized and refined. When milk becomes pasteurized and processed, it is no longer a whole food and therefore requires our bodies’ stores of enzymes to digest it...
Lactose intolerance refers to the body’s inability to breakdown and digest lactose, the sugar found in milk. The enzyme lactase is required in order to break this down. 25% of the American Caucasian population stop producing this enzyme after being weened off their mother’s milk. 70-90% of Chinese, Japanese, Ashkenazi Jews, and Mediterraneans lose the ability to digest lactose as children. The only known group of people to continue producing that enzyme into adulthood are those who’s ancestry relied on the milk of animals for desert life.
In addition to lactose, there are over 25 proteins in milk that can cause allergic reactions. Allergic reactions to milk include symptoms like gas, bloating, nausea, cramping and diarrhea. Studies have shown that Milk is the most common food to trigger mental reactions like depression, weepiness, feelings of being overwhelmed and an inability to cope with life. In children however, these reactions may be very different from the reactions seen in adults. Documented studies point to lactose intolerance as the cause for many childhood ailments including bed-wetting, chronic ear infections, persistent coughs, asthma, and nose bleeds.
Now back to the question of calcium, as this is the reason many people believe milk to be a necessary part of our diets. The first thing to acknowledge is that pasteurized and processed milk is not a whole food. When this incomplete food is then further processed to be ‘low-fat’ or ’skim’ , the calcium in these substances become even less available to the body. The calcium requires the naturally occurring milk fat for transport through our bodies to the tissues.Chances are good that milk may actually drain calcium from your body. Milk can cause a calcium deficiency and can contribute to osteoporosis.
When a person is unable to digest lactose, meaning they are deficient in the enzyme lactase, the lactose begins to ferment in the body and creates lactic acid. This is then absorbed into the blood stream and binds with calcium and magnesium, thus making these minerals unavailable to the tissues that need them...
A 100 gram serving of milk contains 118 milligrams of calcium, most of which is not being utilized by your body. Per 100 gram serving, parsley (203mg), kale (187mg), broccoli (130mg), almonds (254mg), sesame seeds (1,160 mg), and canned salmon with bones (200-250 mg) are just some of the foods that have greater concentrations of calcium than milk.
... There are several products on the market that are very smart milk alternatives. The best way to go about avoiding milk is to accept the new substances into your life for what they are, not for what they are not. If you do chose to stick it out with milk, check your local market for the availability of raw milk. But when you look at the facts, there really is no need to continue dancing with the devil.
All information, statistics and claims have been derived from the following sources: