Milk, is it really a useful product?
People started using milk as a food source about 10,000 years ago. Although the animals whose milk people drink are cows, goats, sheep, horses, buffaloes, yaks, donkeys, and camels, cow's milk is one of the most palatable and popular types of mammalian milk. It has never been practiced to use the milk of predators on a large scale, since carnivores secrete milk with an unpleasant taste. Cheese was used by Arab nomads traveling through the desert during the Neolithic period with milk in a bag made from the stomach of an animal. Fast forward to the 1800s and 1900s, when our relationship with dairy cows changed. Populations have increased, and the importance of calcium and phosphorus for bone health has become apparent. Milk became the subject of public awareness campaigns, and doctors presented it as a rich source of minerals. Doctors have dubbed milk an "essential" part of a child's diet. The industry responded to the demand, and milk began to come from cows raised in crowded, dirty sheds. A lot of cows, a lot of dirt, and not enough space are sick cows. Epidemics began to accompany a new form of unsanitary milk production. Dairy farmers try to sterilize milk and also test cows for various diseases, but problems persist; thus pasteurization became common after 1900. Cows carry calves for nine months and only give milk when they have recently given birth, as do humans. In the past, dairy farmers allowed cows to adhere to a seasonal reproductive cycle, and the birth of calves was synchronized with the appearance of new spring grass. In this way, the mother could replenish her supply of nutrients on free grazing. Grazing is healthier for cows because it is fresh grass, fresh air, and exercise. In contrast, industrial production involves feeding cows grain. The more grains, the more acidity in the stomach. The development of acidosis leads to ulcers, infection with bacteria and inflammatory processes. Antibiotics are prescribed to compensate for these processes. Dairy producers today fertilize cows just a few months after previous births, maintaining the minimum time between pregnancies. When cows give milk for more than one year, their immune system is depleted and the quality of milk deteriorates. This is not only inconvenient for the cow, it increases the estrogen content in the milk. Estrogens can stimulate tumor growth. Research over the past decade has linked cow's milk to an increase in prostate, breast, and ovarian cancer. A new study by scientists at the National cancer Institute found 15 estrogens in milk from grocery stores: estrone, estradiol, and 13 metabolic derivatives of these female sex hormones. Estrogens can stimulate the growth of many tumors, even in surprisingly tiny concentrations. In General, skim milk contains the least amount of free estrogens. However, it contains hydroxyestrone, one of the most dangerous of the metabolites. There are other sex hormones in milk - "male" androgens and insulin-like growth factor. Many studies link increased concentrations of these compounds to cancer risk.
Why is milk processing so important?
- Bacteria and viruses can be transmitted from animals to humans.
- Pasteurization involves heating milk to temperatures that microorganisms cannot tolerate.
Life of a cow. The more pregnancies, the more calves. Calves are weaned from their mother within 24 hours of birth in most farms. Since steers cannot be used for milk production, they are used for beef production. The meat industry is a by-product of the dairy industry. The heifers are replaced by their mothers, and then sent to the slaughter. The number of dairy cows in the United States dropped from 18 million to 9 million between 1960 and 2005. Total milk production increased from 120 billion pounds to 177 billion pounds over the same period. This is due to the accelerated breeding strategy and pharmaceutical assistance. The life expectancy of cows is 20 years, but after 3-4 years of operation, they enter the slaughterhouse. Milk cow meat is the cheapest beef.
Milk consumption patterns
Americans drink less milk than before, and also prefer less fat milk, but eat more cheese and much more frozen dairy products (ice cream).
One thousand nine hundred nine
34 gallons of milk per person (27 gallons of regular milk and 7 gallons of low-fat milk)
4 pounds of cheese per person
2 pounds of frozen dairy products per person
Two thousand one
23 gallons of milk per person (8 gallons regular and 15 gallons low-fat)
30 pounds of cheese per person
28 pounds of frozen dairy products per person
Sales of organic dairy products increase by 20-25% each year. Many people believe that "organic" means the best in many ways. In a sense, this is true. Although organic cows should only receive organic feed, farmers are not required to feed cows with grass. Organic cows are less likely to get hormones. The use of growth hormone is prohibited for organic farms. Hormones increase the likelihood of developing mastitis, reduce the life expectancy of cows, and contribute to the development of cancer in humans. But organic milk is not synonymous with healthy living conditions for dairy cows or humane treatment of them. Organic dairy farmers and regular farmers tend to use the same breeds and cultivation methods, including the same animal feeding methods. Organic milk is processed the same way as regular milk. Cow's milk consists of 87% water and 13% solids, including minerals (such as calcium and phosphorus), lactose, fat, and whey proteins (such as casein). Fortification with vitamins A and D is necessary, since natural levels are low. Casomorphins are formed from casein, one of the milk proteins. They contain opioids-morphine, oxycodone, and endorphins. These drugs are addictive and reduce the mobility of the intestine. Addiction makes sense from an evolutionary point of view, milk is necessary for baby food, it calms and binds to the mother. Casomorphins in women's milk are 10 times weaker than those found in cow's milk. In many parts of the world, cow's milk makes up a tiny part of the diet, and yet, diseases associated with a lack of calcium (for example, osteoporosis, fractures) are rare. In fact, scientific evidence shows that calcium-rich dairy products actually increase the leaching of calcium from the body. How much calcium we get from food is not really that important, but rather how much we store in the body. People who consume the most dairy products have some of the highest rates of osteoporosis and hip fracture in old age. While cow's milk may be rich in certain nutrients, it is difficult to say that it is good for health. Dairy consumption is associated with cardiovascular diseases, type 1 diabetes, Parkinson's disease, and cancer. Nutrition can change the expression of genes involved in cancer development. Casein, a protein found in cow's milk, is associated with various forms of cancer, with the development of lymphoma, thyroid cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer. Dairy cows consume large amounts of food, produce large amounts of waste, and emit methane. In fact, in the San Joaquin valley in California, cows are considered more polluting than cars.