For years, milk has been a vital part of a balanced diet. It is a major source of nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin D. But is it good for you? Even with its widespread popularity, many researchers don’t think it is.
The History of Milk
Cows have been the biggest source of milk for thousands of years. In the early 1600’s, the first dairy cows came to North America. The milk from these cows made things such as butter and cheese and was also consumed by the farmer’s who raised them. While drinking fresh milk was somewhat safe, many people developed illnesses from it.
Louis Pasteur and the Pasteurization Process
With the inability to store milk properly, it was quick to spoil. One man, Louis Pasteur, had a big part in how milk gets stored and distributed. Louis was a French microbiologist. In 1862, he conducted the first pasteurization test. Pasteurization is the process of heating milk to between 63-72 degrees Celsius. It is only under this heat for a few seconds before cooling. This process destroys the dangerous bacteria in milk.
Homogenization of Milk
In 1917, the process of pasteurization became mandated by the US government. This ensured the milk was safe to drink. The mandate also allowed for its transportation and storage in grocery stores. A few years earlier, in 1899, the milk homogenizer got its patent. This process breaks down large fat globules found in milk. It prevents the cream from separating and rising to the top. This process gives milk its almost creamy consistency.
Milk goes through many different processes from cow to consumer. You would think all the nutrients would be lost in the process. But, that isn’t true. Studies have shown that there is no significant decrease in the nutritional value of milk after these processes.
Milk in the Media
Milk gained its popularity as a nutrition source by the use of advertisement. In the 1930’s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt started a new deal for the Works Progress Administration. The WPA gave artists, writers, and educator’s jobs-creating advertisement posters for milk. The hope of the WPA was that it would pull the US out of the Great Depression.
Marketing milk didn’t stop there. In 1993 the first “Got Milk?” campaign got its start. Many different celebrities were involved in the campaign. They proudly wore a milk mustache for TV and magazine ads. The “Got Milk?” slogan became a Federal trademark, making this campaign the most successful in history.
7 Reasons Milk Is Bad For You
Although milk is a great source of many nutrients, it’s not the best for you. Many years ago, the FDA approved a bovine growth hormone that is given to the dairy cows. This hormone helps to increase milk production in animals that take it. This growth hormone can show up in the milk we drink. This hormone and other factors are what make milk bad for you.
- Milk can cause allergies due to the hormones and additives it contains. Some people are unable to drink milk without getting an upset stomach or severe bloating.
- Many people have developed Lactose intolerance because of regular consumption of milk.
- High intake of calcium has been shown to increase your risk of certain cancers.
- With the addition of growth hormones, more people are seeing an increase in breast tissue. Men, women, and even children are showing abnormal breast growth.
- Drinking too much milk can cause unwanted weight gain. That is especially true if the milk contains sugars from artificial flavors.
- Some studies have shown that drinking large amounts of milk can increase your risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition involving your bones.
- Another aggravating side effect of drinking milk is an increase in acne of both the face and the body.
Sources of Calcium That Aren’t Milk
With all the potential side effects of milk, many people have stopped drinking it. Calcium is vital to bone health. If you’re not consuming milk, you need to find other ways to get enough Calcium. Some alternative sources are:
- White beans
- Canned salmon (with bones)
- Orange Juice and Oranges
- Almonds and Sesame Seeds
- Dried Figs
Many companies have also started producing alternative kinds of milk such as almond and soy. There are many different options for getting the same amount of Calcium as you would with milk. And, you don’t get all the harsh side effects.