Dairy cows are fed high-protein, soy-based feed instead of their natural feed of green grass. This practice produces grown cows with abnormally enlarged pituitary glands, giving them the ability to produce milk more rapidly. The downside to humans: the process leaves the cow weak and unhealthy, forcing the milk industry to pump the animals full of a variety of antibiotics to keep them well enough to continue to produce. These antibiotics are commonly found in the finished product that many of us consume on a very regular basis.
Pasteurization, the act of heating the raw product up to extreme temperatures in order to destroy the native pathogens and bacteria that cow’s milk contains, destroys the natural enzymes found in the milk, enzymes that the human body requires in order to properly break it down when it is consumed. Since the human pancreas was not designed to break down the mother’s milk of animal species, it is often lacking when it attempts to deliver the enzymes necessary to break down the milk; people whose pancreas is unable to produce sufficient enzymes are called lactose intolerant. Continued consumption of cow’s milk can cause the pancreas to become overworked to the point that a person develops lactose intolerance at any point in life.
The butterfat found naturally in cow’s milk is forced through a commercial process called homogenization. This process forces the butterfat to the point of rancidity, allowing it to be easily removed for the sake of “low fat” cow’s milk. Removing the butterfat altogether produces skim milk, a product marketed to us as a health food; what is ironic is that the removal of the butterfat keeps the human body from properly digesting the milk, leaving behind the many vitamins, minerals and short chain fatty acids that are naturally found in milk.
The American FDA has recently approved the use of Bovine Growth Hormones by dairy farmers with the intention of allowing for increased milk production. So how does BGH affect humans? Well, it causes a drastic increase in insulin-like growth factors (IGF-1) in the milk of commercial dairy cows, forcing the people who consume the finished product to consume it directly. IGF-1 has been found to promote the transformation of human breast cells to cancerous forms among other negative health effects.
Urge government to support funding for the introduction of soy milk products into public school meal programs. Children should be given the choice as to what they consume. Likewise, government funded school meal programs should promote a healthy diet, not a diet that maintains and perpetuates the potential for diabetes, obesity, and heart failure. Remember, our health care system is already burdened enough. And above all, let’s remember, these children are not animals on a factory farm waiting to be force feed unhealthy food!