The Milk & Dairy Question

Avoiding Dairy? Don’t!

Many people believe that they cannot eat dairy (milk, cheese, butter, etc.) because they experience undesirable reactions with that food group. Doctors often confirm these suspicions with a cursory review of symptoms, and this is increasing because it is a trendy thing to do these days. Many people falsely believe they are lactose intolerant or have an allergy to casein (milk protein).

Unfortunately this is one of the most common misdiagnosis, because in many cases (if not most) people are actually reacting to chemicals or denatured elements of those food ‘products’ and not the actual foods. Or, they are getting the ‘wrong’ kind of milk.

This is a very sad misdiagnosis because milk and milk products are among the most nutrient dense foods that we can consume, and as our food supply continues to diminish in nutrition, consuming ‘good’ dairy products becomes ever more important. 

Let’s walk through a simulated client conversation to help us understand one of the most confusing misdiagnoses in recent times. Maybe you think you can’t consume dairy, or maybe your doctor thinks you cannot. Maybe it is correct, but perhaps both you and your doctor are mistaken. Read below to see why…

Client: My doctor said that I should avoid dairy.

Nutritionist: Oh? Why is that?

Client: He said I am lactose intolerant.

Nutritionist: How did he confirm that?

Client: From my symptoms.

Nutritionist: What symptoms are those?

Well, it’s obvious actually. I get really sick whenever I drink milk or consume ice cream in fair amounts. I mean, really sick, as in I stay home from work for two days.

I understand. But did he do a blood test or a breath test? 

What do you mean? It seems pretty obvious from my own food tests.

Well, yea, you would think so, but you went to the doctor to confirm, right? And that was a good idea. Did he give you some specific tests and show you the results? You know, some paperwork. It would be quite involved, as you have to drink a liquid and then breath into an apparatus a few times. It takes a few hours for the most accurate test. Does a hydrogen breath test sound familiar? There is a similar blood test that also takes several hours.

Ah, no, nothing like that. He just confirmed my symptoms. You know, asked me what kind of pain, bloating, etc., when, where, how, etc.

Ah, then there is a good possibility that you are not lactose intolerant. And actually, the idea of lactose intolerance is a bit silly, as most humans are in fact lactose intolerant. However, that does not matter, because we are supposed to consume the milk raw, or as some type of ferment, such as kefir. In those cases the bacteria and enzymes to digest the lactose are provided with it, and thus, the idea of lactose intolerance becomes moot. Another way to look at it – your body has been stripped of its ability to process the lactose, and that ability can be restored. If your gut and your diet are healthy you will not likely have a problem. Anyway, there are actually several other possibilities that are causing your issues.

It seems pretty obvious to me bro. What else could it be?

It could be that you are reacting to the denatured proteins and fats in the pasteurized and homogenized milk. I mean, the fat, the protein, the cholesterol, they are all unnatural, having been ruptured or otherwise damaged by the heat and pressure of those processes. If you try raw milk, you might be fine.

I can’t get raw milk, so forget that idea. And raw milk is dangerous anyway.

Sure you can. We can find a farm, and that way you can really confirm the quality of the milk and how it is processed. Don’t believe the propaganda about raw milk being dangerous. Nobody dies from clean natural raw milk. That’s why you go to the farm, to make sure nobody is doctoring or contaminating your milk. It’s the profiteers that are dangerous.

Bro, you’re out of your mind. I’m not going to a farm. There aren’t any farms around here.

Sure there are. I found one in Riverhead about an hour away. Not far from our cousins, so you could pick some up and make a visit at the same time.

I don’t know. It still sounds like a lot of work just for some milk.

You go through a lot more trouble and expense for medicine. And milk – real raw milk – just might be the best medicine you can get.

How do I know it will work for me? I gotta go all the way out there, and then I still might make myself sick. I’m not feeling very motivated.

Well, there are a couple of more things we could consider that would increase your chance of success.

Like what?

Let me summarize some key issues with milk:

  • One – we already talked about everything being broken by homogenization and pasteurization. This damage to the milk is quite severe, and increases with temperature, so that UHT milk is the worst. The denatured state of the milk also greatly diminishes the bioavailability of any remaining nutrition, as proteins that would carry the nutrients lose that capacity as they are heated.
  • Two – the cows need to be grass-fed. You need raw grass-fed milk. You want to make sure those cows are on pasture. Pastured cows, or pasture-raised cows are grass-fed. If they are eating grains and other ‘non-cow’ food, they are also most likely on antibiotics, hormones, etc., and are certainly not organic. And that brings us to our next point:
  • Three – truly organic. An organic label is not good enough. You want all natural. You want to really make sure the cows are on natural pasture, without the herbicides, pesticides, etc., because all that stuff will end up in your milk. No hormones or antibiotics either. You could be reacting to any number of chemicals that are used in the fields, or given directly to the cows via other food sources and drugs. Research the farm.
  • Four – find A2 milk. There are two different categories of milk protein, or casein, in the curds. The whey protein is different, and not an issue. But most milk in America and Europe is A1 beta-casein, and A1 causes some people a lot of trouble. After the lactose issue, this is the real problem for most people that cannot consume dairy in America and Europe. However, milk in other parts of the world is A2; or more specifically, A2/A2.
  • Five – the milk must be raw; as stated in my first point, avoid pasteurized and homogenized milk. Raw milk contains the enzymes, and the bacteria that make the enzymes to digest lactose. Those bacteria are super healthy for us, in addition to digesting the lactose.

So, you want raw, grass-fed, all natural, A2/A2 milk. Simple.

That does not sound simple to me. That sounds crazy bro. It’s too much to worry about. I have enough stress as it is without worrying about a basic staple of my diet.

How about if I make it simple for you?

And how are you going to do that? Raw milk is illegal in N.Y.

Only illegal for retail. Delivery and pickup are O.K., and so is delivery across state lines. Lots of good cows in N.J.

So now you want me to drink N.J. milk? I’m a New Yorker. We dump our trash in N.J.

Come on bro, you know there is a ton of beautiful farm land in N.J.

I know. Just messing with you.

I will find the perfect milk, and I will arrange to have it delivered to your house, or possibly to a convenient pickup point if you want to save some money. I’ll even avoid N.J.

Right, money. How expensive is this stuff going to be? I’m not rich.

It will be less than the money you spend on doctor bills, medication, sick days, etc.

Maybe. But that doesn’t answer my question.

Well, the price will vary a bit, depending on the farm, the quantity, the delivery method, etc., so we need to eliminate some of those variables. But please keep in mind that this is not the same thing as buying supermarket milk.

You love wine, right?

What? What does wine have to do with the price of milk?!

Do you buy wine in a supermarket?

No.

Can you?

Yes.

So why don’t you?

Debbie and I prefer certain types of wine. (Debbie is his wife, my sister-in-law)

But isn’t the supermarket wine cheaper.

Well yea, but that’s not the point. We like good wine, and wine has many different varieties and flavors.

That’s exactly my point. Milk is the same. You get what you pay for, and the good stuff is actually the better value, by far. And milk also has variety. You might want to get some milk from Jersey cows and make use of the amazing amount of cream at the top. And if you prefer a milk that looks a bit more homogenized, but is not, I can point you to some Dutch Belt cows.

Bro, now you want me to think about cow breeds on top of everything else?

No no no, I’ll do that for you. I’m just saying that you have options. You guys love your wine, your coffee, your cooking, and milk can be just like that, while also contributing much to those other passions, and more importantly, to your health. You might fall in love with raw milk because of what it does for your coffee, your kefir, or some crazy new dessert that you whip up with it. There is so much more to milk than you realize.

Well, OK, I see your point. But it still seems a hell of a lot easier to just get soy milk in the supermarket. That taste fine to me, and it doesn’t give me any trouble.

Oh no, please do not do that. Soy is giving you more trouble than you realize. That is one of the most toxic foods that you can put into your body, and I have a convenient list on my blog to highlight over a dozen problems, and that is because I wanted to keep the list to one page. There are entire books detailing how bad soy is.

But you live in Japan, and don’t they eat tons of soy?! What is so bad about it?

The Japanese eat fermented soy. Natto, miso, shoyu. Completely different, and in fact natto is so different that it is one of our best superfoods. Just stay away from soy. In fact, no traditional culture has ever used unfermented soy as a food staple. Never.

Wow, OK, I’ll stay away from the soy. I got enough problems. Are there other options?

Sure. For beverages, I would recommend getting some bone tea into your diet. It’s incredibly convenient, delicious, cheap, and nutritious. We made it before, remember. I slow cook a pot of chicken feet about once a month, and I end up with about fifteen jars of gelatin that I freeze. Always have one in the fridge, and a few spoonfuls of that with some herbs and spices makes for an amazing cup of bone tea. I drink it every day. Then there are things like beet kvass, water, kefir, kombucha, etc.

Easy sounds good to me. But I still want milk.

You could drink almond milk and coconut milk, but they aren’t the same as mammalian milk. I would tell you to include goat or sheep milk, but you won’t like those. Super healthy though. I mean, think about it… baby mammals can grow on nothing but mother’s milk for years. That includes humans. There have been ‘milk cures’ throughout history, and such was even sanctioned by our own US government a hundred years ago. These milk cures – drinking tons of real raw milk – cured cancer and all manner of illnesses. Milk still has that same curative power. You just have to find the good stuff. The probiotic bacteria, the enzymes, the vitamins and minerals, good proteins and fats, and even more that we do not yet understand. Milk is powerful stuff. Find some good milk.

By the way, do you take any vitamins or supplements?

Yea, I take some vitamin D a probiotic, and some multivitamin.

Well, the raw milk is a much better source for all of those. If we take a closer look at everything you are doing we will find that raw milk will be cheaper than supermarket milk in the end.

You almost have me convinced, but what about all these vegans that say milk is for baby cows? It does sound strange that we are drinking another animal’s baby food, right?

Not at all. That is propaganda. We can build a long list that shows many creatures harvesting other animals for milk, other fluids, and more. This has been going on in nature for millions of years. Maybe even billions? In fact, not just harvest, but actually cultivate. What we do with cows pales in comparison to what other creatures do with each other.

Nature Farming Nature

The Red Billed Oxpecker, a bird that can perch on the udders of an Impala and drink its milk.In Isla de Guadalupe, feral cats, seagulls, and sheathbills have been observed stealing the milk directly from the teats of elephant seals.
In the insect kingdom we have many different kinds of behavior where one species uses another species as a food source – without consuming them. I.e., not a predator-prey relationship.One of the behaviors that most closely mirrors our cattle farmers – ants that ‘herd’ aphids – specifically to ‘milk’ them for their honeydew. The ants will even clip the aphids wings!
We have fish that farm algae, crabs that ‘raise’ bacteria, ants that ‘domesticate’ fungus, beetles that farm fungus, and more.One of the most obvious examples is bears taking honey from bees. This is just one example of animals harvesting from insects.

Need more? Some of this information was taken from the BBC site here:

http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150105-animals-that-grow-their-own-food

Alright, maybe I’ll give it a shot. But you have to point me in the right direction.

Absolutely. In fact, I’ll send you right to the Dutch Meadows Farm website. They are in Pennsylvania, and they service NY. You can check the pickup points to see if any location is convenient, and if not, we can get it delivered. Their milk is completely natural, raw, and A2. Those guys know what they are doing. And their milk is a bit closer to what you are used to, as they use a rather rare breed, the Dutch Belt cow. You don’t get the cream line that you do from a Jersey cow, but it still has very high fat content, which is good. The difference is that the fat is smaller, so it does not separate from the milk as much. You guys will love it.

What is the A2 thing that you keep mentioning?

Ah, that is the type of casein, one of the major milk proteins. Whey protein is the other one that you often hear about, but that never seems to be an issue. Cows in America and parts of Europe seem to have mutated some time ago, maybe around ten thousand years ago, and they produce a beta-casein that we refer to as A1. It is this A1 protein that some people are intolerant to.

This is quite a sad issue, as many of our ‘alternative’ doctors in functional medicine, holistic medicine, dietitians, nutritionists, etc. are making misdiagnosis in the U.S. based on the A1 protein. Thus, many people are needlessly avoiding dairy. We need to make people aware, so that we can support the A2 dairy farmers and phase out A1 dairy from the world. It is already happening in places like New Zealand.

OK, sounds good. Do me a favor and walk me through the site.

Will do. Let’s go. I want to show you the realmilk.com site too. Those people are fighting to make this kind of milk available for us. And you should really be reading the Weston A. Price Foundation literature that I have delivered to your house. There’s a pamphlet right here that summarizes a lot of this stuff.

AFTERWORD

I have actually gone through this type of conversation with my brother, and it was successful. He went to a farm in Riverhead for the milk, drank it, loved it, consumed a ton of it, and had no problems whatsoever. He has continued to enjoy various other brands of ‘real’ grass-fed milk for several years now.

Dutch Meadows Farm is a real place, as explained in the conversation. I was not familiar with Dutch Belt cows until finding that farm. A fantastic farm that provides much more than milk.

My brother, like so many people, believed that he was lactose intolerant and gluten intolerant, as his reactions to both food groups were rather severe. He probably still holds that idea in the back of his mind, because it is a classification that is so huge in our current food and medical culture.

Both assumptions proved false however, as he can drink good raw milk with no problem, and eat real sourdough bread with no problem. These are two very common misdiagnosis, because people are reacting to the chemicals (glyphosate, etc.) or other denatured elements of those food products in most cases.

Also keep in mind that we are always changing. What you are today is not what you are tomorrow. Everybody is different, but in most cases people can improve their health and eliminate food sensitivities.

There is another very important perspective to realize when we look at gluten and lactose: As humans, most of us are in fact, by nature, not designed to consume them. However, as pointed out in the above conversation, we can turn them into fantastic foods if we handle them correctly. This idea is not unique to milk and grains, as humans have been manipulating food to suit their needs for many thousands of years… and always to extract, expand, or convert the nutritional content. Only since the industrial revolution have we systematically begun to do degrade our food and create harmful products.

Contact us to learn more about this complex situation.

1 thought on “The Milk & Dairy Question”

  1. To emphasize the dramatic difference that A2/A2 milk can make, note that a 2016 study found that A2/A2 milk caused ZERO gastrointestinal issues in ANY of the study participants. This was true even for people that were confirmed to be lactose intolerant! In their words:

    “These results suggest that the exacerbation of gastrointestinal symptoms associated with milk in lactose intolerant subjects may be related to A1 β-casein rather than lactose per se.”

    That is a remarkable finding that shows the complexities of food intolerances, and the severe negative impact of A1 beta-casein. The study can be found here:
    https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12937-016-0147-z

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