Is Milk a Healthy Food?

Milk is that one food that school tells our children should be consumed with every meal. In United States schools students don’t even have a choice. Want to eat?  Get a milk. Even if they don’t want milk, schools will force children to take a milk and throw it out because that’s the rules handed down by the USDA.

When my children were in preschool and kindergarten I volunteered in the kitchen at their school and so got a behind the scenes look at the rules and pressure school kitchen staff face. If menus don’t follow the strict guidelines set by the USDA, the school could lose all funding for school meals. At the public school my children attend now in Los Angeles, most students eat breakfast and lunch at school. This makes school the single biggest influencer of child nutrition for many. Unfortunately this comes with a cost. The research has mounted making a case that dairy products are far from health foods. Quite the opposite, protein from animal products is the leading promoter of the biggest killers of humans today.
In 2010 the Huffington Post published a video and article by Dr. Mark Hyman, MD where he gives readers six reasons to, “…avoid dairy at all costs.” Hyman says,

“Based on the research and my experience practicing medicine, I typically advise most of my patients to avoid dairy products completely.”

Dr. Hyman gives six reasons, supported by the latest scientific research, which you can hear more about by watching his video:

Why to Avoid Dairy At All Costs According to Dr. Hyman:

1. Milk doesn’t reduce fractures.
2. Less dairy, better bones.

3. Calcium isn’t as bone-protective as we thought.
4. Calcium may raise cancer risk.
5. Calcium has benefits that dairy doesn’t.
6. Not everyone can stomach dairy

Dr. Colin Campbell is another leading researcher speaking out on the dangers of dairy. In his book The China Study, Dr. Campbell shares his experience leading the largest and most comprehensive nutrition research study ever conducted and the findings that determined the course of his career. Dr. Campbell’s research showed over and over that casein, the protein in milk, promoted cancer in the manner of an on-off switch. Animals fed diets high in this protein developed cancer and tumors would shrink when the milk protein was reduced in the diet, and would grow when the milk protein was increased in the diet.

Multiple studies have linked prevalence of cancer to consumption of animal foods including meat and dairy.
But large financial interests in the meat and dairy industry work hard to keep this information suppressed and the public confused.
Dr. Hyman explains how the U.S. government’s nutrition guidelines are more guided by industry financial interests than by science and true concern for public wellbeing.

“Some of the “experts” who helped create the pyramid actually work for the dairy industry, which makes the US Department of agriculture’s recommendations reflect industry interests, not science or our best interests.”

The dairy industry spends over $6 million each year on lobbying the U.S. government to make policies friendly to their financial interests.
The dairy industry spends millions every year lobbying U.S. government officials to make policies friendly to their financial interests.  They also have ramped up advertising in recent years and in 2016 spent over $1 billion to advertise milk products.

The good news is the science is coming to light in the new information age and the truth is becoming harder and harder for the Dairy Industry to avoid. Still, this is a matter of life and death for our children. As Dr. Hyman says,

“The USDA food policy guidelines form the basis of the school lunch program and it has contributed to a tripling of obesity in children. Let’s hope we can serve up a different lunch menu for our children and our nation.”

The billions and millions in lobbying and advertising the dairy industry spends to convince people to buy milk cannot stand up to this simple common sense truth: Cow milk is only a healthy food if you happen to be a baby cow.

Reya Steele Andrews

Reya (Steele) Andrews is a holistic health writer, educator, and publisher at Healing With Plants. Reya is a certified Holistic Nutritionist (AFPA), is certified in Plant-based Nutrition, and teaches nutrition science and healthy food preparation. Find her book, The Frugivore Diet, on Amazon.

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