Letter: Plenty of healthy substitutes for milk | January 16, 2013 | Almanac | Almanac Online |



Viewpoint - January 16, 2013

Letter: Plenty of healthy substitutes for milk

A frequent bugaboo of the "fiscal cliff" debacle was the "milk cliff," the threat of milk prices doubling if Congress failed to extend dairy subsidies. Parents were forgoing other necessities, because their children "had to have milk."

Most industries would gladly give up their tax loopholes for that kind of product loyalty. But this one is totally undeserved.

Consumption of dairy products, laden with saturated fats, cholesterol, hormones, and drugs, elevates the risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. This is particularly critical during childhood years, when dietary flaws become lifelong addictions.

A study of 12,829 children by the Harvard Medical School found that drinking cow's milk leads to weight gain. And several proteins in cow's milk can thicken mucus secretions leading to respiratory problems in children.

Most African-Americans and Asian-Americans suffer from cramping and diarrhea because they lack the enzyme to digest lactose in cow's milk.

The good news is that green leafy vegetables and legumes supply all the calcium and proteins touted in cow's milk, without the excess calories and other yucky factors noted. Every supermarket offers a huge line of dairy-free milks, cheeses, and ice creams made from healthy nuts and grains.

This is why USDA's current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, shunt dairy (and meat) off the recommended plate of vegetables, fruits, and grains.

Cow's milk is produced for bovine — not human — babies. Let's give our kids a healthy start.

Malcolm Davidson, Encinal Avenue, Menlo Park


Like this comment
Posted by fazsha
a resident of another community
on Jan 17, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Can't agree with this article. Jack LaLanne probably died due to a lack of Vitamin K2, which is provided most generously in nature by hard cheese and soft cheese, which he refused to eat and probably contributed to his aortic calcification. [Portion removed.]

Like this comment
Posted by an age-old question
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jan 17, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Fazsha, I think food that comes from cows is heavenly, and would never demonize it. But Jack LaLanne? He was 96 years old for god's sake. Doesn't anyone just die of old age anymore?

Like this comment
Posted by Burton
a resident of another community
on Jan 17, 2013 at 5:17 pm

I agree with Fazsha. You apparently didn't read the article he attached, which is fine, but he was dead of pneumonia after a heart valve operation caused by aortic calcification. If LaLanne wants to lecture us about how to live longer, then at least he should have been advised of how to avoid aortic calcification, rather than telling everyone to stay away from anything coming from a cow. I'm sure if you eat right, including milk, beef, and cheese, and exercise, you will live just as long as LaLanne. LaLanne's brother lived to 95, and there is no evidence that his brother exercised.

Like this comment
Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jan 17, 2013 at 6:54 pm

As a libertarian, I do not believe government should subsidize big oil, big pharma, big banks, big agra, people who own homes (which discriminates against renters), people with children (which discriminates against those without children), charities, or employees whose health insurance premiums are not considered income (which discriminates against the self employed).

So why subsidize milk? Let the market set the price and let soy and other milk substitutes compete on a level field.

Like this comment
Posted by Lactose intolerant
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 17, 2013 at 7:40 pm

Milk subsidies reflect a bias in favor of people of northern European ancestry. Most of the rest of us have problems digesting milk. [Portion removed; please don't include links to commercial websites.]

I have four healthy milk-free kids. No need to feed anyone milk.