One of the most misguided food myths getting perpetuated nowadays, sadly even by some alternative practitioners, is that dairy is unhealthy to consume.
One reason for the popularity of this modern notion is the skyrocketing incidence of dairy allergies. However, in most cases, these problems are due to the processing (pasteurization/homogenization) of the dairy and/or the unnatural GMO feed given to the cows, not to the dairy itself. When people consume unprocessed dairy from healthy cows grazing on green grass, suddenly the “allergies” disappear. For example, 85% of those who are “lactose intolerant” have absolutely no problem with raw dairy!
Could “lactose intolerance” more aptly be described then as “pasteurization intolerance”? I, for one, definitely think so!
Study of history supports the notion that milk matters and the inclusion of dairy in a healthy, well-rounded diet. The fact is that humans have consumed dairy for thousands of years, even before the advent of agriculture.
Julie Dunne of the University of Bristol, lead author of a groundbreaking archaeological study published in Nature, has found the first direct evidence that prehistoric people of the African Sahara used cattle for their milk many thousands of years ago long before the cultivation of plants in this region.
The initial evidence was found in rock art images illustrating domesticated cattle from the Wadi Imha, in the Tadrart Acacus Mountains, Libyan Sahara. Scientists have dated these images at between 5,000 and 8,000 years old. Ms. Dunne had this to say about the discovery:
Milk is one the very few foods that give us carbohydrates, fats and proteins in one go. So being able to use milk like these people did would have made an enormous difference to their health. It would have provided food for life.
Study of traditional cultures around the world shows the same. Milk not just from cows but from many other mammals such as goat, sheep, camel, reindeer, yak, horses, and even water buffalo have proved an important part of the human diet for far longer than almost any other food.
If the history of milk fascinates you as it does me, you will no doubt enjoy this infographic below sent to me from John Kelle from Online Masters of Public Health. There are numerous factoids about the history of milk to skim through. In addition, 10 good reasons for switching to raw milk from store milk are included for those of you just learning about the benefits of unprocessed, full-fat dairy fresh from the farm.
If you’ve been told that milk is not a healthy food for you and your family to consume, know that history stands firm as a strong and convincing counterpoint to this false, modern notion!
Why Milk Matters
An infographic by the team at Online Masters In Public Health