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Dispelling The Myth of the Sacred Cow

Nature’s Perfect Food is not be the health food you are led to believe. The National Dairy Council warns us that if we don’t drink milk, our bones will become brittle. Milk has no valid claim as the “perfect food”.

Partly out of fear and misinformation, many Americans make dairy products a large part of their diets.

There are significant studies to support that diary products cause allergies, asthma, and sinusitis. Cysts, tumors, skin diseases, arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease are linked to Nature’s Perfect Food. Ovarian cancer rates parallel dairy-eating patterns around the world.

Today’s cows are fed a host of drugs, hormones to make them fat (which makes humans fat as well) and steroids and antibiotics which you ingest when you eat cow's milk products. Even moderate amounts of antibiotics in animal food result in antibiotic resistance in human beings. According to an August 1992 report in Science, “Doctors around the world are losing the battle against an onslaught of new drug-resistant bacterial infections.” Also, hormones ingested from cow’s milk and its by-products create hormonal imbalances in humans, leading to many health problems, including cancer.

Removing dairy from the diet has been shown to shrink enlarged tonsils and adenoids, and many physicians report a reduction in colds, flus, allergies, and sinus, throat and ear infections with dairy-free diets.

Doctor Christine Northrup of Maine states, “dairy is a tremendous mucus producer and a burden to the respiratory, digestive and immune systems”. Hormones in dairy have been linked to PMS and menopause systems as well.

Consumption of milk products has been associated with insulin-dependent diabetes, and a 1989 study in nutrition and cancer linked lung cancer and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma with the consumption of cow’s milk.

The impact of food on your mind is as great as it is on our body. Milk and its by-products foster passivity and dependency, make you irritable, anxious, overly- emotional and can lead to insomnia and depression. Perhaps it is more profitable to come up with new mood elevators and tranquilizers than to research the relationship between diet and emotions.

“But where will I get my calcium?” I am constantly asked. Results of the most comprehensive study of the relationship between diet and disease challenge much of American dietary dogma. Dr. T. Colin Campbell, a nutritional biochemist from Cornell University, headed the China Study which began in 1983. The study shows that animal products, including dairy, are not needed to prevent bone loss.

Osteoporosis tends to occur in countries where calcium intake is highest and where most if its protein comes from rich dairy products. The Chinese data indicates that people need less calcium than we think, and we can get adequate amounts from vegetarian foods. Women in China do not develop breast and reproductive cancers or osteoporosis. Most Chinese eat no dairy products and get their calcium from vegetables. The Chinese consume half the calcium Americans do and osteoporosis is uncommon in that country.

In fact, many cultures who do not eat dairy food and exist on grains and vegetables, experience less bone loss than cultures who consume large amounts of animal and dairy protein. Elderly people in a number of developing countries show low osteoporosis rates despite calcium intake as low as 200 mg.

Consuming more calcium is not the only factor involved in bone loss. Too much protein, especially animal protein, depletes calcium and other mineral reserves in the bones, as do coffee, alcohol, sugar and tobacco.

If you eat a diet rich in dark green leafy vegetables such as kale and collard greens, and include a variety of other vegetables, and are open to try some new foods such as tofu, sea vegetables, beans, legumes, soy products, nuts and seeds, your calcium requirements will easily be met. Including outdoor exercise on a regular basis is a positive in building healthy bones.

After defending cigarette smoking during his presidential campaign, Bob Dole cynically stated that, “Some people even think that milk is not good for you.” Well, Bob, I’m one of those people.

Many Americans have abandoned destructive heavy meat-eating patterns. Isn’t it time we wean ourselves from the udder of the sacred cow so that we may realize our full potential as human beings?

Deborah Barr, 1999-2008.  All rights reserved.


Deborah Barr, 25-year Holistic Health Counselor/Coach, speaker, and author, works with clients who want to reverse weight and health issues; achieve emotional harmony, radiant health, passion, peaceful living, work-life balance, and a life they love.  She has received Professional training in Traditional Chinese Medicine with an emphasis on Nutritional Therapy, Whole Foods Cooking, Oriental Diagnosis, Herbal Medicine, and Shiatsu; Macrobiotics; Attitudinal Healing, Yoga and Spiritual Development, Reflexology, and Aromatherapy.  

In 1985 she founded Whole Health Resources, the premier Holistic Health Center in Pittsburgh.  WHR’s mission is to promote the healing and development of body, mind and spirit, and to teach an understanding of the relationship between diet, attitudes, lifestyle and wellness. She offers free help through her 2 e-zines, Natural Weight Loss, and Whole Health Matters™, and free articles at  She can be reached at 412.361.8600


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