We have been convinced that milk is essential!
What's so essential, we're told, is the calcium and vitamin D. Well calcium is natural in cow milk, at 30% of our daily requirement (meaning we'll need the same exact amount two more times during the day to get 100%). 30% is actually not that much. The cheapest cheap milk is of course Wal-Mart Great Value at 19 cents per serving, totaling about 60 cents to get us 100% of calcium.
What's the catch?
Well you don't digest calcium straight up. The companies didn't care about this. The FDA required them to add Vitamin D, from wheat ("Baker's Yeast") so the calcium can be digested. Yep, and guess what? With cow milk alternatives, if there is no calcium there is no Vitamin D.
It's funny as I was doing this analysis, I asked around and scoured the web for why people buy milk and it was shocking, Vitamin D was up on the list. I then asked, well what does Vitamin D do? Not one person had an answer. Well it's main function is to absorb calcium and also works with it for bone strength among other things. Well Vitamin D is free. Your body makes it when it is in the sun. Don't buy milk for Vitamin D, it's free. If you want it for Calcium, ok I get it, but yogurt is twice is dense in calcium.
Disclaimer: I am not a fan of anything cow. Take that into consideration. However my data is completely unbiased. It’s because of unbiased data I became against animal milks to be ingested by humans particularly in some disillusioned way of substituting human milk in infants, babies, and toddlers. I think there is an awareness to this occurring. Scroll to the bottom to read more about data concerning dangers and warnings of cow milk consumption.
Before doing this project I was a big fan of coconut and rice milk. But, pretty much this investigation revealed all “milks” are essentially nutrition-less. If you are buying milk simply for nutrition, stop. They are a complete waste of money. Most of the nutrients on the label are ADDED from plant sources that you can simply get them from the original source, such as plants. It seems the actual trace amounts of anything in milk is shockingly low. When I divided how much each serving is by each nutrient, the cost to get to 100% of our vitamin and mineral intake is disastrously high.
One thing I always look at is how much is this thing costing me in relation to other options for a similar thing.
This chart compares all the milk options by how much they cost by the gallon and by each serving. So you say will pay $7.38 a gallon for Blue Diamond Organic Almond Milk and 46 cents per serving, which is a joke, it's like 8 ounces.
There is no doubt dairy consumption is down. “Fifty years ago, there were well over half a million U.S. dairy farms. That’s dwindled to about 37,000 today. At the same time, milk drinking is way down – off 40% per capita, losing out to soy milk, almond milk and nearly every other beverage for sale today.” NPR link Ok done with that.
Ok if you’re curious here are some data on why people are choosing not to go near cow milk anymore. My kids have never had it and will not ever have it until they choose to do so as adults.
Cows are designed to be fat and lethargic, milk from cow mommy is formulated to get baby calf as fat as possible so calf can run with the herd and fend for itself against predators like wolves, coyotes, hyenas etc. So there are lots of natural hormones in cow milk to modify and guide the genes and DNA of baby cow. They were meant to roam as well, but nearly all milk and cow derived foods are from confined animals in incredibly close and restrictive quarters, and are killed/slaughtered in mechanistic efficiency which leads to lot of disease and infectious outbreaks. All dairy herds have cows with subclinical mastitis; however, the prevalence of infected cows varies from 5%–75%, and quarters from 2%–40%. link.
Ok so cows are a major source of bacterial outbreaks, even in spinach’s where their manure is used as a fertilizer. I’m not interested in that. Every single blog or post about the safety of milk completely ignores one fact, pasteurization. Cow milk enthusiasts boast the benefits of Vitamin D, which we've seen is added per the government, and calcium which we know we need, but there are some great other sources, including our non-dairy alternativces. NIH article on calcium sources.