The Dairy Free Diet
Five years ago my diet was consistent of the typical American diet. A diet full of meat and dairy products. I never imagined a dairy free diet until my son was born. When we brought our son home from the hospital we thought we were bringing home a “normal” baby boy. It wasn’t until a year later that we discovered that he had several food allergies, one of those being an allergy to dairy. It was at that moment that we had to instill a dairy free diet for him, and I was soon to follow.
The Dairy Free Diet
It can be pretty shocking to the typical American when you have to take your child off dairy. Since those early days I have come to learn that dairy is the most common cause of allergy and intolerance in babies. Lactose is what causes an intolerance to dairy and the proteins in dairy cause the allergy.
I originally thought of this as a handicap to my life and my son’s life, but as we learned this was better for our overall health. We couldn’t be happier now with the decision we have made to start a dairy free diet, and to be honest we don’t really miss it!
One of the greatest lessons I have learned is that there is no evidence that shows our body even needs dairy. In fact there is more reason why we should not eat dairy! Why do we even drink cow’s milk? Why don’t people drink cat’s milk or dog’s milk? It’s kind of crazy when you think about it. John Robbins says, if a human infant had the same charateristics as a cow, ‘it would probably be the right food for the child (1).” But we are not cows!
Susan Havala of the American Dietetic Association has said, “Milk is species specific. Each species’ milk is tailor-made for it’s own kind. So how on earth did people start drinking milk from cows? Even adult cows don’t drink cow’s milk. And if we drink cow’s milk, why stop there? Why not drink dog’s milk? Or bear’s milk (2)?”
Most of American’s do not see the dangers of milk. This is understandably so. We are brought up in a culture where dairy is the norm, and living without it is weird. People need to know that most dairy cows have been injected with growth hormones.
This is a big concern for me because we are putting things into our bodies and our children’s bodies that were never meant to be there. Not only were we never meant to have them in our bodies, but the cow was not meant to have these hormones either. The hormones that the cows and Americans are intaking are RBST and RBGH. A dairy free diet eliminates hormones from your diet, but continuing to consume dairy puts you at risk of cancer and other health risks.
Where are these hormones made? They are created in a lab and injected into cows every few weeks so they can produce more milk. Why the need for milk production? Money! The more milk they can produce the more sales can be made at the expense of our health.
What is so bad about the hormones? To begin, they harm the cow. The hormones cause mastitis in the cow that forces the cow to release bacteria and pus with the milk. The cows are then treated with antibiotics and other medications, and all this ends up in the milk that we drink. Unfortunately, antibiotics contribute to poor digestion in us humans (3). Now do you see the justification for a dairy free diet?
Dairy has become a monster in our day because the industry has been lobbying for years to promote dairy as good nutrition. The lobbyist have been preaching that dairy is a part of the four basic food groups. The dairy industry has spent countless amounts of money to promote milk consumption and to show American’s that dairy is normal and a diary free diet is abnormal (4).
One key finding is that in 2007 there were approximately 3 million children under 18 that had a food allergy. From 1997 to 2007 food allergies increased 18% (5). Could there be a reason why? Could it be the increase in hormones in cows? Obviously humans haven’t changed, but maybe what we are eating has.
If you are considering adopting a dairy free diet I would encourage you to go ahead and get rid of the milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, margarine, and sour cream in your house. You should also look at all the labels you have and make sure their isn’t any hidden dairy. Leaving dairy products in your home is going to tempt you to eat it.
I have learned so much since those initial days of finding out my son had an allergy, and through this website I want to show you how it is a blessing and not a curse to adopt a dairy free diet.
(1) Robbins, John and Ocean. Voices of the Food Revolution. Conari Press. 2013. Print
(2) Robbins, John and Ornish, Dean. The Food Revolution. Conari Press. 2010. Print.
(3) O’Brien Robyn. The Unhealthy Truth. Broadway Books. 2009. Print
(4) Campbell, Colin T. Whole. BenBella Books Inc. 2013. Print
(5) Braum, Amy and Lukacs, Susan. Food Allergy Among U.S. Children: Trends in Prevalence and Hospitalizations. October 2008