Are we meant to consume milk past childhood? No other mammal does such a thing, and they certainly don’t drink the milk of other animals. It’s unheard of.
However using the same argument, what other animals wear clothes, cook their food or drive cars?
Humans are unique in so many ways. We utilize a wide range of food sources and perhaps this is one of the reasons we have thrived on this planet.
Milk, according to some sources is the perfect food. It contains all of the major macro elements including sugar, protein and fat as well as Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and Selenium. Not to mention all those Vitamins like A,B,D and K.
If this is the case, why do so many Naturopaths and health books recommend that we ditch dairy? We hear that milk gives you mucus, makes you gain weight and is packed full of artificial hormones & antibiotics. Yuk!
Yet at the same time very healthy populations have been consuming dairy for thousands of years without obvious problems.
Is it milk that is the problem? Or is it the way that milk is being produced? What about the diet of the cow?
Lets talk diet first. To be clear, cows are meant to eat grass.
At Mungalli our pastures include grasses, legumes, herbs, weeds and shrubs. By having a wide variety of foods to choose from they can balance their mineral and nutritional requirements.
This pasture is available all year around. The only other feed they get is salt and minerals as well as a lick of Molasses to encourage them into the dairy.
In contrast a conventional farm feeds a fertilized monoculture of one or two grasses along with grain, protein concentrate (usually genetically modified), Rumensin – a sort of antibiotic, as well as maize silage, molasses and minerals.
Feedlot dairies, which are becoming much more common, feed a total mixed ration of hay, maize silage, genetically modified protein concentrates, food scraps from other industries as well as vitamins and minerals.
These foods stimulate milk production, but they don’t support the longevity of the cow. These poor cows produce an enormous amount of milk – more than their body can sustain – which shortens their life span. They are kept locked in a shed or feedlot, all to produce milk at a cheap price.
In these conventional farming systems, the cattle eat an unnatural diet which can lead to metabolic upsets, disease and infertility. This is then treated with antibiotics, hormones, pesticides and other veterinary medicines.
Sick cows will produce sick milk.
Could this be the reason so many people find milk hard to swallow?
What about how milk is processed? Let’s take a look.
At Mungalli our milk is simply filtered, pasteurized, and packed. Larger producers filter, clarify, separate, standardize, pasteurize, homogenize, and then packed the milk.
Of all of these steps, homogenization is probably the worst step. Homogenization is when the milk is pressurized and pushed through a fine mesh aperture which vastly changes the physical and chemical structure of the milk.
What about our products? If you look at our Greek Yoghurt it is simply heated milk which we add a starter too, then traditionally drained through a cheese cloth to thicken.
Compare this to a conventional Greek yoghurt which may be separated, standardized, have milk powder added and then be heat treated, homogenized and finally pasteurized again to kill the probiotic microbes which extends the shelf life.
Shop keepers all over like a long shelf life to minimize wastage and simplify ordering. To obtain economies of scale and a cheaper price larger companies have one or two processing plants that ship product all around Australia. This also requires a long shelf life. And the additional processing to achieve this.
So in conclusion, there is milk and then there is good old fashion milk. You choose the one you need for your health.