What's In That Milk You Are Drinking?

Thursday, January 9, 2014
It's milk. It's loaded with calcium. It does the body good.

But does it?

If it's on grocery store shelves, then it must be safe to consume. Right?

Well, not exactly.

I admit that I was blissfully unaware of the dangers lurking in my everyday food. I had no idea. I had never really considered that what I was feeding my body could have been doing more harm than good.

It wasn't until I attended a luncheon hosted by Stonyfield Farm, the makers of organic dairy products, and featuring food activist Robyn O'Brien that I realized that foods produced in the United States are below par compared with foods produced in other industrialized nations. If you have never read my recap of that luncheon, head over there now and give it a read before you continue.

Ok, you're back. Great. Let's move on.

After hearing Robyn speak, I had an overwhelming urge to rush home and completely overhaul the contents of my pantry and kitchen cabinets. But I knew that was neither practical nor cost-effective. So, I asked Ms. O'Brien when making the switch to organic and clean eating, where is the best place to start?

Her answer: dairy products.

Conventionally produced milk contains artificial hormones. Any milk that is not labeled as organic, as raw, or as being rBGH-free is conventionally produced. To boost milk production, farmers treat their cattle with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST). What farmers and the FDA fail to tell consumers is that rBGH also causes udder infections and pus in the milk. rBGH also leads to higher levels of the hormone called insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) in milk. High levels of IGF-1 have been linked to breast, prostate, and colon cancers.

IGF-1 is banned in most industrialized countries including Canada and 27 countries in the E.U.

Have you spit out your milk yet?
Photo Credit: The Telegraph UK

If those hormones are reaching the bloodstreams of the injected cows, they are eventually reaching your bloodstream if you aren't drinking rBGH-free or organic milk.

After attending the Stonyfield luncheon, I came home with a mission. I vowed to learn more about the food I am eating and the food I am feeding my family. And my mission started with dairy products.

Robyn O'Brien admitted that switching to an organic and clean food diet would not be easy nor would it be a quick transition. It would take time and effort.

The first step I took was to switch to organic milk. We are not milk drinkers per se, but occasionally we use it for cereal as well as for cooking. Over time, we made the switch to organic cheese, butter, and yogurt, sour cream and other products that contained milk such as ice cream.

As we were in the process of swapping out conventional dairy products for organic ones, I continued to do some research. I found conflicting research and opinions. But the more I read, the more I knew that I didn't want my daughters drinking milk which contained rBGH.

A majority of the research I found stated that rBGH contributes to girls reaching puberty earlier than ever before, with onset occurring as early as the age of 8.

As the mother of 2 daughters, I can tell you that 8 years old is too young to physically or emotionally handle puberty. Menstruation alone would be overwhelming at such a young age.

Through my work with Stonyfield Farm as a brand ambassador I have had additional opportunities to learn about the organic cattle farming industry and the many benefits of organic dairy products. I stand by my decision to stop buying conventionally produced dairy products just as much today as I did 3 years ago when we made the switch.

To learn more, visit these sites:

Stonyfield Farm

Robyn O'Brien

No comments