The great milk debate is alive and well and depending on who you ask in the fields of science and health, you're going to get very different answers. Some will say that milk is "poison," while others claim that milk has both fat burning and bone building benefits that are unsurpassed by any other calcium enriched products. With all of this conflicting information being batted about, who are you to believe?
I felt the same way - confused and frustrated by all of the opinions and "facts" about milk and milk products. After all of my research and first hand experience with cutting out all processed milk products, here is what I have decided:
RAW IS THE ONLY WAY TO GO!
Milk that has not been pasteurized is considered raw and that is the only way I will drink it. The problem with pasteurizing milk is that the heat and pressure kill most of the beneficial enzymes and bacteria that are naturally found in this white beverage and their elimination makes it harder to digest.
Along with the problems that come from pasteurization is the fact that most milk cows are continuously injected with hormones and antibiotics to keep them producing large amounts of milk while keeping them disease-free. These hormones and antibiotics are then transferred to the cows' milk, which is then ingested by you. To think that we wonder why we're becoming resistant to antibiotics?
Believe it or not, more people are afraid of drinking raw milk than they are of what these unnecessary hormones and antibiotics can do to their bodies. That's just silly! When harvested correctly and kept at appropriate temperatures, raw milk is both satisfying and healthy for you.
However, if you're too afraid to drink your milk raw, there is an alternative - certified organic milk. You must make sure that the milk is BOTH hormone-free and free from antibiotics. Just because it says organic, does not mean that both of these synthetics are absent. Manufacturers have gotten crafty and have found a loophole that makes it okay to have one or the other and still claim to be organic. This is true for certified organic milk as well as certified organic milk products such as cheese, yogurt, and butter.
Finally, if all of this information has pushed you over the edge and you no longer want to consume any dairy product whatsoever, that's okay too. You can still obtain adequate amounts of calcium from leafy greens, salmon or bone-in sardines and from vegetables such as broccoli.