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Adults shouldn't drink milk - it's just wrong, isn't it?

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Elfin | 02:40 Sat 29th Jan 2005 | Food & Drink
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I think humans are the only mammals to continue drinking milk beyond infancy. Odd don't you think? Perhaps even a little perverse?

Especially when studies have shown that the consumption of cow's milk can contribute to an array of medical conditions such as iron deficiency anaemia, allergies, diarrhea, gastrointestinal bleeding, sinusitis, skin rashes, acne, increased frequency of colds and flus, arthritis, diabetes, ear infections, asthma and possibly even lung cancer.

It's well documented that milk is a mucus producer and a burden on the respiratory, digestive and immune systems.  A fair proportion of the population of the world is lactose intolerant too, so should we conclude that drinking cow's milk is just wrong?

Perhaps I am biased - I was lactose intolerant as a baby and am haunted by memories of being made to drink those little bottles of milk at junior school, which had thoughtfully warmed by the window in full sunshine all morning...ewwww.  I avoid most dairy products now. Cow's milk is for calves.

What do you think?



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Elfin, I agree with Headtime. It is an interesting question and I think some of the responses were pretty harsh.

It seems some people here are very sensitive when it comes to milk...strange!

I'm very interested in all things to do with diet, so I wouldn't dismiss your claim out of hand. I only drink skimmed milk in tea but that's merely because I don't particularly like dairy products and soya milk is vile.

I think people may have reacted to your question as like myself, we are rather tired of being told by the Government, health experts and various magazines what we should and should not be eating. What is good or bad for us seems to change at an alrming rate. I think this is probably why myself and others tend not to listen any more as it gets very confusing.

I don't think that drinking milk is particularly wrong, it is just another food source that we have come to rely upon. There is no doubting it's benefits and the goodness it contains, but we should also consider the negative points too.

When I was a child we all drank full fat milk and over the years research has shown us that this wasn't ideal for all people and that we should change to skimmed or semi-skimmed.

I found out a few years ago that I was lactose intolerant and was suffering from acute sinusitis. My doctor suggested removing milk from my diet and it worked wonders. I was then left with finding an alternative and settled on calcium enriched soya milk.

My children still drink regular milk as it is good for them and unless they show signs of an intolerance I won't change that.

I think that we all need to find a balance within our diets. We will all have different tolerances and needs in our diets and therefore must treat everyone separately. To stop consuming something that has become a large part of our diets on the grounds that it affects some people would be a mistake and could cause problems else where.


A good question Elfin. thank you.

Hi Elfin.  I'm sorry if I came across as a little harsh, i really didn't intend to sound so mean, I  agree with  the points in the link I sent, but I did read others written by people who share your ideas and saw many valid points there too.  I do love milk though and the idea of drinking it being perverse is a little offensive.  I understand that some people do have allergies, but it's not everyone. I also enjoy eating eggs.
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Thank you Laura-sakura - apology fully accepted :-)

I eat loads of things that I know full well are not particularly good for me (a bit of a sugar addict actually). As I don't like milk, I got to wondering why I don't like milk, that's all. Dig a little deeper, discover its various negative qualities (for a fair proportion of people) and you arrive at questions like the one I posed.

Equally, I wonder why I do like sugar so much :-)

i don't really drink milk because i don't like the test and therefore only have it in tea.

BUT no milk=no cheese. and i do like cheese.

i'm not sure whether that helps the argument any but i would find it hard to live in a world without cheese

ah but it gets boring being considered about everything. just spicing it up a notch - bam.


It became a staple because of the lack of meat in most peoples diet (calcium etc.) and was a cheap and then healthy alternative. I do agree that research indicates it is not as healthy as people think, but I would not dismiss it out of hand. Overindulgence in any one food source is bad for you and unless you're drinking gallons of the stuff I find it hard to be persuaded to drop it from my diet altogether. Dairy products play a positive and varied role in a western diet imo.



As for the blood - I seem to remember that it is actually as good for you as milk, but people would not drink it on 'eww' factor, despite putting away dead pigs/cows/chicken/lambs by the truckload. If you have never had a 'positive taste' for milk, it might have that eww factor for you, just like eating dogs in korea or chickens feet in china would be the same for most people. I certainly think that if you are prepared to eat the flesh of dead animals what they produce is at least less disgusting. I dont eat fish, I cant even eat in the same room as it has been cooked, I have no idea how people can eat it. Most animal products are just as disgusting if not worse - eggs; unfertilised foetuses for gods sake.


I agree that the 'milk is good for you end of' line we have heard is wrong tho. Like everything it has its place in providing a balanced diet, variety is the key to a healthy diet and striking dairy from the menu arbitrarily is a bad call.


imco  ;)

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Like you LordyGeordie, I just don't like the taste of milk and only ever have it (a miniscule amount) in a nice strong cuppa.

Hmmm... cheese. I dislike it even more than milk, to the degree that I won't eat anything if it has any cheese in it - at all.

Apart from not liking the taste, I can't shake off the (inaccurate) perception that it is actually just "off milk" and also sometimes mouldy.  Mmmm yum yum :-o

I know that being "cheesist" is not going to win me any friends and I know that many, many people absolutely love cheese and that's fine.

Amusingly, the downside of disliking cheese is that you have to balance the ingredients on a cheese-free pizza.

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Sounds more like you El D!

I agree about the "ewww" factor as you put it. I suppose the point is that we are conditioned to like certain foods due to our own cultures.

You have, I'm pleased to say, raised one of the most interesting (to me) points yet in this debate - the reason why humans started drinking milk in the first place.  I thought it might be something to do with shortages in other foodstuffs (meat, as you say).  It is easy to forget that the choice of foods we have today is a bit artificial.  When needs must, people adapt.

Oh and I totally agree about fish on all counts.  Well said! 

God, I sound like I don't eat anything (except sugar)  ;-)

i don't particularly like the taste but its a cheap and easy source of calcium so i make sure its on my cereal. plus semi-skimmed and full-fat milk are good sources of vit A. obviously with so many people suffering allergies, intolerances and aversions to milk, it seems that any medical problem can be solved by cutting out dairy but you'd need to speak to a doctor and a dietitian first. i suppose it's a question of personal taste.

Harold McGee's "On food and cooking: the science and lore of the kitchen" book has an interesting introduction to one of the chapters on this topic.  You can use the US version of Amazon to 'look inside' the book and read about it.


I can understnd your concerns as I have had some of the symptoms you listed above and have been diagnosd with ME. I recently went to a prvate doctor who specialises in treating people with the condition and his tests found that I am lactose intolerant and also intolerant to aspartame added in low-cal food and drinks and sugar-free products. I have now changed to goat's milk but everything else I eat is from the dairy-free range. The soya margarine I use tastes nice. I have also found dairy-free ice cream in Morrisons which tasted lovely too.

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