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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
32 Answers

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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get a life!

Yuk - Our teachers always warmed the bottles of milk on the radiators & I remember gagging at the mere thought of having to drink it. I later went on to drinking gallons of the freezing cold stuff.

As a sufferer of chronic sinusitis, I only have milk in my tea now. It seems to have done the trick, as it has eased the symptoms. So there must be something in the 'mucus' theory.

Red meat - full of fat and bad for your heart.  Fruit - lots of sugar, destroys your teeth.  Pasta - just flour and water, makes you fat. Soon we won't be able to eat anything as we are all allergic to it.  So you don't like milk, drink water and cham down every vitamin tablet and supplement you can get your hands on.  You are a hypochondriac.
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Er no, I'm simply questioning whether it is natural to drink cow's milk as an adult human.
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I agree with you Elfin.  I don't think it's natural in any way for us to drink animal milk.  The only milk designed and balanced for humans is breast milk.  I don't see it as a 'health scare' as there's been evidence for ages that milk isn't particularly good for us, but obviously if people want to carry on drinking it that's their choice.  Lots of people will feel no ill effects.  I've been vegan for 6 years and feel much better for the exclusion of milk products.
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Thanks nicola_red for understanding what I meant.  I may have waffled a bit in the question but some people have clearly missed the point.  Indeed, it was not intended to highlight a health scare. It was just meant to make people consider whether the reasons why there are issues for humans drinking cow's milk could be summed up by the fact that it is (and never was) a natural food for us.

Fruit, veg, nuts etc and even meat are all within the realms of "natural" in terms of evolution, but the milk of another animal is anomolous, I think.

Of course it is peoples' choice whether to have dairy products or not, but having had this conversation with a few people (and seeing some of the responses on here), I am surprised to note that some people are overtly offended by the suggestion, to the point of being aggressive.

Think of it in terms of other food problems associated with the crossing of natural boundaries (e.g. those well-televised illnesses to do with farmed animals - herbivores - being fed on the remains of their own and other species).

you'll find it's not a planet wide thing tho.  In the Orient, very little milk is drunk, infact very few dairy products consumed.  but then, I'm not mad on the idea of raw fish, so each to their own. 

As for what is 'natural' to consume.....well you could take a look in any kitchen cupboard or larder anywhere in the UK and find it stapped full of 'unnatural' things, even tho most whoelsome and roganic families will have some processed and mucked about with foods in there.  I think your point is a little odd, if I'm being honest.

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Yes jills, and the reason certain races of people generally don't drink milk is because they are largely lactose intolerant!  The same is true of people of African, Native N. American and Asian origins.

Whether or not we eat processed foods in general is a slightly different issue.  Most of these are at least derived from natural human food ingredients, notwithstanding the processing and chemical additives etc.

For many years, in Europe and the US, milk has been marketed (rather vigorously) as both good for us and natural. We are forced to drink it as babies and we are fully encouraged to carry it on lest all our teeth fall out and our bones crumble. People don't seem to question whether or why it might not be all it's cracked up to be, which is why I thought I would.

I don't see what's odd about that.

its a food source - would you say drinking animal blood was weird?
Oh and your reference to perversity worries me slightly as you seem to have associated milk with some form of sexuality. How strange . . .
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Don't worry El D.  Poor choice of words that's all (it was very late last night).  Don't know about blood but then we aren't encouraged to drink it anyway.
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Anyway, El D, the meaning of perverse is not sexual. That was your interpretation, so maybe you ought to be more worried by that.  

I would have expected you to have tried to engage with the question intelligently like you normally do, rather than try to sensationalise it by having a cheap shot.

So, if we are designed to only drink human milk then perhaps we should only eat human flesh.
I agree Elfin. So many health problems can be solved by simply cutting out dairy.
We are designed to be breastfed until we self wean (the natural age of weaning is between 2.5 and 7) not to start on milk from other animals! For example cows is milk is made for pretty rapid growth, breastmilk is for slower body growth and faster brain development.

Milk is one of the most nutrient-dense foods available to humans who are smart enough to consume it. For someone with no nutrition training to try and dissuade people from using it in order to promote their own ideological agenda is completely irresponsible.

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Well done Laura_sakura for investigating it at least. But note that the article in question is written by a dairy farmers' representative who clearly has a commercial interest.

Some of it is inaccurate and some of the arguments are weak, but there are some interesting points there, including the bit about cereal grain. A quick look at the concepts behind the Blood Type Diet supports and explains the cereal grain theory rather well and I believe there is some truth in it. Anyone who gets bloated after eating bread should take a look.  But that's another story.

Note too that I'm not (and never have been) on a special diet of any kind (other than not drinking milk but that's because I don't like it), I have never had a weight problem and I'm not suffering from any illnesses.  So I'm not a diet-obsessive or a hypochondriac - I'm just interested in the origin of food and the changing trends throughout our evolution.

Elfin, you've been given a hard time from the respondees to your post, but actually I think you raise an interesting question. It is quite strange that as adults we continue to drink milk, but then again I love a cold glass of the white stuff., myself.

I think it's a good question.
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Thanks Headtime.  Yeah it has been a bit of a rough ride and I'm still surprised by that.

But you have taken the question in the spirit it was intended - just something to wonder about :-)

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