Needless to say, milk is one staple in my family that is never purchased non organic. Gone are the days as a little kid when I was raised feasting on raw cow’s milk, sometimes straight from the udders into my mouth! (Yeah, some people will find that shocking now).
Being a vegetarian all my life, I started eating beef and chicken left and right when I came to Canada. At that time, I was oblivious to the knowledge of endocrine disrupters pumped into North American cattle. Now, a little note on this before we get back to milk… 89% of the beef in today’s market comes from industry raised cattle, treated in extreme amounts with growth hormones for fast massive growth of the cows and fast profits in the pockets of industrial farmers.
Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, trenbolone and zeranol pumped into the cattle, disrupts natural hormonal balance in the human body. Excess estrogen in the body is linked with reproductive issues, menstrual problems, breast and ovarian cancer in women and prostate and testicular cancer in men. Hence I mark my ballot for no beef or dairy that is not organically raised and produced.
A friend of mine is extremely lactose intolerant, a condition I had never heard of as a kid and thus I began my expedition into researching it. Lactose intolerance seems to be a condition that existed from Paleolithic days, interesting, isn’t it? Lactose is a naturally occurring sugar in milk and lactase is the enzyme necessary to digest milk. Babies are born with a capacity to produce lactase and as they drink breastmilk this capacity continues until they reach the age of three or four. Then the capacity gradually decreases. When they are adults, as a result, they lack the ability to digest milk. This is one reason why many experts like to use the term “lactase non-persistent” as opposed to “lactose intolerant”.
In tribes and regions where dairy farming is most prominent, babies are switched to raw cow, goat or sheep milk so that continue to produce lactase in small amounts. This slight genetic mutation must have happened all over the world at the same time around 8000 years ago when dairy farming started its origins. Raw milk also contains lactase which is destroyed when milk is pasteurized. Those lactose intolerant, might find it to be a pleasant surprise when they drink raw milk and don’t see the usual nausea or diarrhea that follows.
So, this lactose intolerant friend of mine happily eats a lot of cheese and yogurt. So when I researched into it, what I found was the longer the cheese has been aged, the lesser lactose it contains. And once milk it’s fermented, the bacteria in that consumed the lactose making the yogurt lactose-free!