Monday, October 18, 2010

Milk Mustache.

I owe a real post very soon-- I promise I will explain my silence asap-- but for now, just know our little monster is starting to toddle around, and he has started to drink organic cow's milk in combo with formula (my supply is pretty much gone, and he is only really nursing when he first wakes up now).

Obviously we have decided Gabe can have cow's milk-- only organic whole milk-- but many people are anti-milk or anti-pasteurized milk. How do you feel about milk and why? I'm very curious!


  1. I lost my entire comment when I originally posted, but lets see if I can recreate some of it. I am trying to be as honest as possible about this issue, which for me, touches on the industry as a whole, not just milk.

    Milk is one of those hot button issues with parents. From what I can discern, it looks like there are a few issues when you start discussing milk consumption. Let me preface this by saying that although my life goal is to become a vegan locovore, I am not to this point yet and it will be a life long process, if I ever even get there. I feel it is important to disclose this prior to my discussing the milk stuff. Dalia will undoubtedly consume dairy, though I hope in responsible quantities (more on this later). I really believe that animal consumption and the byproducts of that consumption are huge drains on our environment and our health. If there are more nutritious alternatives, then why not go that route? But are there? I don't really know. Research is quite conflicting and is often colored by politics, among other things.

    A lot of vegan advocates believe that cow milk is for baby cows the way human milk is for baby humans. The idea of a mother cow giving birth to a calf and then having that calf ripped away for veal while the mother's lactation is taken advantage of really makes me sad. That baby calf wants and needs the mommy's milk.

    1) The dairy industry, much like the meat industry, in my opinion, is really not treating animals well. Ethically speaking, though organic milk cows are hormone/antibiotic free, they still aren't treated the best. Organic is now such a fad that there is a lot of research pointing out that the organic farming animals are being treated virtually the same as their inorganic counterparts. Sure they have space to roam in most cases, but the milking industry enervates the animals so much that most of the time they don't even want to walk around. This is hugely evident with chickens. Cage free means almost nothing to me right now. Well it means something, but not enough.

    2. Raw milk is another story all together. Many people who consume raw milk have acquired the gut flora needed to digest it well without issue. Raw milk movements are much less omnipresent that the organic movement and so perhaps the fact that it is smaller means less industry-type procedures in the milking process. Another thing is that because raw milk can't be found in the grocery (except for some places in Oregon, I think) it is by nature a push for local. Most people who do the raw milk thing have a cow, have a farm share, or are more on the lines of anti-commercialism. Still other find that the homogenization process kills of some good parts of the milk and lessens the taste. I have looked into raw milk myself, but got a serious VETO from the husband--like I said, lifelong process.

    I have friends who drink raw milk. I have friends who go to farms and milk the cow, pet the cow, and love the cow, but still, that lactating cow's whole life is about milking. I guess I would feel ok if I went to a farm and learned that mommy cows get an extended break from being milked to recoup. I have been bfeeding for 11 months exclusively and I feel like a milk machine...imagine years and years of milking!

  2. 3. There is also the entire aspect allergy stuff which prevents some from having cow's milk at all. So in these cases milk alternatives are the best. But for parents concerns about cow's milk for whatever reason, the issue becomes what alternative? Almond milk could cause problems with nut allergies (and it is often high in sugar), hemp milk lacks similar protein, soy milk has the soy allergy potential problem not to mention the fact that high levels of soy in a person's diet can lead to hormone imbalance. Rice milk is nutritious and is often made with brown rice.

    4. I already touched on the ethical side of things with the treatment of animals, which I can hardly distinguish from the meat industry. The whole thing breaks my heart honestly.

    But what can we give our children that has a similar nutritional makeup to whole milk? Is it really that important for children to have whole milk if they have parents who are keenly aware of their calcium intake otherwise? What about supplements that provide the same nutrition. I am not even sure milk is what we need in our diets. My old pedi in Chicago (ugh, I love him) has lots of patients raising vegan children. He sees no problem whatsoever.

    In the end it is a personal choice. It is a choice that each family and each person has to make. What is right for one family is not right for another. I am sure Dalia will have milk in drinking form. She has had milk in recipes and organic yogurt, but every time I open the container I start thinking that I am making the wrong choice. For those who eat meat the connection between the meat industry and dairy industry might not be as distinguishable. For those who do not eat meat, it is really hard to stop at meat itself, especially if the decision is mainly ethical.

    I am really undecided on the issue. I bet you don't believe me, but I eat dairy and a lot of it. I see a non-dairy diet in my future, but just how far down the road is not known to me. For now, I try and consume it responsibly and always conscious of the animals, people, and process. As a parent, I want to raise Dalia to think about her food, no matter what her final decision is. And it is her decision to make.

    What do YOU think?!

  3. oops my last comment is gone... something went wrong... let's try this again -
    Isn't that what your supposed to give your child? Milk at age 1? Not sure why anyone would be against it... it's what the AAP and ped's recommend. I'm not sure why someone would give their child un-pasteurized milk... it's pasteurized for a very good reason. I plan on doing organic whole milk when my Julianna hits age 1 :)
    Your son is very cute by the way!