Remember the times when your mum chased you around the house, under the dining table and over the couch just so she could feed you the elixir of a growing child's life-milk? Like they say, karma has a way of balancing itself, and what goes around, comes around. And it's time for you to chase your babies with their milk cups in your hand.
Or maybe not.
According to Dr Frank Oski, author of 19 medical textbooks and 290 medical manuscripts, including Don't Drink Your Milk!:
- The milk of each species is specifically designed to protect the young of that species. Cross-feeding does not serve any purpose.
- A study of 20,000 infants in Chicago showed that the death rate for babies raised on human milk was 1.5 deaths per 1,000 infants while the death rate in the babies who were fed cow's milk was 84.7 during the first nine months of life.
- The death rate from gastrointestinal infections was 40 times higher in non-breast-fed infants.
- And the death rate of non-breast-fed infants from respiratory infections was 120 times higher.
So where are your babies going to get their iron, proteins and calcium from, you might wonder. But they're not getting it from milk, anyway.
- Research shows that the primary protein in cow's milk is casein. The casein content in cows' milk is 20 times that of human milk, sufficient for a calf, but almost impossible for a human baby to assimilate.
- Similarly, although cow's milk is high in calcium, it is in a form that cannot be assimilated by humans.
- • Cow's milk contains only about 1 mg or iron per liter. So one-year-olds would need to drink almost 24 liters of milk in a day to meet their daily iron requirements! A better option would be to feed them other foods that are richer in iron.
Research over the last three decades suggests that cows' milk can lead to anemia, allergies, diarrhea, heart disease, colic, cramps, gastrointestinal bleeding, sinusitis, skin rashes, acne, increased frequency of colds and flus, arthritis, diabetes, ear infections, osteoporosis, asthma, possibly even lung cancer and multiple sclerosis.
Whoa. That's one long list!
But there's no reason to hit the panic button yet. You can substitute cow's milk with healthier options such as soy milk and rice milk. Soy milk is rich in protein and fibre (though an excess of soy milk also has its negatives), while rice milk is fortified with iron, calcium and vitamins B3 and B12. Besides, by the time you wean your babies, between six months and one year, they can also be fed a variety of easily digestible solid foods that can fulfill their protein, iron and calcium needs. Until then, there are only two alternatives to milk-the left breast and the right breast.
But breaking generations of conditioning isn't easy. Most mothers are uneasy at the mere idea of taking milk away from their kids' diets. The more verbose ones even told me to take my ideas and stuff them where the sun doesn't shine-two of those mothers are my mum and sister. So, I get it if you're as skeptical as they were. But we'd love to hear what you have to say. Would you consider switching from cow's milk to something else? Or was this story an exercise in futility? Comment here or write to firstname.lastname@example.org