RAW DAIRY PRODUCTS OR NO DAIRY?

As a child on my father’s farm, I grew up eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, along with organic raw milk and many other raw dairy products. As an adult, I’ve made a New Year’s resolution to go vegan in 2015. But I really think that the raw dairy versus no dairy question can be misleading. What we know from research is that excessive animal protein can contribute to cancer. So if you do consume animal protein, the right questions to ask are what kind of animal products to consume and in what percentage of your total diet?

THE CHINA STUDY

The classic studies on animal products and cancer were conducted by nutritional biochemist T. Colin Campbell of Cornell University. First he fed laboratory rats casein—a milk protein—as 5 percent of their total caloric intake. No cancer developed. When he increased the casein to 10 percent of calories, cancerous tumors began to develop. When the amount of milk protein reached 20 percent of calories, all the test rats got cancer. Dr. Campbell further found that he could turn the cancer off again by reducing the casein back to 5 percent.

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So how does this apply to people? To find out, Dr. Campbell launched The China Study—the largest study of its kind ever conducted—and found pretty much the same results in humans. Western diets high in animal protein contribute to cancer and other chronic diseases.

IMPORTANCE OF PROPORTION

So, if you’re eating like I did as a kid—loads of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and seeds, along with some raw dairy—your amount of animal protein will probably not exceed 5 percent of your total calories. On the other hand, if you’re actually eating dead animals as your protein and the main part of your diet, you’re going to easily exceed that 20 percent mark where cancer comes in.

SUSTAINABLE RAW DAIRY

Raw milk produced as nature intended—by grass-fed animals nursing their own young—is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. My father, Don Tolman, called it “white grass juice” because the animals naturally process plants for us into a drink that we can easily digest. Our saliva, digestive enzymes, and small intestines are all specially equipped to make the most of raw milk. However, once we become adults, we can certainly eat plants ourselves—even some grasses—for the nutrition we need. So, we don’t really need milk anymore.

And what we really want to avoid is processed, homogenized, and pasteurized milk. We can’t easily digest it, and I personally don’t want anything to do with a product produced so unnaturally. I’ve worked in a dairy before, and the way most dairies treat the animals and add chemicals to the milk (“vitamin-fortified”) is repulsive.

On the other hand, when coming off an extended water fast, I’ve previously taken goat milk mixed with honey as a power drink to rebuild my body—it’s ecstasy. But now as a vegan, I make nut milks, seed milks, and oat milk from oatmeal. Those vegan milks are also nourishing, pure, and full of powerful proteins, amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. So, there are the two sides of the raw milk or no milk story. Just be sure to do what’s natural, proportional in your diet, and compatible with sustainable and humane treatment of animals.

This article was republished with permission from tylertolman.com.

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