Milk. Not too many other nutrition topics have as much controversy surrounding them as this one. With massive amounts of money poured into the dairy industry each year, the socially accepted norm is that milk is a good source of calcium. From Got Milk? ads, to artificially flavored milks targeted at children, the push to drink milk is strongly backed by those who benefit financially from its sale.

So let’s take a deeper look at milk as a food product:

1. Milk is perfect for the species it is defined for

Humans are the only species that drinks milk of another species, we are also the only species that drinks milk past infancy. Science is showing that milk is so specific and intelligent that the mother will make a different composition of milk depending on whether the infant is a boy or a girl.

2. Most humans lose the ability to digest milk as they age

Past childhood, the levels of the enzyme needed to break down the sugar in milk, lactose, decrease significantly. This is evolutionarily appropriate because in the past, we didn’t drink milk past infancy so there was no need for this enzyme in adulthood.

3. Milk as a calcium source

Cow’s milk is an excellent source of calcium…for calves. There is actually a substance in cow’s milk that coats the lining of the stomach and prevents calcium absorption. This may explain why the countries with the highest levels of dairy consumption also have the highest levels of osteoporosis. Humans have plenty of other excellent sources of calcium that are much more highly absorbable and usable by the human body such as collard greens, broccoli and kale.

4. Cow’s milk contains harmful and powerful hormones

Most of the milk on the supermarket shelves are highly processed and from cow’s that have been mistreated and pumped with hormones designed to turn a calf into a 1200 pound full grown cow in a shorter amount of time than nature intended. It is extremely dangerous for humans to be ingesting those hormones from cow’s milk.

Now that we have dissected some issues with cow’s milk, what is a better alternative? Nut and seed milks are a wonderful way to substitute for cow’s milk while also providing your body with nourishing ingredients.

The Sweet Freedom video provides one example of an Almond, Cashew, Hemp seed milk but you can also try some variations with pumpkin seeds, walnuts and pecans. Soaking the ingredients over night is extremely helpful to get the desired creamy texture and remember these types of “milk” only stay good for about 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator.