Friday, October 27, 2006

A Dairy Rant

I saw this commercial on tv last night that just ticked me off. It was all gushy and warm about how good milk is for kids and how they 'need' at least two servings a day and blah blah blah.

Well... BS!!!!!!!!!!!! (Those of you who know me know I'd never actually say or type out the words represented by those two letters. :D)

The dairy industry has got some hold on the nutrition people and it just makes me sick. The vegetarians managed to make enough of a fuss so that the Meat group has long been the Meat and Meat Alternatives group. Well, what about the Dairy and Dairy Alternatives group? Not only are there plenty of vegetarians who do not consume dairy products (primarily vegans), but there are plenty of us who are allergic to dairy products and can not (or should not) be consuming them.

I'm so sick and tired of the ads in magazines for milk and the stupid milk moustache. Milk does NOT do MY body any good!!!! Yeah, right, I'm sure that water retention, at times severe colitis (I was actually worried at one point that I had colon cancer it had gotten so bad--before I realized my dairy allergy (or severe intolerance) had escalated), abdominal cramping, mucousy throat, increased sinus problems and more are all just wonderful for me, aren't they? And when I think of it, a milk allergy probably isn't quite as uncommon as one might think: in the 5 years I've been in this home and run my dayhome, the first girl had a dairy allergy; I suspect my nephew, who came just after, is dairy allergic; the 10yo (who was added after that)'s mom is dairy allergic and she (the 10yo) may very well be, too; the 15yo, her dad and various people on her dad's side are dairy allergic; I'm dairy allergic; I know at least one homeschooling family whose kids are dairy allergic... So, all the kids in my dayhome have been touched by a dairy allergy in some way (or, in my nephew's case, suspected of it).

Oh yeah, and the things about eating yoghurt to lose weight? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I gain two pounds just by having something made with milk. I've been bad and having things with milk in them all week and I gained 4lbs overnight.

And since cow's milk (and goat's milk and whatever else is out there) is milk designed for baby animals, how the heck is it a vital requirement for our children? Sure, it can be helpful, but the ads always make it sound like you've GOT to have dairy. So how come Health Canada does not have alternatives for dairy listed??????? If calcium is so important, how come the dairy industry has this monopoly over calcium consumption? Not that the food groups are terribly detailed about the meat alternatives, but it would be nice to let people know that it doesn't HAVE to be dairy products to get their calcium.

Furthermore, I have a beef about these peanut-free labellings that are popping up everywhere. What about dairy-free? Now, I'm not saying: get rid of the labellings. Peanut allergies are usually much more serious than dairy allergies and the serious peanut allergies are certainly much more common than the serious dairy allergies. My problem is that dairy is in just about EVERYTHING. "Modified milk ingredients." "Skim milk powder." "Something-or-other caseinate." "Whey." Part of me says, "Well, you know, these are all processed foods and you'd be much better off just eating natural foods." But, hey, I'm jealous. People with peanut allergies can go have that Quaker granola bar BUT I CAN'T! I can't eat the M&M's that weren't made in a peanut factory. Heck, I can only buy President's Choice chocolate chips because they are the only ones I've found in regular grocery stores that don't have milk in them. Fortunately, they're the best. But that's not the point. There's so much out there with milk or that says, "May contain traces of milk," which means it usually does, and just a trace is enough to build up in me and make me suffer.

I would have less of a problem with all of this if it were more widely said that milk itself is not necessary, just that milk is a source of calcium and calcium is necessary. But so often, the ads say things like "milk is important" or "you need x servings of milk" or they simply rely on the food guide (darn food guide needs to be changed!) so that they say "recommended".

OMG! I just decided to see what the Canadian dairy sites might have to say for those who are allergic to dairy products. Despite mucous production being a HIGHLY common symptom of a dairy allergy, I found this on one site:

Does Milk Cause Mucous?
This is a common myth. Research shows that milk definitely does not cause the production of mucus. People who believe that milk causes mucus report some symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, thick saliva, more congestion than people who don't believe this myth. Moreover, a recent study show that milk intake is not associated with increased nasal secretions, symptoms of cough or congestion.

How about it's simply that those who are ALLERGIC to milk will report that they feel mucousy? Did they consider that? Or perhaps there are people who simply aren't aware of the mucous production? I know I didn't pay much attention to it until I had gone completely dairy-free for a few months because I was nursing and my ds was reacting (although now I wonder if he was actually reacting to my reaction or if it was actually his own reaction to dairy). I was enjoying a very good spring and thought it was just seasonal allergies were being good to me that year. I realize now it was probably that I was just less mucousy. When I re-introduced dairy, I became acutely aware of my reactions. Anything with butter is the worst--immediate, thick mucous. A shortbread cookie plugged my throat and nasal passage so badly once that I almost couldn't breathe. I guess they are essentially saying that it's only my imagination or that I brought it upon myself? I resent that! I only believed the mucous link AFTER it happened to me! And I say this now as a mucousy person who has had too much dairy today!

I've come to the end of my rant. I know this will accomplish little but to release some steam. And perhaps be another reminder to myself to eat more natural foods because then I don't have to worry about the dairy in them.


So... how was your day? ;) Mine was good. The Halloween party went great. I've had so much sugar and dairy and just plain food I have no appetite now but am horribly thirsty. Yes, this is a strange way to end a post, but it's Friday evening. I'm probably a little loopy. Oh, and a little tidbit: the 10yo won't be coming for at least another week as her mom isn't done moving everything over and getting everything set up. Trying to do all that in one week while working is practically impossible. But she is still coming!

1 comment:

Kunoichi said...

I didn't realise how hard it is to find non-dairy until I tried to find something a dairy allergic friend could have at a birthday party we invited her to. Milk by-products are everywhere! Even "dairy free" serbert has whey products in it, and deli meats have it as filler.

I happen to like dairy products, though I find the idea of drinking bovine body fluids rather disgusting. I've never insisted that my kids drink milk. I think that worked out well, as it seems one of them is lactose intolerant. Dh used to drink LOTS of milk in his younger days, but now it does really nasty stuff to his body.

Milk most definately isn't the "perfect food" I've heard it described as!