I have created a comparison image to compare two standard full cream milk to two of the most widely consumed plant milks, soy and almond. In this comparison I have used Vita Soy as the brand of soy and calcium milk as they are one of the largest plant milk brands in Australia so are easily accessible to the masses at the major supermarkets (on their website they say these milks are vegan friendly despite some rumours that their Vitamin D was from sheeps wool). In the USA, UK, etc., there are equivalents to these brands and within this post I have highlighted the key things you should look for when choosing the local brand that you consume.
I want to make this really clear. Somatic Cells are not puss. I 100% agree with that. My problem is that cows are artificially impregnated, so many times a year that if you want to reduce the risk of mastitis (infection) which can lead to a very high SCC count and an infection which comes along with DEAD white blood cells, otherwise known as puss, then you need to be using antibiotics. Antibiotics, which know doubt, stay in the cows system, end up in milk, your body and cause antibiotic resistance in the community.
Dairy Australia actually mention using antibiotics themselves:
Antibiotic Dry Cow Treatment (DCT) is injected into the udder immediately after the last milking of a lactation and remains there in concentrations high enough to kill mastitis bacteria for between 20 and 70 days. It can also be useful in curbing new infections early in the dry period, before teat canals seal off.
They go further and mention when the bacteria spreads and describe it as during “milking time”.
I want to also make it very clear I am not one of those folks ‘out to get’ the dairy industry or be spiteful for no good. My message is health and I am just letting you know what milk has been shown to contain so you can be more conscious and think about what is a healthier option for you and your family.
I do also want to make note of the fact the soy and almond milks produced by Vita Soy are produced under ultra high temperature (UHT) to sterilize the ingredients and ensure long shelf. In this process, the liquid is heated to around 135 °C (275 °F) which means some of the natural vitamin content in the nuts may be lost (most vitamins are unstable at this temperature). However, they are fortified with calcium and other vitamins so some of the loss is minimised. The jury is out on whether the UHT processing results in a lot of vitamin loss – if any vitamins were to be most affected, it would be Vitamin C, some of the B Vitamins including Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) & Vitamin E which are not very heat stable at all, however if you are enjoying a balanced whole food plant-based diet, you will be getting enough of these not to stress!
The point here is if you want a natural & nutritious option that undergoes less processing, then grab a FRESH almond or other nut milk from the fridge section that has a short shelf life. That way you can be sure it contains all the vitamins it claims. If you don’t mind and just really care about price, taste and perhaps calcium, then go for a longer shelf life plant milk that has undergone UHT processing.
Nutty Bruce is one of my favourite nut milks which is NOT UHT processed. Instead, Nutty Bruce goes through Ultra High Pressure processing which does not involve the extreme temperatures that UHT processing does.
As mentioned on the graphic, soy does not contain oestrogen. It contains isoflavonoids/phytoestrogens which are said to be up to 100,000 x weaker than actual oestrogen. Jump over to “Is Soy Healthy” a separate post I have done specifically on soy and the Plant Proof recommendations.
Do we need to think of milk as protein? No. As a FYI human breast milk, made purposely for a baby during rapid cell proliferation, is less than 1% protein. As adults, we get enough protein from other plant-based foods – so needing cows milk for protein is just something we’ve been conditioned to believe from the milk industry. Do these plant milks contain calcium – yes, the fortified ones do, like these examples, so always check the nutrient info panel. The Vita Soy Calcium fortified soy milk actually contains MORE calcium than standard full cream cows milk per cup.
I hate to break it to you, but yes, scientific studies have tested milk and they are commonly found in most milks and are made worse if a cow has mastitis (1). This fluid is meant for a baby cow to turn them from a 30kg calf to a 320kg cow. We are the only mammal out of 5,000 species who continue to drink breast milk after weaning…aliens must be laughing at this, surely! If you google this, you’ll see the dairy industry try and defend it or confuse you, but let’s not be fooled…however you want to look at it, milk is from a pregnant cow that’s artificially impregnated several times a year – it’s a hormonal fluid from another species, with saturated fat and cholesterol. Almond and soy come from the ground and grow from water, soil nutrients and sunlight.
Lets look at hormones in more detail – several studies have identified the presence of loads of hormones in cows milk. Furthermore, many of these hormones have been linked to cancer growths. Here is a paragraph from one study in particular:
After the intake of cow milk, serum estrone (E1) and progesterone concentrations significantly increased, and serum luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone and testosterone significantly decreased in men. Urine concentrations of E1, estradiol, estriol and pregnanediol significantly increased in all adults and children. In four out of five women, ovulation occurred during the milk intake, and the timing of ovulation was similar among the three menstrual cycles (2).
And here is a paragraph from a published article in the journal ‘Breast Cancer Research’ which explains the link between these hormones and breast cancer. I have highlighted each hormone that is present in cows milk in red for ease of review (3).
Oestrogens have a key role in the aetiology of breast cancer, probably because of their proliferative effects. Current data suggest that these steroid hormones mediate the relationship between breast cancer and many established risk factors, such as age at menarche, age at menopause, and obesity in postmenopausal women. However, the effects of other risk factors, such as parity and breast feeding, may not be explained only by oestrogens; other hormones such as progesterone, prolactin and testosterone may also be important.
Do we really want these hormonal steroids floating freely around our body?
Interested in reading more about hormones in cows milk – check out some of these papers that clearly show this is a hormonal fluid.
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