Last year for my birthday, my brother gifted me a 23andMe heredity kit to see if we were, in fact, related. Turns out we are both definitively at least 50% “East Asian & Native American,” which apparently puts me down for “likely lactose intolerant.” I honestly never thought about this. I knew that certain cultures, specifically African Americans and Asians, are generally lactose intolerant. But even though I am genetically predisposed to dairy intolerance, I never gave it a second thought because…well…Got Milk?
Let’s state the obvious: milk comes from titties! As a baby, you probably breastfed for a few months or maybe even a year or two. If you were me, it only took a week for your mother to say, “fuck this shit” and quickly embrace the convenience of baby formula.
I’m all about breastfeeding if that option is available. According to WebMD, studies have shown that exclusively breastfeeding for up to six months can result in fewer respiratory illnesses, ear infections and bouts of diarrhea. It also can help prevent allergies and asthma. Breastmilk is essentially a natural vaccination as it contains antibiotics that help babies fight infection and disease. However, breastfeeding hurts like hell and not every woman is able to do it for various reasons, so I respect every woman’s decision to breastfeed or not to breastfeed. After all, I was breastfed for one week and didn’t turn out so bad, right? 😉
But let’s examine this scenario with regards to whether or not we should be eating dairy as grown adults: the most one will typically breastfeed is for up to six months, maybe a year. You could even breastfeed for a few years if you and your mother are so inclined because your body is still producing lactase (the enzyme responsible for digesting milk) until you are about four years old, when you will most likely have a full set of teeth (ouch!). Once you turn four years old, your production of lactase drastically decreases, and in some people, it completely stops. So it is no wonder most adults feel bloated and constipated when they eat too much dairy. Additionally, most adults are not ingesting human milk, but cow’s dairy, which contains the casein protein, a known carcinogen according to The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell.
Aside from our physiological evolution, let’s look at the milk itself. Not only is it cruel and unusual punishment to force a cow (or a human) to breastfeed for life, but it is completely unnatural. It is so unnatural, in fact, that hormones and antibiotics must be pumped into these poor animals in order for them to produce enough milk to feed not just a baby calf, but the human race. Consequently, the cow’s udders are squeezed so forcefully that a generous amount of pus and blood is extracted, which is an excellent reason to pasteurize milk. Trust me, this shit ain’t healthy. It causes severe inflammation in the body.
I believe most people instinctually know that dairy is unhealthy and the first thing people tell me when they are trying to lose weight or trying to become vegan is that they are addicted to cheese. I have great news! There are soooo many good cheese alternatives today! Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels, so you won’t be missing that puss-filled shit when you are winning at life. If you are in the NYC area, I encourage you to visit Riverdel Cheese Shop in Brooklyn just to get an idea of how many different puss-free cheeses are out there! Otherwise, many of these brands can be found in specialty health shops and Whole Foods nationwide.
Miyokos Kitchen: my favorite flavor Black Ash, Smoked Farmhouse and Mozz. They also have an excellent vegan butter.
Kite Hill: available at most Whole Foods mixed in with the regular gourmet cheeses. They make the absolute BEST vegan cream cheese – my favorite it the jalapeno. Kite Hill also makes different varieties of almond cheese including cream cheeses, soft cheeses and ricotta. I also LOVE LOVE LOVE their mushroom ricotta ravioli!
Violife: the best shreds for your homemade pizza. Also, the best vegan feta cheese!
Treeline Treenut Cheese: widely available in most health food stores, TreeLine makes a whole line of nut cheeses. My favorite flavors are cracked pepper and chipotle-serrano pepper.
Parmela Creamery: this company makes delicious shredded cheese for tacos and other recipes. They also make a good sliced American cheese among others.