While roaming around the bookshops in the recent book fair happened at Chennai, looking for Sivagami Sabatham curiously following my love on Ponniyin Selvan, more socio concerning books piqued my curiosity this time. I took almost 15 books in the same journal, attracted to its content and the first showstopper book here was about MILK. I thought this is the right time to gain knowledge in this sector for my personal development but after completing this 65 pages book, I thought these words should be spread as expeditiously.
If you love milk, just stop … Take a breath to accept the truth !! Truth always soars, everyone should accept that and let’s break the myth applied to us.
I would like to put up some common facts that people believe, before going against the consumption of Milk.
- Milk has more calcium power which helps increase our bone strength.
- Consume Milk to increase Vitamin deficiency.
So, let’s examine the truth in above points and get yourself updated with the real facts.
Before that, I would like to give some detailed study about breastfeeding, it’s importance and how milk powder enters the market, for your information to know the politics played in milk for further understanding of this article.
Repressing Mother’s Milk
After knowing the importance of Mothers milk, doctors and nutritionist experts thought there should be an alternative food to mothers milk. This is because when the child doesn’t get Mother’s milk?
- When the mother dies
- When babies feel tough to suck
- Digestive disorder in babies
and this is the time other mammals milk especially Cow’s milk else milk powder obtained from them is given. This process was called as Dry Nursing where milk from mammals like Goat, Cow, Horse or Donkeys are given to the babies. Even though donkey’s milk is considered to be energetic among others, due to its limited availability, Cow’s milk dominates the market.
People even hired mothers for rent to feed their babies, a widely used method called Wet Nursing.
How they convinced people to go for Milk Powder?
The 19th century was the time when Milk powder companies like Nestle, played a vital role in the field of Milk and struggled to make milk powder as an essential one in day to day life.
They even made some abnormal facts to believe like,
- It’s cheapest
- Easy to produce
- Mother’s believed that their babies accepted this milk
- It is the best source of nutrition etc.
Discouraging Wet Nursing.
Companies started feeding newborn babies in hospitals with bottle milk and even doctors world supported this unknowingly. This further reduced breastfeeding even in Industrialized countries, especially among educated peoples. The saddest history that was artificially made.
How did they start promoting Milk Powder, dissuading Mother’s milk?
Before World War II, Maternity was a social event. But only after that, It was given to Hospitals. To run hospitals daily, they need patients regularly. To make this happen, they made patients stay in a hospital for a period of time which delays pregnancy and give pain. Hormones were further injected to support Cesarean which again increases pain and anxiety.
Now, Medicines like Tranquilizer & Betadine were given as painkillers during pregnancy which dissolves in a body and gets into the child through feeding and reduces the interest of the babies to drink milk which in cycle reduces the feeding process of a mother. Mother’s thought they were unable to feed the babies and the milk powder is the only way for the survival of their children.
It was said that the body and mind should be in balance. This even made some mothers believe that milk doesn’t secrete when the mother worried about reliability in feeding. This, in turn, stops milk secretion where Bottle Milk enters the market here.
According to UNESCO survey in 2015, Only 1 in 5 people breastfeed their child all over the world.
Most of the mothers don’t aware of the Colostrum (Seempaal in Tamizh) during pregnancy.
For the first three days post pregnancy, the Colostrum will be secreted very less to feed their babies but this brings mother the mental stress that, not enough milk is isolated, again Milk Powder companies taking a grant of this situation.
But everyone should aware that, only Colostrum strengthen the immune system which protects the newborn even though it’s secreted less.
Pediasure & Similac
To support usage of powder milk, a laboratory in America called Abbot Laboratory built a hospital which was constructed (Not sure about the point of this type of construction) which separates mother and her baby. Nurse’s need to go a long way to feed babies which irritated them at some point and they started giving Bottle Milk which is easy to give and available readily all the time, convincing their parents. Indirectly promoting milk powder companies and bottle milk, for your information, Pediasure and Similac are some of the products of this laboratory.
Till now, people in China never used to mix milk in Tea, so-called China Tea.
Advertisements, disgracing Women
Taking a step further, companies started promoting Bottle milk through advertisements well. They made the bottle milk as a subject of feminine thinking but it only disgraces women like,
- Women cannot go to the office if they breastfeed their child, only they can stay in a home. (Threatening)
- Mother’s milk is alone not enough for babies, they will starve. (Intimidation)
- Uzhavukudi (People from agriculture farming sector) peoples will only breastfeed their child. Indirectly pointing out, breastfeeding is not the job of fashioned or modern people. (Dishonor)
- White women’s don’t breastfeed. Saying, its black women’s duty. (Racist)
Even if bottle milk is given at least once, the mother starts losing her milk secretion cycle and as said before, even child suffers interest in drinking mother’s milk.
Some Advertisements even say Vitamin D is essential for children’s growth but Vitamin D can be easily obtained by standing in sunlight for few minutes. See the level of advertisement to sell Milk.
Every fetus brain is grown only 75% and the remaining 25% will be grown only after 18-24 months post pregnancy and this can be fulfilled only with the Mother’s milk. Will bottle milk gives this?
Cons of Bottle Milk
Considering the UNESCO fact, I would like to mention some disadvantages of providing Milk powder to a child.
- It causes Diarrhea.
- It increases Pneumonia fever among children than before and the death rate is increased concerning children with less Malnutrition.
- Till now, there is no standard formula to produce Milk Powder. Taking grant of this scenario, companies update Milk Powder development with trial and error method.
- When consumed, Chances of getting Inflammation of the bowel, Diabetes, Lymphatic cancer, Pus bleed, Urinary tract infection etc are increased multiple times.
Alternatives to Breastfeeding
It can be seen that breastfeeding serves as the base and protects us to fight back disease in our lifetime by making our immune system strong. So am going to provide other alternatives, when one is not able to breastfeed their child.
- Mother’s milk can be taken and give via a Baby feeder (Things like Paaladai), which is the method followed long back and is the oldest method.
- Wet Nursing, as said before.
- Mother’s can save milk using Breast pump techniques, which have been introduced recently.
- Milk can be kept 8 hours at half heat temperature, 24 hours in a freezer and 3 months when maintained at 20-degree Celsius.
World Welfare Organisation, recommends all the above methods before considering bottle milk and I request you the same.
The demand for cow’s milk began to increase after breaking the breastfeeding practice and settling the milk powder business. As a result, professional dairy farms grew. Surplus milk production too increased which is used to produce Cheese, Ice-Cream, and Chocolates. Now, Milk is not a natural thing we get today. It has become an artificial product created in the factory. This milk was now consumed by children’s to elders now so let’s analyse the Health & Socio changes caused by this milk below.
Why we drink Milk?
To get calcium strength, we drink Milk but it is not true. This is a myth advertiser injected on us.
Why we need Calcium?
The disease called Osteoporosis weakens bone, making it brittle If we lose calcium from our health. Chances that, persons affected with this disease get bone fractures easily and to avoid this, calcium is required. Since this calcium is present in Milk, there is a widespread belief that Milk is essential in the daily diet.
But this is also not a truth. I will explain.
Excessive Protein Consumption is the main cause of Osteoporosis. Excessive protein consumption is like an acid rain, pours in bone which dissolves calcium in bone and mixes it with Urine.
Since Milk has more protein, some Asian countries with less Milk consumption record low in Osteoporosis diseases.
rBGH (Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone)
An artificial hormone which is injected into Cow to increase Milk secretion.
Why is rBGH injected? A: To make cow secrete more milk to meet Milk demand.
Even though more milk is secreted in cow, it affects humans in many aspects.
The protein called IGF (Insulin-like Growth Factor) 1 has been found in the same level in both Human and Cow. In detail, we got Cows IGF 1 level in us while consuming Cow’s milk.
Since IGF 1 level is presently more than a natural level in the human body, Researchers say it increases chances of getting Chest, Intestine, and Prostate cancer.
There are 157000 milk farms in 1993 when rGBH artificial hormone was developed. After 13 years, in 2016, the same figure fell down to 71000. That is 55%. There has been a reduction in cow production too from 95 lakhs to 91 lakh.
From this, if u consider milk production should have also gone down, that’s wrong. In this period, milk production has been increased from 15 crore gallons to 17 crore gallons due to rGBH.
An injection was given to Cow to get pregnant soon as well as to secrete more milk to meet demand.
How is milk powder produced?
Let’s take a Mango. We will make it dry, make into pieces, grind, make it as a powder, and keep it stored in a box for months. After months, the powder is mixed with water with chemicals added to it and again, if it is given as a fresh mango, would you eat? This is what happens in the production of Milk Powder.
FSSAI (Food Safety and Standard Authority of India)
When FSSAI did research about the contents added as preservative in Milk in various states in 2011, about 70% of adulteration milk has been found in Delhi.
If SNF (Solids-Not-Fat) level is higher, it is considered as quality Milk. Vitamins, Minerals, and Proteins constitute this SNF level. According to Food Safety and Quality Law (2006), this level should not be lesser than 8.5 but 46% of milk holds this level lower than 8.5.
Preservatives added to Milk to attain SNF level to meet the demand for Milk
Further, the following this were added to attain the SNF level in Milk, considering the cost of Milk production. Namely,
- Urea (To increase protein)
- Starch (To bring thickness and to extend its sour period)
- Water paint
It might be shocking but these are the things we might have consumed before years. Even though there are many reasons to add these kinds of preservatives in Milk, demand for Milk was the main reason.
We get enough milk for our daily consumption but why the demand was still not met?
There is a deficiency of Milk for daily consumption for people since enough milk was given to Milk Powder companies, Ice-cream companies and chocolate companies like Cadbury and we must believe the hard truth in it.
Green revolution, which was brought to increase production in Indian Agriculture was only useful for big Herdsman, which was failed to help marginal farmers. So to help marginal farmers too, our scientist brought a separate revolution called White Revolution.
But one should keep in mind that, Milk was not the primary production thing in India before this revolution, it was just a surplus product of agriculture. Here, cattle eat plants which were not useful for mankind. But western cattle growing method was different like, they will create a separate space to plant crops to feed cattle. In a simple statement, Lands which was used to produce healthful crops were given to cattle.
Why am talking about White Revolution now and why above lines were said?
To meet milk demand again. Cattle in western countries give more milk which when brought here, reduces the production cost of Milk and milk demand can be easily met. As said above, cattle from western countries were brought to India but it again creates a problem here.
- Some cattle died when brought via Airplane. Second class cattle were sent after.
- Separate spaces were needed to grow eatables for western cattle.
- Maintenance cost was high.
Which again increased the cost of Milk and marginal farmers were not able to maintain these cows. This price of milk was not in the state to be purchased by poor peoples at that time and White Revolution too didn’t help much for marginal farmers.
Consumption of milk directly was not in practice by people in towns before. Usually, they convert milk to curd and churn it back to bring Butter and Ghee and consume and sell those. This method benefitted them twice. They sold Buttermilk too which was another thing they get with Butter while churning and marginal farmers were earning better in this method. Buttermilk with more Lactic acid present in it was the best available source of drink which was cheap and healthful at that time.
Same like, the best thing sustainable to village conditions was Ghee which doesn’t decompose quickly and was very useful during the winter season, requires less cost to produce.
The best thing here was, the economy of this market was in the hands of Women. Products like Ghee, Butter, and Buttermilk can be found in many women’s hand which was later given to the hands of business companies in the name of White Revolution.
The days were a bunch of Drumstick is been put up in Ghee and boiled for a healthy drink are been passing and Ghee items price were too high for a normal people to buy in this era.
Milk is a stock market trade here. When shares of Milk powder companies like Nestle, Ice-cream companies like Walls, and chocolate companies like Cadbury in the stock market are rising,
Our old ladies who were selling Buttermilk in our streets start disappearing …
So shall I drink Milk or Not?
These questions are tough to answer now. Milk is a natural thing now and It’s your choice. This post is just to make you aware of the Adulterated Milk we are consuming now and to remove the myth that “Milk is essential to get Calcium and Vitamins”. You have natural ways to stay away from Osteoporosis. If you are still confused, I would recommend you to try
- Plain Tea
- Black Coffee
which are produced without Milk.