What's Wrong with Regular Milk?

Updated on April 30, 2012
M.M. asks from Chicago, IL
31 answers

I hear a lot of people switching to almond milk, soy milk etc etc. I am curious to know why? I give my toddler organic whole milk and we drink 2% milk. We used to drink organic as well before but these days back to regular non organic milk. Are almond milk, soy milk etc better than organic milk as well? Is it full fat and can we give it to 2 yr olds? My son is on the lower weight side, so I am planning to continue with whole milk for some more time unless his doctor suggests otherwise.Thanks!

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone. I think I will continue with organic whole milk for now as my son loves it.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Take it from a dairy farmer... There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with milk! My great grandma (Who was also a dairy farmer) always drank milk with every meal, maybe a little water in between but milk was pretty much it... And she lived to be 105!!! She was still out in the garden when she was 100. She had to have been doing something right!!!

16 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

A lot of people have ONE person with a milk allergy (sugar or protein) and its easier than cooking twice and buying twice.

A lot of people are vegan

A lot of people are Asian, where dairy isn't consumed often (like we don't eat a lot of squid in this country... But you can hardly avoid squid in SE Asia)

A lot of people are on WIC, which often only pays for the yucky tasting or rBst dairy milk OR the almond/soy/rice milk

A lot of moms are having kids in their 40s, and soy milk helps with perimenopause for a lot of women (see #1 about cooking and buying twice)

In some places coconut/rice/soy/etc is cheaper than dairy

Some people just like the flavor better


Add them all together and a significant portion of people are dairy free. More people still drink milk, though, than milk alternative.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

As long as a person is not lactose intolerant, then cow's milk has the most nutrients of all the options.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Tucson on

1. Cow's milk is produced to take a calf from newborn to full grown in much less time than it takes for a human child to mature. In other words the growth hormones in cow's milk make children grow too fast. (I know, traditionally we want our kids to grow big and tall.)
2. Any time an organism grows faster than it's normal rate, cells are more likely to be created with errors, leading to cancer down the road.
3. Read the book "The China Study". They show - at the molecular level - how casein (milk protein) causes environmental toxins to create cancerl. (In other words: toxin+milk=cancer but toxin, no milk= no cancer). The doctor who wrote The China Study grew up on a dairy farm. He never wanted milk to be a bad thing.
4. People always say "oh, but humans have been drinking milk for a long time". Yes, humans have consumed many things throughout history in order to get calories into their bodies. As long as the substance did not kille them immediately, they consumed it. But we now know that some substances, milk protein, animal protein, simple sugars, are terribly bad for you in the long run. (Yes, you will have the occasional grandma who lived to be 110 years old, but most people won't.) So now that we know that IN THE LONG RUN these things are not good for us - if we want to avoid cancer later in life, then we have to go against our cultural traditions.
5. We've been brainwashed to believe that we can only get our calcium from milk. Not true. Lots of vegetables contain calcium and the body absorbs non-animal calcium better. In addition, studies show that excercise - weight bearing excercise - is far more important to bone health than calcium intake. But those ads with the cute little mustaches are so convincing.

These are my top reasons for not drinkig milk and not giving milk to my kid. I gave her hemp milk because it has the highest fat content, but frankly, hemp milk, soy milk, almond milk are all very highly processed foods. So they are not super healthy options either.

Try nuts and nut butters for healthy sources of fat.
Another book you might check out is "Disease-Proof Your Child" by Dr. Joel Fuhrman.

Sorry if this sounded preachy.

PS: One more thing: When I first told my parent I was not giving milk to our kid, they gave M. a copy of an old Dr. Spock book,, so I could see what Dr. Spock recommended. ( I love old books, so I loved the fact that this was a 1966 edition.) READ ABOUT THE NEWEST EDITION. Dr. Spock himself said (before he died) that he regrets recommending dairy to children and that later in life, when he switched to a vegan diet, a lot of his so-called age-related ailments were greatly improved.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

my issue with plain old grocery store milk is that it usually comes from unhappy cows, and i'm one of the woo-woo weirdos who believes that food is a living, vibrant energy that should be harvested ethically from healthy plants and animals, and prepared with love. factory-farmed animals don't have that.
but even milk from good sources is less than ideal if the milk has been pasteurized, and that's over 99% of the milk sold in this country.
fresh whole milk is incredibly healthy IF you know your farmer and are comfortable with her husbandry and extraction methods. i am. when i drink milk, it's locally produced organic raw milk from a farm where i can walk into the barns and dairy, and see the bottling. i know their testing procedures go way above required compliance, and know and appreciate their personal ethics.
of course, most folks don't have access to a farmer like that, and most busy young moms don't have time to research that stuff.
my husband prefers low-fat milk so i just buy him the best quality processed milk i can find. the processing kills most of the good stuff in milk, but that's just the way it is. there's still some good stuff left.
i adore dairy in all its various forms, but as i age i'm finding it doesn't love M. as much. i'm not lactose intolerant or anything (an awful lot of people who are find they're not if they switch to raw- just sayin') but it's a true fact that dairy does trigger a degree of inflammatory response in a lot of us that just doesn't feel too good. since i've started edging off dairy and more into alternate 'milks' i'm losing some weight and feeling terrific. that's good enough for M.. i'll always love yogurt, half and half and my beloved raw milk, but way way less of it. for most of my dairy needs i go to almond or coconut.
i think soy is just blicky.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I love all the responses. I just taught a few health fairs last week (I'm a Parent Educator). The subject of milk always comes up. I show people the facts backed up w/ research.

Cows are supposed to graze on grass in a field. The last couple of decades, conventional milk cows are crammed--manure pens, drugged because need to produce way more than possible--- they eat corn and heaven only knows what else---and they do not graze. They get sick w/ all the bad stuff they are fed. By the way, conventional corn is GE. GE corn is triple sprayed w/ chemicals. Scary stuff. Our allergies have increased bi-fold since I was a kid. It's all about money Hmmm?

That's why organic farms and foods are doing so well now.

Cows are very social animals ! I can't believe how cruel they are treated.

Buy organic milk from a gd source or switch milks...Rice milk is great !

Notmilk.com will feast your curiosity.

MILK IS NOT the same as when I was a little kid. They are factory-farmed. I bet only an organic farm would let you on the premises. You have to know where the milk is coming from !

Farms...They are making a comeback ! It's a wonderful thing !

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

It would be fine if the cows weren't filled with antibiotics and hormones and living in horrible conditions. Then the milk gets pasteurized and loses ALL its nutrients. The best cow’s milk is raw organic which is hard to find and our wonderful government is trying its best to stop all sales of it. If you read the latest news we have had an outbreak of mad cow’s disease in the US and that alone is enough for M. to not drink it.

Stay with organic milk even if it is whole milk. Humans do not need to drink any type of milk to stay healthy you can get the same vitamins and nutrients from other sources. Most people drink it because they like it.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

We are the ONLY species that drinks another species' milk. That alone should raise eyebrows. And we are the ONLY species that drinks milk past 2 years old.

Some pediatricians recommend ONLY 2% and yet others recommend whole milk. Where's the research? And not by the Dairy Council. The pads freak out about goat's milk and think cow's milk it ok, but not raw???? Raw milk at least still has nutrients in it. Why do you think pasteurized milk has to be fortified with so many nutrients? Because the pasteurization process burns everything out of it....except xanthane oxidase, of course....but that's a story for another day.

Soy is a phytoestrogen, so being a male, I certainly wouldn't want to increase his estrogen...and also little girls are getting breast and pubic hair regularly at 7-8 years old. There is clearly something going on, but perhaps it is the hormones in milk, birth control pills that can't be broken down, so the hormones end up in our ground water. Oh, so many reasons to stay away from soy.

Almond, rice and oat milk can be easily used in recipes and in cereal. We stay away from hemp milk, as hemp is also a phytoestrogen.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We stopped consuming milk two years ago because of my daughter's autoimmune illnesses. I made yogurt from the milk, but didn't drink straight milk. We stopped all dairy in January after her doctor said that dairy can cause a gluten-like reaction in the body. My daughter has been off all gluten for two years, but is still creating antibodies to gluten and he thinks it's because of the dairy.

Going organic with regular milk for a toddler is fine as far as I can tell as long as the child doesn't show any signs/symptoms of allergy or intolerance.

Read up on soy milk before thinking about going that route. I would avoid it, but do the research and decide for yourself. We make our own almond milk because the store brands contain junk we won't consume. I use the almond milk to make dairy-free yogurt.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Nothing, if you can digest regular milk.

Milk has a lot of nutrients, natural proteins. If I need to take nutrients in the form of a multi-vitamin pill, I'd rather drink a glass of milk everyday!

We drink regular whole milk (sometimes 2%), a glass everyday - either with cereal, or just a glass. My DD has it 3 times a day. When she grows older, I'd definitely ensure she has at least 1 glass of milk everyday.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

IMO nothing. It is nothing more than hype probably brought on by these organic/natural places trying to get their foot in our door. Just be an informed consumer and try to see through the smoke screen that is out there. http://whereismymilkfrom.com/ Here is a link that you can put the code off you milk and you can see where it came from. My local winn dixie store brand is bottled at the same place the name brand stuff is :)


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

"Regular" milk can mess with some people's digestions. I am lactose intolerant but luckily can handle 1% milk. My sister is allergic to milk AND soy. If your kids' digestive systems can handle regular milk, then don't worry.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Some people find that they are in better health when cutting out dairy entirely, or cutting back on cow's milk dairy. When you think about it, it is kind of weird that we feed our children relatively large quantities of a food that is designed by nature to nurture baby cows.

There are some who argue that modern dairy farming, particularly pasteurization, takes away some of the health benefits of milk. If you think about it, up until a century ago, people drank natural milk from local cows. The milk was fresh and full of living bacteria (both good and bad). Cows weren't fed growth hormones, or penned in factory farms and fed corn, or given antibiotics to combat mastitis because they were being milked in large quantities by machines. They were milked by hand, and cared for by family farmers. They were milked a few times a day based on the supply of milk that was natural for their bodies to produce. The cream was skimmed off and saved as cream or churned as butter. The milk wasn't manipulated into various % of fat, and milk was treated as a food taken in small portions, not guzzled in huge quantities.

Of course old fashioned dairy farming wasn't all sunshine and roses - cows that got mastitis could die of infection, and people did get seriously ill from drinking milk that was contaminated with bacteria. Milking cows by hand can be dirty and is a thankless job. That said, though, there are a lot of good living bacteria in live milk, and pasteurization kills that along with the good bacteria. That's why there is a growing movement to get back to raw dairy farming.

Anyway...many adults develop an intolerance to milk as they get older and it seems that for many children, cutting out dairy can help with chronic health issues ranging from allergies and asthma to skin problems to neurological and behavioral problems. Soy milk is a terrible product and should be avoided. There is too much to list here about why it's not a good thing to ingest but for most people, there are better options. Nut milks, for those without allergies to tree nuts, can be a good and healthy alternative to dairy milk. I like almond milk with cereal.

We have considered switching the kids to raw, whole milk from a local farm but just haven't pulled the trigger on that yet. They do drink 1% milk on a regular basis and the milk that we buy has no antibiotics or growth hormones. We used to buy organic milk but we just can't afford it at the rate the kids drink it, which is 3 gallons a week. I don't push milk on them (as in serve a glass at every meal) but they truly like it and choose it, so we have it.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

the ladies have touched upon all the basics. i would also like to add to the list, drinking almond milk (in my case, i have never tried soy milk, it just doesn't appeal to M.) has a huge balancing effect on your ph levels in your body. it's very alkalining. "things" have a hard time growing in an alkaline environment. since we started drinking almond milk (not exclusively, mind you. i drink it almost 100% of the time, my son about 1/2 the time he drinks milk, which is only for breakfast) and a lemon/lime water (3-4 slices each of lemon and lime, in a pitcher of water), we have hardly gotten sick at all. my son had strep and it was so mild i didn't even realize that's what it was. my asthma has disappeared. migraines have lessened. google it. pretty interesting stuff.

i would not have a problem with cows milk either if i saw where it came from and knew it wasn't full of hormones and steroids. not unlike the whole KFC chicken thing. it just scares M.. i will drink it occasionally, my son gets it at school when he eats breakfast there. i'm not on a campaign or anything...but i have had really great results with almond milk (combined with exercise and the lemon/lime alkaline water i mentioned) so to M., it just feels better. and i happen to love the taste of almond milk also :)

to M., organic whole milk to a child on the smaller scale weight-wise, makes total sense. i have the opposite problem, we are all large. my son is not fat by any means but he has always been in the 98th percentile for both height and weight. so he's not suffering lol.

i think we all do what we can live with based on our situations. have a great monday :)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

We drink it because of lactose intolerance. It also tastes better to us. I breastfed my kids well into toddlerhood so they would get all those good fats and nutrients they needed and use soy or almond milk for things like cereal or the occasional drink and cooking. We can tolerate cows milk if it's cheese or yogurt or ice cream so we limit it to foods like that.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Some argue that the high cancer rate/heart disease/obesity in this country is because of the high consumption of animal products. Not only do we not need to eat so much milk/meat, but there is so much hormones, antibiotics given to these animals, not to mention cramped unsanitary places these animal are being raised in, then we are consuming them or drinking their milk. A lot of people are really doing their own research now and realizing they just feel healthier not consuming so much dairy. Just a different take.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Honestly, we just don't do milk. We get our fats from other places. When I do need some kind of milk for cooking, I do use cow's milk.

I don't see a REAL nutritional benefit from milk, unless a child just won't eat food. (Just in my opinion.) I actually think it's counter-productive. We should never drink our nutrients. Kids eat much less whole food then they should, because they drink so much milk. (In general, I don't know about your kids.) There IS a such thing as too much milk, as well. It can cause your body to not adsorb nutrients properly. Milk, is not food...and it's treated that way. Honestly, I find yogurt to be much more nutritional punch.

Soy...yikes. I would never have my family drink soy milk. There are too many things about soy that can be bad, that have not been thoroughly researched yet. If they were to do research and say it's totally safe, then I would. They just haven't come to that point, yet.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

We switched to raw milk from PA and are thriving on it. No more respitory probems or ear infections except for allergies and the common cold. It's not only the hormones, etc., but the fact that when milk is heated to a high temp (homogenized, pasturized), it changes it's molecular structure and removes the good enzymes that aid in degestion. Also, there is a difference in the cows themselves (A1, A2). Something to do with genetics. Google a good source for information.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

There's nothing wrong with milk.
Cows milk is the most readily available in the USA but around the world, people drink milk from many other animals including camels, goats, llamas, reindeer, sheep, and water buffalo.
It's just part of being highly adaptable omnivores (which humans are) and the various environments/resources it takes to produce the various milks.
As a species we can eat practically everything but as individuals we have some sensitivities and some can digest some things better than others.
The best milk for your son is one he can digest and one he'll drink.
Goats milk for a lot of people is easier to digest than cows milk (you can find it canned and powdered in most super markets).
It's fine to drink a variety of milks (animal, nut, soy, rice, coconut, etc) but once we find a favorite or two, we tend to stick with it.
As for us being the only species that drinks other species milk.
Can you name any other animal that has adapted to live all over the planet in all kinds of environments like people have? Maybe rats?
Being adaptable is what makes us a success story.
People began domesticating animals for food/meat/milk roughly 8000 BC.
With 7 billion and rising, I don't think we'll ever see a day when we stop drinking other species milk.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

There is something "wrong" with everything. Reily J made most of the main points about it - it comes down to, for M. is there someone who can not tolerate it in your home? It CAN be difficult to digest. In regards to Sonia B's response - if it came down to it and I needed the nurishment I would go to town on that cow. I am not a big milk drinker personally - I do cook with it and eat cereal with it but that's about the extent of it for M. personally.

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answers from Dallas on

I have a total of one second to throw in my 2 cents. If anyone EVER tries to push soy milk on you tell them to do some research.

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answers from Houston on

My reason is that I believe that animals should not drink the milk of other animals. It's that simple. I know that it is part of our culture, and I don't look down my nose at people who drink cow or goat or whoever else's milk. I just believe that it's not right, and I want to take care of my family differently. My baby drinks the milk that is produced for HIS consumption. When he's done with that, he'll be done with milk, except for some of the plant milks that he might enjoy.

We actually don't keep other (animals') milk in the house, except for cooking. Our bodies don't process it well, and I'm convinced that there is a reason for that. You know how people eat what they're allergic to and just pop an allergy pill? Or eat something that gives them heartburn and take heartburn medicine? I choose to just listen to my body and not eat what my body says is not good for it. It can be difficult, so I don't knock those people's journeys.

PS. Also, I've never been a milk drinker. I can tolerate and maybe even enjoy it under certain circumstances, but I generally do not like the stuff, so it goes to waste if I try to keep it in my house.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

Well, organic or not organic... Not what concerns M. about milk. When I think about milk I think about how it is meant to feed baby cows or goats. I picture myself sucking on a cow's tit or worse my child sucking on a cow's tit and it almost comes across to M. as bestiality. I know! Extreme, but I can't get the image out of my head. See, the way I see it tits are designed to feed our young and when we are not feeding our young to nurture our partners. Those seem like such intimate acts to M.. When I picture M. or my child getting intimate with a cow or goat, somehow milk just does not seem so appealing. I lose my appetite for it. I can eat cheese though! I know totally weird, but I am not a fan of milk. It really grosses M. out. I believe that women should breast feed as long as they can or use a breast pump to provide milk to her child until all of the teeth come in. When all of the teeth are in, then switch to foods and non-dairy milk. Cheese is ok, but something about animal milk is so weird to M.. Yuck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

There is some evidence that it may be linked to cancer because of casein, one of the proteins in it. Low fat and non fat milk have higher levels of it.
My oncologist does not say to completely cut it out of the diet, but to limit consumption.
While the cancer connection is still not determined, there is solid research that milk harms our bones (because it can make us more acidic.) Here's a link to one of the studies:

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

My little guy is allergic to soy and dairy, so we use goat milk. If you kids can use dairy, it is by far the best thing for them! If you needed to cut fat, then you might want to consider using the others, but you don't so I wouldn't mess with them. My DD uses regular milk because she can and he would too if he could.

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answers from Dallas on

I am glad you asked this question, because I was wondering the same thing!

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answers from Redding on

cows milk is for baby cows, basically that's the argument.
one of the things that got M. to drop cow milk was a video of the teats of cow that was being milked by a machine, the cow had friction sores and it was involving pus, very gross. I know that even tho the pus was in the milk, the pasteurization process kills the germs, but still.... aye yi yi.
Almond milk and soy are now my preference.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

My son does not digest milk well at all. He can eat yogurt, cheese and other dairy..but drinking a cup of milk is always a negative result. We can use a little milk to cook with and that does not give him a problem. This is why he drinks Almond milk.


answers from Asheville on

We drink whole and 2% processed cow milk in our house becasue I like it and grew up on it. One of my daughters is allergic to the protein in cow milk (not lactose intolerant) so we buy her goat milk. We started with the junk from the store and it has that nasty "stinky goat" flavor at the end of each swallow. Blech! Our local health food store got us in touch with a local goat farm and the farmer had us over for a taste test. I couldn't tell the goat from Mayfield! We also found out that goat milk is the closest thing to human milk in the world. Closer, by far than chemical formula! We switched both girls to it and no more projectile vomiting from my little Tori! After 'dimwit' (soon to be exhusband) quit his job, I had to resort to assistance and WIC doesn't let you get raw goat milk so we have cow now for my daughter who is not allergic although she often requests what they call 'goatty goat'. Several times when they were little and we used cow because the goats don't give milk as well in the winter, I accidently forgot which bottle had goat and which had cow and had to taste each back and forth until I could figure it out, once it took 7-8 tastes and I still couldn't be sure so I tossed both out and started over!

Mamma11- if you have ever had goat milk, raw, straight from the farm, you wouldn't be able to tell it from the name brand whole milk from the grocery store!



answers from Detroit on

Okay aside from all these answers that are based on various opinions. Both myself and my children have issues with Lactose. My children drank soy formula as infants and then on to soy milk as toddlers and growing up. Yes they had milk at school and in small amounts, but large amounts means we spend a lot of time in the bathroom and those trips are RIGHT NOW. Soy Milk and Almond milk do have a different taste, but one should be open to new things no matter what, IMO. The big push is more because people are concerned over the treatment of cows; but I personally don't like all the hormones the cows are fed. Yes I have noticed a difference in how quickly my children have developed, but I can also tell you they are at least a year less developed then most of their friends and I would personally point to the milk because that is the one thing they had majorly different when they were all kids. Even my step daughters were more developed at 12 then my own daughter; I am talking almost D-size bra at 12, where as my own 12 year old is barely at a B; and their mother and I are about the same size and build so it isn't the genes. It comes down to what do you want to do and in this day and age, what can you afford.


answers from Houston on

Cow Milk is supposed to fatten a mammal fairly quickly. I'd that is the desired effect, milk is great.

So many switch to other milks because they are accustomed to have it, in a glass, frozen in cream, in cereal, smoothies etc,,,, but want the protein without the fat.

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