All mammals get nutritious milk from their mothers when they’re born. Humans grow up and swap nutrient-rich breast milk for cow’s milk.  As growing children, we are encouraged to drink our milk for the calcium, with the hopes of building strong bones and later preventing osteoporosis. Our life long devotion to milk can be problematic to our health because milk contains bacteria, antibiotics, and pesticides. “A 1988 FDA survey of milk samples from grocery stores in 10 cities found that 73% of the samples contained pesticide residues.” Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 1991; 47got organic milk?

A high percentage of cows are infected with viruses, bacteria and other harmful toxins, which can make for unhealthy milk. Cows are commonly injected with harmful growth hormones to stimulate milk production, and elevated amounts of these have been associated with cancer in humans. We already eat the meat that comes from these animals, so by drinking their milk, we’re getting a double dose of these potentially harmful toxins.

The protein that milk provides has been shown to inhibit calcium absorption and has actually been shown to be hard to digest. Milk is also mucus producing and a common link to childhood allergies, sinus infections/congestion, skin problems, ear infections, diabetes, worsening arthritis symptoms and heart disease. As a milk substitute, I like organic rice or almond milk.

It’s true- we do need calcium. What are some other ways to get it? Try increasing your intake of high quality calcium-rich foods, like leafy green vegetables (kale, collard greens, broccoli) or add mackerel, sardines, navy beans, hazelnut and sesame seeds to your diet. Get sunshine because it gives you vitamin D, which aids in absorbing calcium. Try decreasing foods that block calcium absorption, like soda.

The bottom line when it comes to milk‒ even if you have to pay more, it’ll be worth it for both you and your family in the long run to go organic. Milk may not be as crucial to our health or strong bones as a balanced diet of good quality, chemical-free food.