Milk – one of the most consumed necessities in the world. According to Statista’s statistics, India is the world’s largest milk consumer in 2021 with more than 83 million tons & Finland – one of the world’s largest milk consumers. The world’s high dairy consumption has a per capita production of up to 350 liters of milk a year (2016 data).
However, for decades, animal milk has remained the subject of great controversy as some believe it is a necessary and nutritious food, especially in the development of bones of young children. Others believe it is a leading cause of cancer and earlier death. So what is the answer?
To clarify the above question, first we need to know what is the role of breast milk for babies?
Breast milk forms the basis of every mammal’s diet after birth, when the digestive system is immature and immature. It is a source of energy for the child’s body because it contains an abundant and easily absorbed source of nutrients: fat, vitamins, minerals and lactose (milk sugar).
On top of that, in the period after birth, it also contains antibodies and proteins that act like antibiotics for the baby to help stimulate the body to create antibodies against harmful agents, viruses and bacteria. withdrawal causes disease, chronic disease…
However, mothers have to work very hard to produce milk and that’s why we have to wean.
When did we start using animal milk (more specifically cow’s milk)?
It wasn’t until the last 10,000 years or so, when our ancestors first realized that certain species of goats, sheep, and cattle could eat a lot of useless things and make a nutritious milk, they began tame them for milk. The groups of people who have available milk for consumption will have a great advantage over the other group and through natural selection, it has changed genes to increase the ability of the community to consume milk, turning humans into animals with high milk consumption. The only mammary gland capable of consuming the milk of other mammals is through the enzyme lactase.
However, this enzyme will be secreted less as we grow up, about 65% of the adult population does not have this enzyme, which means they cannot consume more than 150 ml of milk daily (less than 1 year).
So why has animal milk become such a center of controversy ?
That’s because of a number of information regarding the positive and negative effects of animal milk on human health.
There is a lot of information about the negative effects of animal milk on the human body such as brittle bones, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, milk tolerance, allergies, hormone effects, etc.
However, so far, there has not been an official conclusion about the impact of animal milk on the risk of cancer in humans (and even reduce the risk of rectal cancer, …) and the effect of accelerating the growth of children, early puberty because of the hormone present in milk.
Animal milk – should or shouldn’t.
In addition, cows are also injected with a lot of antibiotics to treat mastitis, … and produce some toxins such as melamine, aflatoxins that many people think are the cause of cancer in cow’s milk, but you keep it up. Rest assured, with current pasteurized milk technology, the above agents have been completely eliminated and can be used with peace of mind.
In summary, with dosages from 100ml to 250ml of animal milk per day, animal milk is a good source of nutritional supplements for humans. But alongside the popularity of cow’s milk today is an ethical and environmental debate. The mother cows will be separated from their calves as soon as they are born for milk and will be brutally killed when the milk can no longer be collected. Dairy production is responsible for one-third of Earth’s greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, there have been a number of plant-based and laboratory-cultured milks born to solve these problems.
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