Saturday, February 25, 2012
The Calcium Myth Exploded!
"We are told the best source of calcium comes via cow’s milk. Like many stories, this one was put out by the publicists employed by the dairy industry to sell their products. The power of advertising is such that people begin to believe the propaganda in time. Cows produce milk from eating grass. This is excellent as we need to get out vitamins and minerals from a vegetable source, too. For the body to absorb nutrients like calcium, they have to come via a photosynthesis process. The nutrient is in the soil; it passes to the vegetables, we eat the vegetables and gain the benefit. A mineral that has been photosynthesized is said to be organic. One that hasn’t is in-organic. Limestone deposits are a rich source of calcium, but they are useless for humans, as we cannot break down the rock into a substance that can be digested and then metabolized.
Cows get their calcium from their food, which is fresh and grassy because it has gone through photosynthesis. That means the nutrients can be digested. Vitamins also need to be present in the ground to enable this process to take place. The animal needs lots of calcium, because it has large bones. Cow’s milk is produced to support young cows and not humans! Calves grow up to become cows which weigh on average between 700 and 1000 lbs. Seven hundred pounds converts to 318 kilos, and that’s a small cow! How many humans do you know of this weight? Cow’s milk is a superfood designed to feed a large animal, so it grows up quickly. It is not the same as mother’s milk. When humans start drinking the recommended three glasses of milk per day, they begin to put on weight, just like the calf. Many people find milk is hard to digest. This is true of Asians who often lack the digestive enzyme, lactase. Milk produces much mucus in the system that clogs up the digestion. Let's return to the calcium issue. Calcium and magnesium are antagonists, but in order to digest calcium, you need magnesium in the correct ratio which is 2:1. Here’s the problem, the cow absorbs these things for itself or the calf, but not for the human; there is a deficiency in magnesium, which makes cow’s milk an inadequate calcium source.
Another factor is the earth factor. To absorb the essential vitamins and minerals means they have to be in the soil in the first place. Old farming methods demanded the field be left fallow to rest between crops, whilst the preferred fertilizer was cow manure. This has stopped because it does not suit the industrialized nature of large scale farming. Cow dung has been replaced by chemical fertilizers, usually of a petrochemical nature. The industry says artificial fertilizers are necessary because of the need to increase crop yields. This is not true. In the current situation, where factory farms separate livestock from plant crops; it is just too expensive to move the methane rich animal manure to the plants themselves. This has reached such a serious problem that most land is now so depleted, that it won’t produce anything without the aid of these artificial stimulants. Six micronutrients and 7 macro are required in the production of the popular nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium fertilizer. This artificial nitrogen is causing immense problems; it is a leading source of nitrous oxide. This far outstrips Carbon Dioxide as a purported cause of the greenhouse effect.
To resolve the issue they have to put the vitamin/ mineral mix back into the soil, but there is a serious problem. The new petrochemical products are inert, whilst the old waste form, coming from an animal origin is organic. It’s the old story of natural versus un-natural. The soil is becoming nutrient short because we are feeding it un-natural substances. This disturbing trend did not start yesterday. As evidence sperm counts in males, in the US, have been declining since the 1930s. A study that appeared in the Journal “Environmental Health Perspectives” showed a sperm density count of 113 million per deciliter in 1940 which had dropped to 66 million in 1990. This is a reduction of almost 50%. The Journal attributed this to environmental factors already mentioned. In short don’t depend on milk as a source of minerals like calcium and magnesium. Eat fresh, green leafy vegetables from an organic producer. These still hold adequate amounts of essential nutrients. For calcium, eat tuna and sardines because the bones of such fish provide an excellent, digestible, source. Also, take a superior quality, non-synthetic food supplement just to make sure you have got the equation right."
This article by Alister Bredee first appeared in the Samui Gazette of 22nd February 2012