Sunday, December 4, 2011

Why I don't drink milk.

Milk splashCow's milk that is.
But it applies to any dairy product, or any other animal's milk and milk product.

Three reasons.
  • I'm human.
  • I'm too old.
  • I feel bad for baby cows.
 (get ready for the dot-points, they don't end here)

Let me ellaborate a little, and we'll start by asking "What is milk?"

Wikipedia says:

"Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many diseases in the baby. " says:
1. an opaque white or bluish-white liquid secreted by the mammary glands of female mammals, serving for the nourishment of their young.
2. this liquid as secreted by cows, goats, or certain other animals and used by humans for food or as a source of butter, cheeses, yogurt, etc.
3. any liquid resembling this, as the liquid within a coconut, the juice or sap of certain plants, or various pharmaceutical preparations.

I say:

  • Milk is what mother mammals make for their babies to eat.
  • It is designed to give the absolute best (read: normal) start for a young mammal.
  • It is species specific. I.E. - A gorilla mother will make milk specifically designed to feed gorilla babies, a mother dog will make milk specifically designed to feed puppies, a human mother will make milk specifically designed to feed human babies ...AANNNNDDD a cow mother will make milk specifically designed to feed CALVES.

The conclusions I have drawn include:
  • Breastfeeding is best (normal) nutrition for my daughter, and any future children. A breastmilk substitute comes with risks that need to be managed (info and resources here).
  • There is no way that a mummy cow's milk is important/essential/necessary to my health or that of my daughter. Cow's milk is so at odds with human digestion that it causes all manner of upsets for many people. Even (the much healthier) raw, organic, grass-fed cow's milk is just not supposed to be eaten by humans.
  • For a cow to lactate, she must have given birth to a calf, right? If humans are taking all of this milk from these cows, where are their babies? What are they eating? 
  • OR the cows have lactation artifically induced, with hormones which pass into the milk and end up on your cereal and in your coffee. Yum.

Drinking calf

Which leads me back to the afore-mentioned reasons that milk and dairy do not appear in my diet:
  • I'm human - Humans only need human milk. They need cow's milk as much as they need giraffe's milk. Or whale milk. Or cat or dog or chimpanzee milk. It just doesn't make any logical sense.
  • I'm too old - Yes human milk for humans and I'm all about natural weaning, but 24 is definitely too old.
  • I feel bad for baby cows - Are they ALL slaughtered, JUST so that we can steal their food? I'm an omnivore, I believe in the circle of life (lol), and that meat is an essential part of a human diet, but to kill a baby to steal it's food just seems a little over-the-top evil to me. And if they grow up to be beef cattle, wouldn't they be healthier (and therefore more nutritious eating), if they get mother's milk as calves?
(I should add that soy milk is NOT a healthy alternative.) 

Milk (any dairy) is not necessary, and even if it can be nutritious, it disagrees with my morals. there you have it folks, that's why I don't drink milk. 

What are your thoughts on dairy?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Wheat. What is it good for?

Did you start singing the song? I did too. :)

If you've heard much in the way of primal, paleo, ancestral-type health, you would probably agree that the answer is absolutely nothin' ...(say it again).

BUT I did work out at least 3 things that use wheat and are actually great :) horray!

Mix the flour and cold water
Add caption
Number 1 - GLUE!

Yep, gluten makes a great glue, who knew?
(prrreeety much everyone Jayne, duh)

We all know how to make papier-mâché glue right? Plain white flour and water. At least that was how we did it when I was in Primary School.

There are many many complicated recipes out there for it that you can google if you like, but my way is to get about a cup of flour, and just keep adding warm water until you have the consistency that you like. Start with 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup and then add in small amounts to your heart's desire.

My teenage brother made packet pancakes for his and his girlfriend's breakfast the other morning and somehow managed to leave little droplets of mix all over the kitchen (really, he must have been flinging it around or something) and due to his lack of cleaning skills they dried where they landed. Let me tell you, when I noticed them and tried to clean them, they were horrible! I had to soak, scrape and scrub so hard to get rid of them.

Great reminder of why I don't want that in my body.

Number 2 - DECORATIONS :)

Salt-dough! It's like glue, but you mold it and bake it!

I found this lovely post on salt-dough ornaments and decided to make some with Wildchild.

I put blue and yellow food colouring (because I didn't have red, I really wanted red...) into the water that I used to mix with the flour and salt so we ended up with 7 little green christmas tree decorations. They will be painted sparkly and probably have a message on the back too. Do you like 'em?
work in progress

I'm rather broke this christmas so I'm sending these out as presents for a few people and keeping one for our family. I'm hoping it can be a yearly tradition so that in years to come we can look at the tree and see her hand grow :)

Also (not wheat related, but) another ornament I'm going to make soon is a time-capsule bauble.

Number 3 - HAIR-DYE ...?

True story.
I dyed my hair darker about 3 weeks ago, and the hairdye I used said it was made using wheat, corn and soy.
I had to laugh at that because those are all things I avoid like the plague usually but they were using it as a selling point. Anyway I used it because I thought it's got to be a little better than the usually toxic chemical cocktail, and I really wanted to get the blonde out of my hair. I think it was Naturtint, but I'm not 100% certain.

I have pretty sensitive skin, and dying my hair is usually a very painful experience (I know, I know, why do it then? I have no idea, I like changing my hair colour...). BUT this time not only did the dye NOT stink to the high heavens, but also DIDN'T hurt my scalp in the slightest! Woah!

Horray! A use for all that wheat, corn and soy that people should definitely not be eating!

Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)
Add caption

So there you go, three things that wheat is good for. Not that I'm advocating for wheat in any kind of way, but if you happen to have some remaining in your pantry from a less-enlightened time in your life feel free to get crafty with it!

Can you think of any other great uses for horrible pantry-lurking poisons? Please share :)