Last week I shared quite a bit about the value of Plant-Based Eating, particularly the value of raw foods and especially salads. There are a good number of ingredients that can be stored in bulk in your pantry but the stars of the show, an assortment of fresh greens and veggies, will need to be bought once or twice a week. Using my suggested lists should be a great benefit to maintaining a well stocked plant-based kitchen and support this important shift in your eating.
Today I want to address those of you who are still struggling with the complete elimination of dairy from your diet. This, of course, is the topic of numerous conversations in my practice. My goal is to guide clients to the point of seeing as I do, that milk, yogurt, cheese, etc. are simply not foods that support a healthy body. What I know is that when your perspective changes, you just accept it and there is no looking back. How one changes perspective, however, is a very individualized process.
If statistics and studies changed people’s minds, then no one who read The China Study, first published nearly 15 years ago, would ever think of consuming dairy again and US. milk production would have plummeted. Yet, with over one million copies of the book sold, it still did not make a ripple. Even T. Colin Campbell himself, who laid out blatantly strong evidence at the time, was baffled that his work had virtually no impact on the industry. In fact, U.S. milk production has increased at an unbelievable rate from 167.7 billion pounds in 2000 to an anticipated 211.5 billion pounds by the end of 2015. Important to note, however, is that milk consumption per household actually decreased within U.S. over that same period. So clearly someone listened.
I believe the change will come about one person at a time and that is what motivates me to do the work I do. New individuals who seek care in my practice are clearly a subset of the population who, more often than not, have already eliminated dairy from their diet. I am always curious what made them do it. In general, most of them quit because they were searching for cures to their symptoms and saw that as one positive step they could take on their own. When they committed to it and saw the results, it made them believers.
Given the variety of people I see, that is by no means a complete answer to the dairy dilemma. I’m disappointed that I have not found THE answer, but never discouraged enough to give up. My ever-hopeful spirit prods me to reach even just one more person, so I have laid out here four different angles for your reading pleasure—with just a glimmer of hope!
The Trendy Slant
One convincer that certainly works with a small portion of the population is that all the cool kids have already given up dairy! Here are 15 celebs who have ditched dairy and words of wisdom from three highly popular contemporary authorities on health and nutrition that have all come out against dairy consumption:
Just Plain Science
Then there is science. The list of studies is endless regarding the inflammatory impact of dairy consumption. Here are just a few of the studies regarding dairy’s impact on the chronic diseases that challenge our society today.
The Political Slant
John Stewart grew in popularity for his remarkable ability to call out what he refers to as B.S. in our society and government. The astounding job that the dairy industry did, and continues to do, to the hearts and minds of a generation or more of Americans is a fine example of industry driven B.S. Keep in mind their incredibly convincing ad campaigns linking strong bones and milk consumption were launched after the industry profits nose dived. With these highly funded, highly believable campaigns they have without fail convinced an entire population of people that their product is not only a powerful health benefit for all growing bodies, but that it is a necessity for growing children. That entire marketing spin is simply is not true. The backlash to their highly funded campaigns began as early as 1995 by The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. This organization still performs watchdog duties on the dairy industry and their unfounded health claims. A recent article and timeline of their work against these false claims can be found here.
The Environmental Slant
And then there is the green slant. Read this recent New York Times investigative report on the dairy industry’s impact in California and this Yale Environment report on Wisconsin dairy farms.
For those of you who have ditched dairy successfully and kept your commitment, please share your story in a comment here, on my facebook page, or send me an email. Your experience may be just the thing that helps someone who is struggling make the switch.
In next week’s post, it’s all about eating more cooked veggies. Let’s take this nutrient dense food source from the side dish to the main course and celebrate all of the glorious fall selection that is making its appearance in the produce department and farmers markets.