I can’t say I like milk. But, a few of my most memorable beverage memories are milk related. Apple and fruit milk were a favorite daily staple when growing up in Taiwan (below the fold, pictured left). And, the best coffee I ever had was in a bakery in Paris. I ordered “coffee with milk” as suggested by one of the tour books I was reading. And, I was given a cup of milk and a shot of espresso. I dumped the espresso into the cup of milk, add some sugar, and result was the best coffee experience I ever had. To this day, I add way too much half and half into my coffee because I miss the “coffee with milk” experience.
There were some common denominators as to the taste and “result” of each of these positive milk experiences. First, both in France and in Taiwan, the milk tasted damn good. Refreshing with no milky after taste. Second, my Asian digestive system took the milk in like a champ. No gas, no stomach ache. No needing to use the water closet immediately afterwards.
Here, states side, milk, as I’ve drank them when growing up, smelled milky and have that milky after taste. Plus, I was sure have that watery experience after drinking even a tiny bit of milk. I had some luck with Lactaid and Horizon, but that didn’t eliminate all risks. It just stacked the favor slightly more in my favor. Then, I was given carton of Organic Valley, one of the best tasting milk I’ve had in a long time and no rumbling in my tummy afterwards. I am a convert, and I started buying lactose free OV milk ever since even though my tummy was OK with the non-lactose free version.
And, recently, I found grass fed milk by OV at Ralph’s grocery store. I bought a carton because I trust the OV brand. But, I didn’t know what the grass fed deal was about. So, this post is about what I found after googling “grass fed milk”.
Man started ingesting cow milk about 10kya. At first, man were not immune to lactose and had to ferment milk in order to ingest it. See, babies could drink milk until the age of three when our genes decided it’s about time to wean off mother’s milk hence production of lactase, the protien in our bodies that breaks down dairy, stopped at age of 3. So, yogurt and cheese were invented for adults to enjoy dairy product. But, after a few thousand years, a certain lucky European enjoyed a mutation in his gene that prevented it from turning off the body’s ability to create lactase.
So, the milk drinking revolution started in Europe as the lactase producing gene flourished. If you believe in Evolution, then reasons as to why this gene flourished might amuse you. Some theories I have is people who drank milk are stronger therefore out competed for resources. Another theory I have is milk producers are probably more technologically advanced either or or both in agriculture and warfare, so there is least likelihood that they would starve or lose at battle. However, genetically speaking, those who posses the lactase producing allele also have 20% higher chance of fertility, so the answer is probably a little bit of everything but the only one proven thus far is genetics.
Moving along. Cows graze and eat grass. They’ve been doing this since the beginning of cow time. Their stomachs are designed to digest grass. However, after WW2, Americans were experiencing a corn revolution as they discovered how to mutate corn, so it grows most efficiently, abundantly. Thus, corn became the grain du jour for American cow and dairy farmers replacing grass.
And, cow farmers were happy because corn fed cows along with some protein and antibiotic supplements provided farmers with faster growing and fatter cows. So, not only were cows cheaper to feed with corn but farmers had more inventory on hand with cows maturing much faster. Cows mature to full size in 15 months when they are corn fed compared to 5 years when grass fed.
So, why the need for protein and antibiotics? I am guessing the cows need protein supplements because grain fed cows don’t move around a lot since they don’t need to pasture, so they lack exercise probably leading to muscle atrophy. And, cows need antibiotics because corn fed cows were at higher risk of E.Coli. Something to do with the evolutionary nature of cow stomachs not compatible with corn feed hence leading to acidosis in the corn fed cows which cause the cows to need medicine and antibiotics which lowers the cows’ immunity hence leading to higher cases of E.Coli.
Speculations. I am not one of those super lactose intolerant sensitive types. I AM, however, super intolerant of all the crap that goes into dairy product that are corn fed. All the drugs and antibiotics required to keep corn fed cows healthy. All the GMO produced grain fed to the cows that I in turn will ingest as I eat dairy and beef products. Reason for speculation is milk (all food) in Europe is supposedly GMO free and, as far as I know, are drug free and cows go to pasture.
On a side note, whenever I get sick with the flu, I go to Carl’s Jr. and order one of their burgers as, I am certain, each burger has just the right dosage amount of antibiotics to kill whatever bugs is bothering me at the time. It used to work quite well. But, not as of late. Either they stopped juicing their cows up or my germs have developed immunity to their antibiotics.
Further topics to explore:
A2 Milk: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/03/a1-milk-a2-milk-america