we all suffer from blind obedience in some form or another at some point in our lives. we do what we are told. we blindly follow the masses, go with the grain. we see something in a magazine or on oprah and it becomes gospel. or we jump on the big friend bandwagon of "everyone else is doing it". i have caught myself on so many occasions quoting "facts" that i "know to be true" simply because i heard my neighbour quote them. these "facts" become ingrained in our personal "truths," and we pass them out as if they were our own without ever questioning their legitimacy or source. i think we can all agree that questioning just to question makes you cynical. but there is nothing wrong with sharpening your critical thinking skills from time to time.
i recently was researching cows' milk. my parents, teachers, doctors - everyone has told me that milk is an absolute necessity for both myself & my growing kids. so it never occurred to me question it until a friend made an offside comment about cows' milk. i thought i should check it out for myself. and here is what i found out... despite what i had previously believed to be "true", that without milk we won't grow big & strong and without milk, our bones & teeth will crumble, there is no reason for pregnant women or children to drink cows' milk.
- through various studies, milk was not shown to have a protective effect on bones but actually the contrary. dairy products were associated with an increased risk of fractures.
- cows' milk has one of the lowest absorption rates of all calcium sources. milk is high in calcium but it is not an efficient source for it as it creates an acidic environment in the body just like sugar does (which just means you pee the majority of the calcium out).
- between the ages 18 months and four years, we lose 90-95% of the enzyme lactase (needed to digest lactose, the sugar found in dairy), i guess all of us lactose intolerant for the most part. just take a 2 week break from dairy & then try to reintroduce it and see the effects.
- according to the China Study (the most comprehensive study of diet and nutrition ever conducted in history - spanning twenty years time; citing more than 750 references) dairy products can cause heart disease; diabetes; obesity; osteoporosis; kidney stones; crohn's disease; cataracts; macular degeneration; multiple sclerosis; alzheimer's; and breast, postate, colon, and rectal cancer.
- the effects extend even further in children, as the dairy related illnesses that most commonly frequent the pediatricians office are colic, ear infections, respiratory problems, allergies and skin conditions. children & adolescence are more prone to acne, attention deficit disorder & attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, irritable bowel syndrome & anxiety... and this is by no means an exhaustive list... it goes on and on and on.
- pus & radioactive particles aren't the only dangers associated with bovine growth hormone but also carcinogens & PCBs... at levels which can be traced all the way to a woman's placenta & cord blood while pregnant.
having said all of this, i am not saying don't ever drink cows' milk. i am still trying to gradually wean myself off milk and drink it as a treat. i'm just saying don't drink it under false pretenses, thinking you are doing something good for your body. but everything in good measure. and perhaps look into these facts for yourself... don't take my word for it!
i don't have the mental/time resources or capabilities to reasearch and investigate everything i come across. that would be impossible. i know i must make informed opinions but they need to be my opinions & my conviction. i am not going to go to the other extreme which is to be cynical about everything and pushed all over the place with every documentary i watch or every book i read. i need to be grounded. that's why vision is so crucial. being intentional has been one of my greatest insights. i want to be intentional about where i am going and what i want for my family or any relationship or lifestyle. i want to keep that end picture in focus. but in order to do that i have to decide what is important to me and what i value most. otherwise, what someone else thinks is good for my family, can easily become what i think is good for my family just because they said so or gave a convincing case. even the best intentioned people, like my lovely doctor with his fuzzy white eyebrows, can lead you astray. but the one person i trust implicitly, is the holy spirit. he has never lead me astray. an ongoing, vibrant relationship with the holy spirit is SO crucial. he keeps me from being washed away into mainstream practice & perspective. i don't want to become so routinely religious in my everyday thought processes & practices that i cease to pursue the limitless, inexhaustible, unfathomable, living god. he just simply cannot be contained in routine religiosity. i refuse to settle for the norm. there is so much more god has in store for us.