Cow’s Milk and Milk Substitutes

Gluten-free dieters and everyone else should learn the truth about milk.  I have had the desire to write about the subject of milk for some time now.  I have received emails suggesting drinking camel’s milk, asking why soy milk is bad for us, and most recently, why so many gluten-free recipes call for almond milk, coconut milk or other milk substitute rather than just plain old lactose-free milk.  I cover many milk and milk substitutes below and what you should know them.

Cow’s Milk

Nowadays cow’s milk is filled with growth hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, chemicals, drugs and even cow’s blood (cells).  This is all allowed by the FDA in limited amounts. Back in the 1950s cows produced much less milk.  Now they produce up to 50 times that amount.  This is due to how they are raised and the toxins with which they are injected.


Organic Milk

You might think, “Why not drink organic and avoid all of this?”  Organic usually means the cows were allowed to graze on pastures, but may not be free of antibiotics and hormones.  If a label states it is free of antibiotics and hormones you still have to consider the above listed items under cow’s milk.  Organic milk is also known to increase brain disease such as Alhemizer’s.  Again, consider whether our bodies are really designed to digests another mammal’s milk.

Another concern is that organic milks are not regulated.  The controversy is over the fact that consumers are not being protected from the bacteria in the organic milk.  Whether milk is organic or not is of concern.

Lactose-Free Milk

Why do so many people lactose intolerant?  This is covered above in describing how the chemicals affect our bodies.  Can you imagine what growth hormones alone can do to a body that is fully grown or what it can do to a developing child?

Goats Milk

If the goat has been given the same chemicals as cows have been given then it is of the same concern as cow’s milk.  In addition, you must consider the fact that you are still drinking another mammal’s milk and will again be consuming their cells.

Soy Milk

Soy milk is another one to watch out for.  Soy contains natural chemicals that resemble estrogen.  Men are often warned not to drink it because of this, but it is just as dangerous to drink for women and especially children.  Many menopausal women are requested to increase soy in their diets, but did you know that soy is usually GMO?  GMO stands for genetically modified organisms; GE, meaning genetically engineered; or GEO, genetically engineered organism.  This means they were man-made, not natural at all.  It is unknown what these altered foods can do to the human body, therefore, are suggested not healthy for consumption.  Soy also contains phytic acid which is known to prevent the absorption of minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc.  All legumes contain phytic acid or phytates, but soy contains much higher levels.  This is why it is suggested to soak legumes overnight and rinse them a number of times before using.  Soy also blocks the absorption of enzymes that we need in our bodies.  Soy is also known to cause blood clots.

Almond Milk

Almond milk is considered to be a safe alternative to milk, and contains healthy protein, but how much sugar does it contain?  A lot!  Fortunately, there are unsweetened almond milks.  An organic unsweetened version is your best bet. Though, you should check whether the almond milk contains soy or soy lecithin.  Just realize these milks are processed and may not be your healthiest alternative.  If you have celiac disease or are on a gluten-free diet be watchful for ingredients such as “natural flavors”, as they may contain gluten.  Always contact manufacturers for clarification.

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is supposed to be good for us, too, but be sure to read those labels!  Coconut milk may contain preservatives.  These chemicals are not healthy for us either.  Making your own would be best, but time consuming and is quite a process.

Rice Milk

Some rice milk brands may contain gluten. Rice Dream is certified gluten-free, meaning it contains less than 20ppm (parts per million).  Some have reported getting ill from it, though.  See my article, “Is Rice Dream Gluten-Free“.  Check your labels.  If you do not recognize an ingredient, research it and find out what it is or leave me a question below.  Gluten-free brands include Low-fat Rice Plain and Vanilla flavors by Pacific Natural Foods; and 365 (organic) vanilla rice milk .

Camel’s Milk

Camel’s milk is the newest of the milk fads.  It is reported that camel’s milk contains high amounts of Vitamin C, much more anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties than other milks and an insulin-like protein to aid in digestion.  But again, why drink another mammal’s milk and consume their cells?

Oat Milk

Pacific Natural Foods now makes an Oat Non-Dairy Beverage.  It is not gluten-free.  One may think an oat beverage is gluten-free, but oat products are usually made from cross-contaminated oats.  They are usually grown in fields next to other glutenous crops and therefore are contaminated by the other crops.  Other possibilities of cross contamination are the facilities they are prepared in or the trucks that they are transported in.  See Pacific’s Allergy Information for details.

What should I drink then?!

Why not make your own milk from raw organic almonds, filtered water and organic dates?  If you like vanilla in your milk you can add fresh vanilla bean or organic vanilla extract.  It’s so yummy and easy to make!

Homemade hemp milk is another option, though less flavorful alone.  You can always add some dates to this recipe, as well.

Happy milk drinking and good health to you!

Milk Recipes


Homemade Almond Milk

Homemade Hemp Milk

8 Replies to “Cow’s Milk and Milk Substitutes”

  1. This is scary. I use 2% lactaid that is organic. Used to have Almomd milk, but didn’t want the soy, sugar and preservatives. So this is why water is healthier to use with baking bread? You really are very informative!

  2. Where is it that you are getting your information on Cows Milk….as a member of the dairy industry (dairy owner). There is not one dairyman that I know that produces using the practices that you mention.

    1: the increase in milk production is due to better quality feed and nutrition….we meet with out vet and nutritionist once a week to assess our animals health and nutrition needs.
    2: we do NOT use growth hormones to increase production, as a matter of fact we have signed a contract with our co-op that we will not use them, thus certifying growth hormone free.
    3: pesticides and antibiotics…ALL milk is tested when picked up at each producer for the aforementioned items…if there is even a trace amount the milk is not accepted. (we are not paid for the product) so you can see we make darn sure that doesn’t happen. If an animal does need any medication we track its use and she is taken out of production until the meds have left her system.

    so please if you are not a fan of milk- thats fine- but don’t use fear to stop people from drinking a safe and for most people- nutritious food product

    1. Hi there Milk Man’s Daughter!

      So glad to hear that your dairy does not use growth hormones!

      I found my information online and through nutritionists I have spoken with personally. Check out my interview with Dr. Vikki Petersen, author of “The Gluten Effect”:

      What does drinking another mammal’s milk do your body? It’s a very good question! They have their own hormones. Consuming the milk from another mammal gets into our system. There is no doubt about that. Something obviously has changed with milk, as there has never been so many lactose intolerant people as there is now. Just my opinion! I’m sure it can be backed up online.

  3. I noticed you didnt mention Rice Milk which is what I use. I also use the Vanilla version. Could you comment on that milk?

    1. Hi Kerri. Good question! I just posted something about rice milk in our forum the other day. I can’t believe I forgot to mention it here. Thank you. I just updated the post.

      1. just my two cents worth, isnt all the milk sold in stores, treated milk that came from cows? thats the milk that makes me have issues, but I can drink heavy whipping cream or add some to regular whole milk and then I can tolerate it fine. I have also read alot of articles that folks who are lactose intolerant have been able to drink fresh cows milk with no issues and in some cases get rid of their intolerance as well as clearing up allergies… I am gonna have to side up with the milk man, but thank you for an otherwise awesome website for gluten free education. also, if its bad to drink milk from a cow, wouldnt it also be bad to eat beef? since that would be consuming the animals cells? just a thought, and I love a good steak.
        Thanks for the opportunity to comment, God Bless y’all and Happy Easter, remember, pet the bunny, celebrate Jesus.

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