For many people, there’s no drink that’s healthier or more satisfying than a tall glass of milk. We associate it with purity and wholesomeness. However, as is the case with most, the truth is a bit more complicated. There may be hidden dangers lurking in that gallon of 2% you bought from the corner market. Dairy can have long-lasting, harmful effects on your health and that of your family. As it turns out, what we get from cows can be tainted with any number of outside elements that we probably don’t want in our bodies.
What Research Has Shown
Studies have shown that the milk we buy in plastic jugs from the grocery store may contain one or more of the following toxins — pesticides, dioxins, lead, mycotoxins and antibiotics. In small concentrations, many of these substances are relatively harmless. However, if you’re drinking more than a few glasses each day, you may be at higher risk for developing a host of health issues caused by these toxic elements. For instance, dioxins can damage your immune system. Polychlorinated biphenyls can harm your endocrine system and cause neurological problems. Excessive exposure to antibiotics can reduce their effectiveness and leave you more susceptible to disease.
How Did It Get Like This?
A lot of times, we only have ourselves to blame for this. Many of these toxins are the result of industrialized farming practices or pollution caused by industrial activity. Keeping and feeding huge populations of dairy cows often means farmers use large amounts of antibiotics to prevent the spread of disease. Feedstock can become infected with mold without being noticed. Runoff from factories and production facilities can introduce chemicals into the water supply that leech into soils and grasses where animals graze. In at least one instance, cows contracted lead poisoning by licking storage batteries. All of these unwanted contaminants can make their way through a cow’s digestive system and end up in its milk.
These and other eye-opening facts can be found in the accompanying infographic. In it, you’ll find a listing of frequently found dangers in dairy products. In addition, it provides farmers and consumers with some tips they can use to avoid these common toxins. Despite its reputation, much of the milk we drink every day may contain more than vitamins and minerals. The next time you shop, be aware of what could be hidden in that jug before putting it into your cart.
Infographic provided by Eurofins Abraxis