Dairy is one of the largest commodities and household staples in the world. On average, we drink 700ml milk per day – that’s 253litres per year. On average. But is it really all that healthy for you, or the environment?
Although it’s true that dairy contains nutrients like magnesium, calcium, protein, carbohydrates and fat which are essential for health, dairy also contains nasty things like hormones & antibiotics, and the effects of dairy farming on the environment is nothing to be desired.
Dairy naturally contains hormones; it is after all food for baby cows and they need these hormones to grow big and strong. Hormones naturally found in dairy include female sex hormones like oestrogen & IGF-1, of which both have been associated with increased risk of certain cancers. Another hormone found in cow’s milk is bovine Growth Hormone and is a hormone given to cows in doses to speed up maturity & increase production of milk.
Antibiotics are given to cows to prevent infection in the udders. Even though there are regulations that do not allow any traces of antibiotics in milk there have been cases in the US where cows are fed antibiotics that are not traced by routine tests. These antibiotics are also excreted in the manure of cows entering the environment, and ends up in our water supply and waste systems with detrimental consequences to our environment.
Allergies & Intolerance
A food allergy is the body’s reaction to a specific food (usually a protein) and involves the immune system. Antibodies are formed by the body in reaction to the culprit proteins and an inflammatory response is started. These immune reactions can be to very small amounts of food proteins and symptoms include vomiting, wheezing, and hives. Treating an allergy often means complete exclusion of the food containing the affecting protein. The proteins in dairy that can cause allergic reactions are whey and casein.
An intolerance is a little less clear – it is not life-threatening, but it can make the sufferer feel extremely poorly. It does not involve the antibiotic-production side of the immune system, but can have a major impact on working and social life if not managed properly. Lactose is a dairy sugar that is broken down by the lactase enzyme found in our small intestine. Dairy intolerance is usually due to the inability to digest lactose effectively due to little or no amount of the lactase enzyme. The symptoms of a dairy intolerance may be delayed because there is no immediate immune system response. They are usually gut-related and includes bloating, diarrhea, constipation, IBS and longer-term symptoms such as skin and joint problems. Multiple symptoms are very possible and they can be varied, too: headaches, lethargy and a general feeling of poor health are also common with a dairy intolerance.
If you have any of these symptoms, you may have an intolerance or allergy to dairy.
Finally, A (delicious) Solution!
Thankfully, we are here to provide you with the perfect dairy alternative! Our nut milk is a source of many essential nutrients for the body, including calcium, magnesium, fat and protein. It is completely dairy-free, containing no lactose or dairy proteins like whey and casein. And is naturally free from hormones and antibiotics.
We don’t use any nasty sugar in our nut milk – we sweeten our flavoured Chocolate, Chai Spice and Coffee milks with dates, a truly natural alternative – and because of this, it has a lesser impact on your blood sugar than the average chocolate milk or chai latte.
So next time you’re in the shops, craving a chocolate milk or a *eh hem* steri stumpi or about to go for that bottle of cow’s milk, rather grab an Almond Creamery Nut Milk – your Body and our Environment will thank you for it. And we’re sure you won’t even know it’s dairy-free, ‘cos it tastes so good!
Please note: Dairy-free milk is not suitable as a breast milk replacement for babies; please consult your Doctor or Health Professional in case of milk allergies in your baby.
Where to Find our Nut Milk
You can find our dairy-free nut milk in many Spars around the Cape Town area, including Vredehoek, Cape Quarter, Seapoint, Hout Bay and Die Boord in Stellenbosch. Wellness Warehouses in Kloof, Gardens, Cavendish and Waterfront also have stock for you, as well as many health shops – check out our comprehensive list of stockists here.
P.S. In our next blog we’ll be discussing a new addition to our nut milk, so stay tuned to hear what all the fuss is about!