Wodraska: Documentary debunks milk myths
By Lya Wodraska
The Salt Lake TribuneFirst published Apr 11 2012 10:52AM
Every year, there seems to be a new documentary that takes a behind-the-scenes look at the country’s food system.
"Food Inc." took us into the troubled world of food production; "King Corn" looked at the subsidized crop that drives our fast-food nation; "The Future of Food" focused on the use of genetically modified foods; while "Tapped" examined the impact of bottled water.
A relatively new film that isn’t getting as much attention but is still a "must see" is "Got the facts on Milk." It’s a humorous but informational film about why milk products might not be ideal for everyone, despite what the industry advertisements claim.
One of the most common reasons for drinking milk is for the calcium.
But, according to the film, drinking milk can have the opposite effect because milk acidifies the body’s pH. To neutralize the acid, the body releases calcium stored in the bones. This can lead to a calcium deficit and cause side effects such as kidney stones.
Drinking milk and eating too many dairy products also can cause a host of other issues, according to the film.
The human body generally stops producing the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the lactose in milk, around the age of 2. This may cause a person to become lactose intolerant later in life.
For those who develop a severe intolerance, drinking a glass of milk or eating a bowl of ice cream can cause nausea, cramps, diarrhea, bloating and congestion. For others, the symptoms are less severe, such as a stuffy nose or a bloated feeling.
The easiest way to tell if you have an intolerance is to eliminate all dairy products from your diet for about three weeks. After that, drink a glass of milk and see what happens.
Many people who are lactose intolerant say they are able to better digest raw milk products because the milk still contains the natural enzymes and beneficial bacteria usually killed during the pasteurization process.
As with anything, keep educating yourself and keep an open mind, realizing there are many varying opinions.
And do some experimenting on your own so you can make the decision that is right for you.