Love or hate milk? 5 things you need to know about dairy based milk in India
- Milk is not checked for adulteration at the producer level
Be it water from unknown sources, hormones, urea, traces of feces, tallow (pig fat), paint, pesticides or antibiotics, we have heard enough reports in media exposing the quality of milk available to our children and adults in India. Our own Food Safety Standards Authority of India’s official statistics state that 68% of milk in India is adulterated.
The adulteration in milk could be direct or indirect. Direct would be production of synthetic milk using chemicals whereas indirect adulteration happens when pesticides in the crops fed to cows and buffaloes get into the milk through food. In some cases, dairy owners use Urea- a pesticide to prevent spoilage as sometimes refrigerator or electricity is not available to preserve left over milk before providing it to a dairy cooperative or corporate for packaging.
- Zero standards for production of milk
Any manufacturing unit should have rules and regulations to ensure that products are of highest quality and safe to consume. In case of dairies in India, there is no law that governs how to keep cows or buffaloes, what to feed them, how to feed, quality of feed or water to be used, which container to use for storage, veterinary records are absent, absolutely no standards for quality control are administered at place of production.
Infact, usage of antibiotics is number one concern today in the industry as these antibiotics enter human food chain through milk which is gulped down regularly by children and adults. This causes antibiotic resistance which can prevent your healing in case of sickness.
If you live in a city in India, then you must have seen cows used for milking feeding on garbage at dumpsters. Imagine what is happening in villages where you are not looking?
- High quality milk home delivery farms do not ensure your safety
These days the modern doodhwalas who deliver milk to your home claim to provide antibiotic free milk produced in highest of standards of milk production and propagate the myth of ‘happy cow’. In reality, these dairies have one farm at one location where they invite patrons to check their production services. As they outgrow customers, they start sourcing milk from outside just like other companies to fulfill demand. They do not promise a good living conditions for animals or a good life for their male calves.
No matter where you are sourcing milk from, the male calves are of no value to the dairy industry and they are discarded by milk men for a slow painful death.
- Milk causes cancer, bloating, PCOD and acne
Any skin issues, problem with reproductive system, feeling bloated, getting diarrhea soon as you consume milk, or know someone who has diabetes or suffering from cancer? Milk is one of the top foods that feed cancer cells in the body. A research shows that 3 out of 4 people in India are lactose intolerant. We just do not link our discomfort to milk because it is pictured as a perfect complete food in our culture.
Being in India, we are conditioned to drink milk once or twice a day for strong bones and be heathy. We do this because we have been asked to do so without thinking logically if that milk is meant to grow a 6 kg calf into a 600 kg animal in 3 months or a human baby who needs her own mother’s milk as food for nourishment?
- Dairies can lead to environment breakdown
You can help the environment faster by quitting milk than using public transport or saving the RO water for indirect use. Almost 900 litres of milk is consumed for producing 2- 4 kg milk per day per cow where water is available in abundance. Milk is more than 84% water and most of the cows used for milk do not have access to 2 buckets of water a day due to water scarcity in most areas. Sustaining this industry could be the
Milk is a luxury as an animal is forced to sacrifice her body, calves and life to provide a liquid called milk that we drink due to nutrients discovered it. In modern India, all plant based products in its original form or fortified can provide all essential vitamins and minerals including calcium, protein, B12, Vitamin D and DHA that enables healthy growth and development.
Water Footprint Analysis in Dairy Industry in India; Zareena B. Irfan and Mohana Mondal http://www.ijesd.org/vol7/845-S0042.pdf
The true cost of milk: Environmental deterioration Vs. profit in the New Zealand dairy industry;
Kyleisha Foote & Mike Joy; https://tind-customer-agecon.s3.amazonaws.com/9913290c-4cfb-41ca-a842-3b1d7d3351d1?response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%2A%3DUTF-8%27%27FooteJoy_2014.pdf&response-content-type=application%2Fpdf&AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAXL7W7Q3XHXDVDQYS&Expires=1559306575&Signature=Ld35fPXR45ns7aA1VzBM7wRzmlg%3D
Mapping the Consumption of Milk and Meat in India; https://thewire.in/uncategorised/mapping-the-consumption-of-milk-and-meat-in-india
Khushboo Gupta has intensive experience of working with the world's leading animal protection organizations where she was instrumental in devising policies for improving practices in dairy industry. Her primary experience of researching dairies in the country provides is a narration of ground reality of any possible source of milk sold in the country and how they rear animals.