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Free_Tibet
Oct 16th, 2005, 06:28 AM
Say Cheese!

By Kymberlie Adams Matthews

http://www.satyamag.com/sept05/adams_cheese.html

The average American consumes 200-plus pounds of milk and cream and 30-plus pounds of cheese a year. And consider this fact: combined, Americans eat approximately 100 acres of pizza each day, or about 350 slices per second. So why on earth would a person give up dairy? Well, some people need to maintain a diet low in cholesterol, while others have an intolerance to dairy products. I, on the other hand, gave it up because there was pus on my pizza.

All in a Day’s Work
Let’s face it, today’s dairy cows have it pretty bad—worse actually. Every
year, dairy cows are forced to give birth. With a gestation period of nine
months, the physical toll on a cow’s body is incomprehensible. To make
matters worse, cows are routinely artificially inseminated—a metal
insemination rod is thrust into her vagina and up into her cervix, as she is
strapped into what the dairy industry calls a “rape rack.” This all ensues
while the cow is still lactating from an earlier birth. In other words, their
bodies are producing milk through seven months of a nine-month pregnancy!

To cap it off, a recent survey by Penn State estimated that approximately 73
percent of the inseminations performed in the U.S. are by incompetent factory farm workers. According to an industry manual, Artificial Insemination
Technique: Dairy Integrated Reproductive Management, “Failure to understand the functional relationships between the various tissues and organs of the reproductive system leads to consistent insemination errors.”
How’s that for cream in your coffee?

Pus Anyone?
Despite the crowded conditions, accelerated production schedules and a
multitude of growth hormones, dairy cows are continually milked even when
suffering from severe udder infections called mastitis. More than half of
U.S. dairy cows suffer from mastitis, a bacterial infection of their udders.

Because of mastitis, blood, pus and bacteria from the infection are routinely
pumped out with the milk. One culprit causing the hundreds of millions of pus
cells in every liter of milk may be Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) a synthetic
often sold as Posilac. Posilac is extensively used by dairy farmers to boost
the amount of milk their overworked cows produce, usually 100 pounds of milk a day—10 times more than they would produce naturally. Bovine growth hormone has been banned in many countries because of possible risks to consumers and adverse consequences to the health and welfare of cows. Not so in the U.S. In fact, Monsanto—the leading producer of rBGH—has used expensive lawsuits and influence at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture to stop other dairies from advertising or labeling their milk as hormone-free.

Even the dairy industry acknowledges a crisis. The ‘somatic cell count’ is a
system designed to measure the amount of pus in milk, and according to the
National Mastitis Council, milk with a somatic cell count of higher than 200
million parts per liter should not enter the human food supply. In spite of
this, the FDA permits the retailing of milk containing 750 million pus cells
per liter (that’s about two pounds). Researchers estimate that an ordinary
glass of milk contains between one and seven drops of pus. Combating the cows’ infections requires the heavy use of antibiotics. Antibiotics given to farm animals can leave drug-resistant microbes in milk. With every slice of dairy cheese or glass of cow’s milk, super microbes can stream into your system. Once there, they can transfer drug-resistance to bacteria in the body, making you vulnerable to previously treatable infections.

Let’s Talk Cheese
Okay, now that we’ve gone over how milk is made, let’s talk cheese. In order
for milk to coagulate and eventually become cheese, a bacterial culture is
added to pasteurized milk to break down the proteins that keep milk a liquid
and convert it to lactic acid, which in turn coagulates the milk protein—casein—to form curd.

Many human bodies naturally regard casein as foreign and normally react to
its presence by creating an antibody. That antibody-antigen reaction creates
histamines (mucus and phlegm) which clog internal body organs. And according to Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, symptoms of lactose intolerance also include gastrointestinal distress, diarrhea, and flatulence. Additionally, dairy consumption has been linked to breast, prostate and ovarian cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and a plethora of childhood illnesses. Millions of Americans are dairy intolerant, and an estimated 90 percent of Asian Americans and 75 percent of Native and African Americans suffer from this condition. It’s no mystery why no other species drinks milk beyond infancy or the milk of another species.

Casein is also used to make glue for such things as holding wood furniture
together and sticking labels to soda and beer bottles. Try scraping off one
of those labels, and then consider the effects that casein may have in your
body. Eww!

Rennet is the most popular enzyme (chymosin) used in the cheese-making
process. Rennet is extracted from the fourth stomach (abomasum) of
slaughtered calves—calves typically slaughtered for veal.

A quick lesson in the art of cheese-making explains that after the calves are
killed, the fourth stomach is removed and cut into strips; the stomach lining
is then scraped to remove surface fat, stretched onto racks where moisture is removed, ground and then finally mixed with a salt solution until the rennet
is extracted.

Since the consumption of calves for veal has not kept pace with the demand
for rennet in the preparation of cheese, a distinct shortage of this enzyme
has developed. Consequently, a few years ago it became a common practice to mix the rennet extract from calves’ stomachs with a pepsin enzyme derived primarily from the stomachs of swine. This mixture is widely used in the U.S.

The Mouse Ate the Cheese, but Should You?
There is a chance you will stumble across vegetarian cheese made with rennets of non-animal origin—fig leaves, melon, wild thistle, safflower or the
fermented fungus Mucor miehei. Unfortunately, genetic engineering—or mad
science as I like to call it—has brought new and easier ways to create
chymosin for use in cheese-making. Many of these so-called vegetarian cheeses (they use calf cells) are currently being made using chymosin produced by genetically engineered microorganisms. The development of genetically engineered chymosin has been encouraged by shortages and fluctuations in the cost of actual calf rennet. Once the genetic material is introduced there is no further need for calf cells. Basically, companies have altered the genetic blueprints of living organisms and are selling you the resulting gene-cheese and scientists do not know the long-term effects of releasing these unpredictable organisms into the environment and people’s diets.

Labeling
The problem for consumers who wish to eat vegetarian or non-genetically
engineered cheese is determining what ingredients a particular cheese
contains. Unfortunately, the FDA does not require cheese labels to
differentiate between the kinds of rennet it may or may not contain. To
complicate matters, cheese-makers can mix animal, plant, and microbial
varieties of rennet and simply label them “enzymes.” Cheese labels can
actually include any one of the following variations: enzymes, microbial
enzymes, microbial enzymes (non-animal, rennetless), rennetless, rennet,
enzymes and rennet, vegetarian rennet, and microbial coagulants.

Even though a few companies take time to list the particular type of enzyme
used, finding a true vegetarian cheese is similar to venturing on a treasure
hunt without a map.

So…
It’s time to take a closer look at the scary ingredients hiding in your cheese, and if you do consider yourself a vegetarian, to also consider the calves who go into making your gooey mozzarella. What’s the point of a veggie pizza if there’s flesh in the cheese? And let’s not forget about the insurmountable cruelty dairy cows face every day of their lives.

From Cheddar to Swiss, cream cheese to Parmesan, a variety of soy cheeses are available at most health food stores and many supermarkets. These truly
vegetarian and vegan cheese options are not only healthier but are not the
end products of cruel manufacturing processes. Although these cheeses are
called “non-dairy,” they are not all vegan. Some contain casein, calcium caseinate—even rennet. Fortunately these ingredients are usually clearly
defined on the label.

So, the next time you crave a piece of cheese pizza, just think of the concentration of growth hormones, antibiotics, calf rennet and pus you are
putting into your body. You are what you eat!

Disclaimer: Please note this article is for informational purposes only. This member does not necessarily endorse contents of any article posted or contents of any external links. :D :p

moochbabe
Oct 16th, 2005, 08:14 AM
that was an awesome site...i always knew that dairy was nasty, but i didn't know about all the pus stuff...very informative. it was also perfect to find that article today cuz i was just talking to my mom about the nastiness of dairy...hopefully she won't be too grosed out or upset that i sent the link on to her...