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Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

This happened.

‘World Allergy Organization (WAO) Diagnosis and Rationale for Action against Cow’s Milk Allergy (DRACMA) Guidelines’.

60, 000 words. Lots of references. Sounds promising.

1. ‘Milk allergens of various mammalian species cross-react. The greatest homology is among cow’s, sheep’s and goat’s milks protein as Bos (oxen), Ovis (sheep), and Capra (goat) are genera belonging to the Bovidae family of ruminants. Proteins in their milks have less structural similarity with those from the Suidae (pig), Equidae (horse and donkey), and Camelidae (camel and dromedary) families and also from those of humans. The milks of camels and dromedaries (and human milk) do not contain Bos d 5.’

As in, cow, sheep and goats milks (the ones we drink), are most unlike human milk, and make us sick. Unlike pig, horse, donkey, camel and human milk, which we do not drink. And do not make us sick.

2. ‘Caseins are thought to be easily digestible, but they coagulate in an acidic medium (at gastric pH).’

Our stomach is acidic, right? So cows milk coagulates when we drink it? Gross.

3.  ‘Blah blah blah, we apply all these scientific processes to milk by heating and boiling and hydrolysing it and then it won’t make you as sick’.

This seems silly. So much time and effort devoted to figuring out why cows milk makes us sick. Why not devote that energy to getting more women to breastfeed, or researching mastitis in humans instead of cows, for example? Or organising milk sharing… Surely we have better solutions than feeding babies highly processed not-foods?

4. ‘The absence of gut microbiota significantly increases the milk-specific immune response in mice… prevention and treatment of milk allergy through the manipulation of the gastrointestinal flora.’

Right. So, our guts are fucked. And if we fix them, we get less sick.

5. ‘In particular, patients with psychologic disorders may attribute adverse reactions to milk ingestion. Physicians must also make their patients aware that cow’s milk allergy is not a frequent occurrence in adults, that cow’s milk intolerance is widespread and that thus milk allergy may not be the cause of their complaint’.

Mm.. except that the stomach to brain link is well-established. Like, in the myriad of studies on IBS and depression. And didn’t you just write in like, the body of every section of this document, that non-IgE mediated allergies are not well-understood, measured, tested or researched? So how can you say they’re not sick from milk?

6. ‘Adverse reactions to lactose are common, as most of the world population is lactase deficient. Treatment involves limiting the intake of fresh milk to the individually tolerated level.’

7. ‘In many cases, gastrointestinal food allergy remains undiagnosed or is classified as irritable bowel syndrome’

8. ‘Cow’s milk-induced proctocolitis syndrome is a relatively benign disorder resulting in low-grade rectal bleeding (usually flecks of blood) and occasionally mild diarrhea in an otherwise healthy infant.’

Milk makes our babies bellies bleed. Tell me again why we’re still talking about eating it?

9. ‘Cows milk allergy has been reported in 70% of children with chronic constipation.’

‘Claims for high-level evidence studies to clarify the physiological, immunologic, and biochemical relationships between constipation and cows milk allergy are missing’–

?? Huh? But didn’t you just say…

10. ‘Negative Oral Food Challenge expands dietary options and thereby nutrition and quality of life. It is also cost-sparing and reduces the use of special formula’…. ‘avoidance means meeting obstacles unshared by their nonallergic peers, thereby curtailing their quality of life’


11. ‘A negative “remission” challenge ends up with the open reintroduction of cow’s milk and dairy products. This represents for the patient an important step toward a “normal” personal and social life. However, many patients do not of themselves ingest the food and pursue an “unofficial” elimination diet. Reasons include fears of persistence of CMA, recurrent pruritus or nonspecific skin rashes after ingesting milk. After a negative challenge, however, a patient with CMA should not be lost to medical monitoring, to prevent such untoward eliminations’


‘The WAO Special Committee on Food Allergy is supported through unrestricted educational grants from various charities and companies that are representative of the food industry: Danone, Heinz, Ordesa, Nestle Nutrition, Dico-farm, and Invest for Children’.

Fuck this shit. I’m out.


‘The mother will require calcium supplements while on a dairy-free diet’… That should’ve given it away.

Oh, and:

‘In the developed world, other milks can never constitute the treatment of choice for Cow’s Milk Allergy. Camel’s milk can be considered a valid substitute for children after 2 years. Equine milks can be considered as valid CM substitutes, in particular (but not exclusively) for children with delayed-onset CMA’.

Horse milk, anyone?


Man-made foods.

‘A burger made with lab-grown meat will be unveiled for the first time at a London event next month’.

This is just silly. And foolish. And irresponsible. And ill-fated.

Everytime man thinks he can improve on nature, he effs everything up. And this is taking it up a level, to solve a problem using the same means which got us into the current food and health situation. The human, societal and health ramifications of this are likely to be immense. They are unfathomable, and it is highly unlikely they will be constructive. Humans are attempting to negotiate a not negotiable situation: Ownership of the growing of their food.

I understand your desire to reduce animal suffering, and I respect that, but I believe you would be trading it for human suffering in the longterm, and I think that is worse, because it will in turn cause more planetary suffering in general. Sick humans cannot govern a healthy planet. What is happening with factory farming and chronic, preventable disease is not okay. This will, however, create a whole new set of problems, without even necessarily solving the current problems. Everyone won’t accept this. And whatever ‘real’ meat is still farmed, will still be farmed as economically as possible, within a capitalist society. A deeper overhaul is instead required.  This is a band-aid solution. It doesn’t heal anything. I’d prefer to have people either take responsibility for their food (and their health), by growing and killing their own animals for consumption only a few times a week, or be vegetarian or vegan.

Just because it is natural doesn’t mean it’s good, no. Like women dying during childbirth. But is much that is unnatural proved to be good? Or without unforeseen cost and consequence? I am passionate about animal rights, and the environment, but also about human health. Every time science has come up with a way to ‘feed the world, cheaply’ which isn’t for people to take their own responsibility for what the eat, it’s disastrous. Like processed meat causing cancer. Or homogenization and pasteurization contributing to milk allergies and lactose intolerance. Or pesticide use creating deformed babies. Or processed food causing diabetes. Or high fructose corn syrup causing an obesity epidemic and lowered life expectancy. (The list goes on and on…). Science would demand facts, but ‘scientific fact’ ≠ wise. Science only ever sees one segment of a given reality at a time. The ‘facts’ of fact-ory farming created the current environmental and health problems in the first place. (Like, science saying that it would be okay to cramp animals together and use antibiotics to control infection. Or to make them grow unnaturally fast and ‘meaty’, which means with more saturated fat, less omegas and vitamin D, which means more cardiovascular disease). Science gives us the isolated ‘facts’, and reason and ethics give us the decisions. Reason tells me this is not good. Ethics tells me this is not good. We’re creating science fiction monsters.

Humans generally get ill in some shape or form when they eat anything not as nature intended. Our society shows me that. It is ethically wrong not to exercise the cautionary principle. We can’t know the generational effects, and they may be irreversible. It’s unnecessary, and reckless. Humans are missing the point and not learning from their mistakes.  All of the man made foods make people sick. Why would this be any different?

Here’s a better idea.


As in: my friend came round to my house and couldn’t understand why I had a pair of earphones which only partly worked sitting in my to-give-away pile and not in the bin. As in, the man at the Holden dealership washes every car in the lot in any given 2 day period, over the grate in the yard which says ‘drains to ocean’. As in, I went jogging and the bay was bubbly, and the fish shop’s floor bleach was sudsing directly into the harbour. As in, someone gave me a lip balm, I opened it and didn’t like it, and now the second hand shop can’t sell or give it away. Rubbish, as in, my veggies come tied with rubber bands each week (Wanted: loving home for over-flowing jar of various size and coloured elastic).

Clothes with holes in them. Pens, mobile phones, memory cards, cameras and hard-drives that don’t work.
Outdated books. Worn out shoes. Rusty bikes. Broken bamboo strainers. Rusty frypans. Empty jars (for the love of god..)

Old toothbrushes, razors, dental floss. LANDFILL. What else, where else, can they go?

I am in the uncomfortable position of having things I needed or was given, which I no longer need, or can no longer use. They accumulate in a pile, which I end up resignedly throwing in the bin. If I have to.

The empty boxes that rings come in. Bubble wrap. Gourmet plastic bags (you know the ones). Normal plastic bags. Wrapping paper. Mail bags, mail boxes. Styrofoam padding. The twine and ribbon that comes on new clothing. Scraps of material. URGH. Reduce, reuse, recycle, right? Well, HOW? Cos shit is just accumulating.

Community would help. People in other places are buying bubble wrap, and boxes, and elastic bands. Society Fail.