BREAD AND MILK: FRIEND OR FOE?
WHY OUR FAVORITES ARE NOT BEING TOLERATED BY MANY
Traditionally, bread and milk have been regarded as nourishing staples of many diets world-wide. As a point of reference, the Bible often refers to Jesus as “The Bread of Life” and to the Holy Land as “The Land of Milk and Honey,” solidifying the perception that bread and milk are indeed “God-given” foods. However, in our modern times, many people find that they need to avoid bread and dairy or go on a gluten-free diet to maintain their health. It is important to explore why people are no longer tolerating these dietary mainstays and what can be done to obtain and prepare them in a manner that is nourishing to our bodies.
HOW TO OBTAIN THE MOST HEALTH BENEFITS FROM FOOD
There are three key reasons that we are no longer tolerating foods that were health-giving for our parents and grandparents. First, vaccination is undoubtably one of the major causes of our modern hypersensitivity to various foods. In addition to not tolerating bread and milk well, many people now find that they have an allergic reaction (or histamine reactions) to fruits and other foods, especially those containing any trace of mold. The Mawson study, which compared health outcomes in vaccinated and unvaccinated children, found that vaccinated children were at least 30 times more likely to struggle with allergies than their unvaccinated siblings. Aluminum, which is in most childhood vaccines, is routinely administered to mice to create models of allergic reaction. Some historical researchers claim that prior to the onset of vaccination, there was no mention of allergic conditions in the historical medical literature. It may be possible to reduce these allergy-type reactions. Dr. Chris Exley has demonstrated that an easy way to help detox the body of aluminum is to drink high-silica water (often from volcanic sources), such as Fiji brand water.
The second reason people do not tolerate milk and bread is because their microbiome, the bacteria in their gut that helps digest food, has been compromised by toxic chemicals in the food and the overuse of antibiotics. Bacteria produce proteins called enzymes that help us digest and absorb nutrients from our food. If the gut doesn’t have the proper balance of bacteria, food is not broken down and absorbed properly. Imbalances in gut bacteria also lead to a condition called “leaky gut,” where particles of our food slip through cracks in the intestinal lining and into our bloodstream. When we suffer from “leaky gut,” particles of food that make it into our bloodstream create an allergic reaction in our bodies every time we eat. This immune activation causes inflammation in the body that is often experienced as brain fog, lethargy, and sometimes hives or rashes. To restore a healthy microbiome, one can eat fermented foods (yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles) and take probiotics. Gut expert Sabin Hazan has found that COVID and the COVID vaccines have been particularly hard on gut health and that bifidobacteria are a strain of bacteria that are important to restore following the pandemic. Make sure to check labels to ensure the product you are using includes bifidobacteria.
The third reason many people do not tolerate milk and bread is because these foods are not eaten in their most digestible state. Milk and bread both contain large proteins that are hard for the body to digest. In milk, this protein is casein. While many people do not tolerate the most prevalent forms of casein present in milk, they are able to tolerate less prevalent variants of casein, such as A2 casein. Some manufacturers specialize in procuring cows that produce milk with the better tolerated A2 casein, and “A2 Milk” can be found in the refrigeration section of many supermarkets.
NATURAL FOOD IS HEALTHIER
Historically, people may have tolerated milk better because they drank raw, unpasteurized milk. Raw milk contains certain enzymes that easily digest casein. However, most milk is heated (pasteurized) in a way that destroys the digestive power of these enzymes. Obtaining high-quality, clean, raw milk (from animals eating an organic diet) is one way to ensure that the milk is digestible and that the nutrients are properly absorbed. The Weston A Price Foundation tells us that “raw milk is an important source for nutrients like fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K2; vitamin C; all the B vitamins, especially vitamins B2, B6 and B12; and minerals like calcium, phosphorus and zinc as well as essential trace minerals. Levels of these vitamins will be higher if the cow is on pasture eating green grass.” Many of these vitamins, especially Vitamin C, Vitamin D and their co-factors, are destroyed by heating (pasteurization). Raw milk is high in bifidobacteria and contains components that do not allow pathogenic bacteria to persist and grow in it. The milk of goats is generally considered to be more digestible than cow’s milk and can be more appropriate for small children that are no longer nursing.
Bread contains proteins that are very difficult for the body to digest. Historically, these proteins (glutenin and gliadin) were broken down during the fermentation of bread prior to baking. In fact, the process by which bacteria and yeast break down these proteins is what produces the gas that causes bread to rise. However, in the modern practice of baking bread, yeast is fed sugar instead of being allowed to break down the bread dough itself. This is done to speed up the process of getting the bread to rise. This short cut has resulted in bread that is more difficult to digest and more likely to contribute to “leaky gut” and other gut problems. The fermentation of bread ensures that glutenin and gliadin proteins are properly broken down for easiest digestion and for the best absorption of nutrients. Acids and antioxidants created during the fermentation process help to keep sourdough bread fresher longer than normal breads without adding chemical preservatives. During the process of fermentation, bacteria/yeast also create additional vitamins and nutrients that become part of the bread. An excellent resource for learning how to make your own sourdough bread comes from a cookbook by Ken Forkish called Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza. The bacterial cultures (sold as freeze-dried packets) that are necessary for proper fermentation can be obtained at the website “Cultures for Health.” This website is also an excellent informational resource for those who wish to learn how to make sourdough bread, make cheese, and ferment vegetables.
Our modern ways are not always better. Obtaining the knowledge of the benefits of pure raw milk and cultivating traditional bread-making skills are ESSENTIAL to the cultivation of the health of our families.