Vegetarian Starter Kit - What About MIlk?

Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine

Iron-Deficiency: Milk is very low in iron. To get the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance of 15 mg of iron, an infant would have to drink more than 31 quarts of milk each day. Milk also causes blood loss from the intestinal tract, depleting the body’s iron.

Diabetes: Of 142 diabetic children tested in a recent study, 100 percent had high levels of an antibody to a cow’s milk protein. It is believed that these antibodies destroy the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas.

Calcium: Green leafy vegetables such as kale are as good or better than milk as calcium sources.

Fat Content: Other than skim varieties, dairy products are high in fat, as a percentage of total calories:

FAT CONTENT OF DAIRY PRODUCTS as a percentage of total calories

Fat percentage






Whole milk

“2%” milk

Cheddar cheese


* It is 2% fat only by weight.

Contaminants: Milk is frequently contaminated with antibiotics and excess vitamin D. Of 42 milk samples recently tested, only 12 percent were within the expected range of vitamin D content. Of ten samples of infant formula, seven had more than twice the vitamin D content reported on the label, and one had more than four times the label amount.

Lactose: Many people of Asian and African heritage are unable to digest the milk sugar, lactose, which then causes diarrhea and gas. The lactose sugar, when it is digested, releases galactose, a simple sugar which is linked to ovarian cancer and cataracts.

Allergies: Milk is one of the most common causes of food allergy. Often the symptoms are subtle and may not be attributed to milk for some time.

Colic: Milk proteins can cause colic, a digestive upset that bothers one in five infants. Milk-drinking mothers can also pass cow’s milk proteins to their breast-feeding infants.