Last Sunday, Diana and I held a gelato and sorbet tasting at our home. We served four sorbets and five flavors of gelato. I recently acquired a new Italian gelato machine and was eager to share some of my favorite creations with a small group of our Marketplace dinner friends.
The freshly made sorbet flavors were, moro blood orange, pink grapefruit,mango and meyer lemon. The nut based gelato flavors were, espresso,vanilla almond, orange chocolate mousse, fig anise and peanut-chocolate swirl. Judging by the positive response from all of the participants, it was clear that nobody missed the traditional cream and egg based desserts.
Many of the participating individuals had some issue with dairy consumption. This is not too surprising since world wide about 75% of the population has some physiological decrease, or complete loss of the ability to produce lactase, which is the enzyme that breaks down lactose. North American Asians, Native Americans and African Americans have the highest levels of lactase nonpersistence, while North American Caucasians and Hispanics have the lowest levels.
Since milk is not necessary for humans after the age of weaning, it is clear that consuming the milk of a plant consuming animal is not the most efficient way of obtaining our calcium needs. There is some evidence that milk protein may increase the risk of some types of cancers, particularly prostate and ovarian. Many children are also at increased risk for ear infections and allergies due to the heavy consumption of milk products.
The National Dairy Council and the International Dairy Foods Association are some of the most powerful trade lobby groups in the country. Their “Got Milk” program has been one of the most successful advertising campaigns in marketing history, all to the detriment to the health of the country.
Finally, there is the ethical issue of the inhumane treatment of hundreds of millions of dairy cows who lead a horrific life. The current factory farming of our dairy cows has led to major environmental damage,with many groups implicating it as a major contributor to global warming.
Since all the nutrients in dairy products can be obtained from plant sources, one would have to be nuts to continue consuming dairy products.