Dairy; “Beware the Sacred Cow,” by Nigel Richardson

Nigel with Kate, his adorable six year old granddaughter---who is quoted in the dairy piece below.

Meet my good friend Nigel Richardson—born British, now an American citizen living in Atlanta. Having met as colleagues in the same consulting firm, I have known Nigel for forty years. In 2004, we realized that we had both started down a similar path of plant-based nutrition and had been learning from the same experts: Fuhrman, McDougall, Campbell and others. Since then we have collaborated often.

Nigel recently accompanied me on a visit with Dr. Campbell in Ithaca and is now enrolled in Colin’s Plant-Based Nutrition Course at Cornell. With a large family of siblings, children and grand-children, he occasionally prepares newsletters to help them all learn the truth about what they should be eating. For more about Nigel, you can read about him on page 45 of our book. Here is his latest work, prepared last week, with bibliography included at the end. Also included on this page is a special 80-minute video by Dr. Walter J. Veith—“Udderly Ridiculous.” Scroll to just below Nigel’s bibliography.

If you’d like to send Nigel a note, his email address is provided below his comprehensive 14-point piece (See Deming link below) about the mighty dairy industry.

Nigel’s Nutritional Newsletter

Beware the Sacred Cow

1. Dairy Products: All dairy products – which include milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, cream, ice cream, sour cream, whey, etc. – are dangerous and should be avoided. Even skim milk (5% of calories from fat) comes loaded with cholesterol and a variety of toxins. Other than taste, there is no reason to consume milk and many reasons not to.

2. Some get it right: others don’t: “There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies.” Churchill; “A land flowing with milk and honey” The Bible; “Milk, it does a body good” Dairy Industry ad; “Milk is bad for you and has carcinogens in it.” Kate, our six year old granddaughter while on a trip to a dairy farm. It is the only quote that is accurate and useful.

3. The Opposition: Second only to meat, the most commonly held dietary belief is that dairy is essential for good health. The view is supported by the US dietary guidelines that recommend the consumption of dairy products and a federal mandate that requires that school children are given milk daily.  With such apparent respect, how could dairy products be other than beneficial? Simply put, organizations that have a commercial interest in dairy foods have been able, through their funds, marketing capabilities,  strong lobbying  clout and  ability to insinuate themselves onto key committees, to divert the truth  to the disadvantage of consumers. Is their case scientifically valid? A few facts:

4. Top of the class: some class: Because milk is essentially liquid meat, it has all the negatives associated with eating animal products, such as increased fat, protein and cholesterol with the attendant heart disease, cancer and stroke risks. Dairy contributes more to heart disease, stroke and cancer than any other food.  As these three, plus medical problems stemming from medical procedures, drugs, etc., are the top four causes of death in the US, it is amazing that more is not done to curb consumption.

5. Cheese and cousin butter: Cheese consumption in the US has doubled in the past thirty years. Cheese has more saturated fats and more substances that contain hormones than any other food and the incidence of hormonally generated cancers, such as breast and prostate, has increased accordingly. Cheese and cousin butter are more dangerous to the health of the US than smoking and any other food.

6. Calamitous calcium: Calcium from an animal source is the sine qua non of the Dairy Industry; without it and its effective absorption to support bone health, it has little reason for being. In the US we consume about twice the daily intake recommended by the WHO.  If this were benign, we could dismiss it as inconsequential.  But it isn’t.  Studies testify to its destructive qualities when the source is animal based; increased calcium in the blood may cause anything from joint and muscle pain to irregular heart beat and coma; consumption of animal based dairy products, particularly at a younger age, is associated with an increased risk of hip fracture and breast cancer later, and on and on.

7. Osteoporosis is lower elsewhere: The countries – US, UK, Sweden et al – with the highest milk consumption are also those with the most osteoporosis and bone fracture in later life, while those with low milk consumption – Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan et al – have lower rates; this is the complete antithesis of the popularly held belief that we need milk to build strong teeth and bones. As our diet, of which milk is a part, is animal based, we put ourselves at risk for osteoporosis.  Animal protein is acidic, and the process of digestion and absorption thrives in a neutral environment; to buffer the acid, the system leaches alkali from the bones, thus weakening them. As if that weren’t enough, about 80 % of the protein in milk, casein, is a carcinogen.

8. Dairy makes us fat: Contrary to Industry claims that dairy makes us trim, it actually makes us fat. It is high in calories because its principal purpose is to turn a sixty pound calf into a six hundred pound cow in a couple of years, which it does well.  Hence the adage that milk is good for cows, but not for humans.

9. Lactose intolerance is no fun: Many people are lactose intolerant and unable to digest this milk sugar, causing gastrointestinal upsets.  In addition, dairy protein may cause food allergies in some people, producing asthma, colds, runny noses and ear infections.

10. A weak fortification: Vitamin D is added to milk, but in inadequate amounts for people to reach the required levels. The requirement can easily be met in southern climates by 15 minutes per day of exposure to the sun three or four times per week.

11. Autoimmune disasters: With autoimmune diseases – multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and about forty others – the immune system attacks itself.  There appear to be four possible causes- the immune system, environment, infectious diseases and genes, but nothing has been proven. One theory points to the presence of a virus in milk, but, again, there is no certainty.

12 Your daily dose of toxins: In this dismal diatribe against dairy deficiencies are the toxins and infectious agents, which point to a virus that causes leukemia (Bovine Leukemia Virus) and lymphoma in humans.

13. Partial protection: Pasteurization, unlike sterilization, does not protect us, but it does reduce the risk of disease.

14. Let’s get high: And something that is probably as new to you as it was to me. Digesting casein produces casmorphins, which, particularly for cheese, activate the same receptors as morphine.  So we crave dairy, especially in cheese, because we are addicted to it. No wonder we are reluctant to give it up!

—–Nigel Richardson, nigelr@mindspring.com


  1. Neal Barnard, MD: Program for Reversing Diabetes. Associate professor of medicine, G. Washington U.
  2. T. Colin Campbell, PhD: The China Study. Emeritus professor of nutritional biochemistry, Cornell
  3. Caldwell Esselstyn, MD: Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. Wellness Institute of the Cleveland Clinic
  4. Joel Fuhrman MD: Eat to Live and Disease Proof Your Child. Family physician, New Jersey
  5. J. Morris Hicks: Healthy Eating, Healthy World. Writer, blogger, speaker & consultant, Connecticut.
  6. Alona Pulde MD and Matthew Lederman MD: Keep It Simple, Keep It Whole. Physicians, L.A.

Speaking of 14 points, the great Dr. W. Edwards Deming produced a list of 14 points on the transformation of industry that changed the world. Take a look.

On 2-19-11, I added another feature to this page, an 80-minute video by Dr. Walter J. Veith, entitled Udderly Amazing. This video supports everything that Nigel has stated above.

Want to receive some occasional special news from us? You may wish to join our periodic mailing list. Also, for help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4Leaf page.

If you’d like to order our book on Amazon,  visit our BookStore now.

J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

And if you like what 4Leaf eating is doing for you and your family, you might enjoy visiting our new “4Leaf Gear” store. From the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com

SHARE and rate this post below…One more thing, occasionally an unauthorized ad may appear beneath a blog post. It is controlled by WordPress (a totally free hosting service). I do not approve or personally benefit whatsoever from any ad that might ever appear on this site. I apologize and urge you to please disregard.

J. Morris Hicks -- Member of the Board of Directors -- Click image to visit the foundation website.

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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2 Responses to Dairy; “Beware the Sacred Cow,” by Nigel Richardson

  1. Arthur Brooke says:

    So far so good, but what about Type 1 Diabetes (see video by Dr John MacDougall) or Crohn’s
    disease, ( see article on paratuberculosis by Dr Michael Greger) or childhood ear infections, etc,
    etc. The suggestion that Crohn’s disease is the same as Johnes disease in (dairy)cattle was made almost exactly 100years ago, and is still being resisted or ignored! ab

  2. Bill K. says:


    Nigel is right on the money! (Or counter to the flow of money in Washington!)

    My only minor correction is regarding his point no. 13.

    His statement that Pasteurization reduces the risk of disease while true on the surface with the general “unhealthy” population is not really true for those with a strong lymph (immune) system.

    I have come to learn that there is no such thing as a bad germ. Germs and bacteria only come to where they are needed (where there is germ-food available). Thus, a toxic person will atract germs which will come and help clean them up. A clean person will not need the help thus germs do not stay.

    With regard to Milk (and also most other foods) pasteurization or heating will kill these helpful bacteria along with the other enzymes that help to break down the food chemically during digestion in the stomach. This makes it much more difficult for the body to get any value from the food as the body then has to produce these missing enzymes. If you had a grass fed milking cow in your back yard, drinking the milk directly from this cow would not be that harmful (but also not preferable dietarily) as fresh milk from a healthy cow is easier for your body to break down. Pasteurization completly alters the chemistry of Milk making it very bad to consume. For more info on the falacy of the germ theory a good start is at the following on-line article on Louis Pasteur: http://www.whale.to/a/b/pearson.html.

    Heating (cooking) also distroys the enzymes and chemistry of other foods as well. This is the primary reason that eating a low fat raw vegan diet works so well at giving a person greater levels of energy. Personally, I have eaten both cooked and raw vegan and I see a large difference in my personal energy on low fat raw. This is just a side note.

    This post is just a minor point in reference to a great note by Nigel.


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