“Breast is best.” But what if not possible, then what?


Jane E. Brody — New York Times

In a 7-23-12 New York Times article, veteran health and wellness columnist Jane E. Brody tackles the delicate topic of breast-feeding for human babies. While almost everyone believes that mother’s “breast is best,” there is a growing amount of controversy regarding the practicality in today’s world.

In this article (See link below), Ms. Brody does an admirable job of presenting all the latest evidence and opinions from around the world. (see link below). Who is Jane Brody? She is the journalist who wrote the famous “Grand Prix” article in 1990 about Dr. Campbell’s world-changing China Project.  And from her own website:

Jane E. Brody is the Personal Health columnist for The New York Times. She joined The Times as a specialist in medicine and biology in 1965 after completing degrees in biochemistry and science writing at The New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin School of Journalism, respectively, and a two-year stint as a reporter for the Minneapolis Tribune. Her award-winning column is published in The Times’s Science Times section every Tuesday and in many other newspapers around the country.

Ms. Brody is a much-sought-after speaker who lectures frequently to both lay and professional audiences on issues relating to health and wellness, including end-of-life preparation and care. Though no fanatic, when it comes to healthful living, she practices what she preaches, enjoying a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains along with fish, lean meats and poultry, and engaging in daily physical activity. 

I’m not ever surprised to see that last phrase about “healthy eating” that appears in almost every message that you will ever see from our meat and dairy loving system of health, wellness and food. That’s just the way it’s going to be—until we dispel the ubiquitous “protein myth.” The one about almost everyone believing that they truly “need” to consume animal protein to be healthy.

Even Dr. Spock learned the truth before he died — and he wrote about it in the final edition of his famous baby book. See the fifth link below.

Dr. T. Colin Campbell, the late Dr. Benjamin Spock, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and I would argue that we never “need” to eat ANY animal protein. The soul exception is when we are infants—and the absolute best food that we can consume is “animal protein, fat and carbohydrates” in the form of our mother’s milk. Before he died, Dr. Benjamin Spock concluded that cow’s milk was not good for humans at any age.

If not breast milk, then what? Well, that’s the main problem. If conditions do not permit a woman to breastfeed her babies, almost everyone seems to agree that infant formula is best. Jane even provided her own personal story on this topic:

Forty-three years ago, when my twin sons were born, the pressure to breast-feed exclusively for six months was not as strong as it is today. I nonetheless felt I had let them — and myself — down when this proved impossible. I had looked forward to feeding only breast milk for the six months of maternity leave my job allowed. But nature had a different plan.

Dr. and Mrs. Sears (askdrsears.com) agree with Jane that “breast is best.” Take a look at what Mrs. Sears has to say in this 46-second video.

Speaking of formula, I published an article awhile back on this topic. It included an analysis of the “contents” of the typical infant formula in the marketplace. I’m not sure what mothers should do if they can’t breastfeed, but it’s sad to think that this might be their only option.

Infant Formula—Yum, Yum

Be sure to check the ingredient list.

Have you taken a look at the ingredients list lately? It doesn’t matter which brand you’re looking at, they’re all pretty scary. Unable to breast feed your newborn?

Then find an enlightened registered dietitian or MD to help you work out a truly healthy way for you to feed that precious child. Here’s what most babies are getting today—and the collective impact on their future health is what I call “unknowable data.” Notice that the leading ingredient is from cow’s milk, which is unfit for human consumption at any age.

WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE (FROM COW’S MILK, ENZYMATICALLY HYDROLYZED, REDUCED IN MINERALS), VEGETABLE OILS (PALM OLEIN, SOY, COCONUT, AND HIGH-OLEIC SAFFLOWER OR HIGH-OLEIC SUNFLOWER), CORN MALTODEXTRIN, LACTOSE GALACTO-OLIGOSACCHARIDES*, AND LESS THAN 2% OF: POTASSIUM CITRATE, POTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, CALCIUM CHLORIDE, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE, SODIUM CITRATE, MAGNESIUM CHLORIDE, FERROUS SULFATE, ZINC SULFATE, SODIUM CHLORIDE, COPPER SULFATE, POTASSIUM IODIDE, MANGANESE SULFATE, SODIUM SELENATE, M. ALPINA OIL**, C. COHNII OIL***, SODIUM ASCORBATE, INOSITOL, CHOLINE BITARTRATE, ALPHA-TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, NIACINAMIDE, CALCIUM PANTOTHENATE, RIBOFLAVIN, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE, THIAMINE MONONITRATE, FOLIC ACID, PHYLLOQUINONE, BIOTIN, VITAMIN D3, VITAMIN B12, TAURINE, NUCLEOTIDES (CYTIDINE 5′-MONOPHOSPHATE, DISODIUM URIDINE 5′-MONOPHOSPHATE, ADENOSINE 5′-MONOPHOSPHATE, DISODIUM GUANOSINE 5′-MONOPHOSPHATE), ASCORBYL PALMITATE, MIXED TOCOPHEROLS, L-CARNITINE, SOY LECITHIN.

  • *A prebiotic fiber sourced from milk.
  • **A source of arachidonic acid (ARA).
  • ***A source of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

What’s a new mother to do? My recommendation is to take a look at the information below, do some research on your own, and then decide course of action is best for you and your growing family.

Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Diagnostic Survey. It takes less than five minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to jmorrishicks@me.com

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

For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4Leaf page or some great recipes at Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at jmorrishicks@me.com. Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

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Blogging daily at hpjmh.com…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation

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 “Breast is best.” But what if not possible, then what?

  1. Leo S. says:

    Another great post with many links. Even if the child is breastfed it still has the rest of its life ahead of it, and so do the parents and any siblings. Most people don’t consider the effects of dairy on their health. The goal of better health is a life-long process but it is well worth the effort. People are getting sicker at a younger age and may be interested in learning what they might do to stay well. The following video and the other four by Dr. Veith may give people the information they need to make lifestyle changes.

    https://hpjmh.com/video/udderly-amazing-by-dr-veith/

  2. Robert Thatcher says:

    The LaLeche League is also a great resource for new and soon-to-be mothers and fathers. My wife had trouble getting our first daughter to breastfeed (to “latch on”) because the hospital had given the baby some sugar water in a bottle. After many days of tears, a kind woman from the league came to our house, eased our minds, and offered useful tips. This was 20 years ago, but I assume they’re still at it today: http://www.lalecheleague.org/

    We appreciate your terrific blog, and look forward to it each morning along with a cup of coffee and a new video from Dr. Greger. At least with us, the good word about good health is spreading in the south.

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