It’s ironic that when most of us think “calcium,” we think milk, particularly cows’ milk. Why is that? Because from a young age, we’ve been told that milk makes strong bones. “It does a body good.” This is ironic, because researchers have found that the countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis—including the US and Scandinavian countries—are also the places where people consume the most cows’ milk.
So what’s the take away? Consider where grown cows get their calcium. We don’t see them nursing on their mothers once they’re past the age of weaning. Once they are old enough for solid food, they go to the place where minerals are, the earth. They eat grass. We can go to the earth for our calcium too in the form of plant foods like collard greens, kale, Swiss chard, beans, rhubarb, okra, broccoli, peas, Brussels sprouts, seeds, and almonds.
What’s even more ironic after all of these years of being told that cows’ milk is a miracle food in terms of calcium, most dairy cows these days are not grazing on green grass. They’re in feed lots. (When we see cows in grassy fields nowadays, they’re generally “beef cattle.”) Since they’re not in the fields eating calcium-rich grass, their feed is now supplemented with calcium instead. So let’s think about those resources. We’re impregnating a cow, taking her child, feeding her and supplementing her diet, so that she can produce calcium-rich milk when instead we could just supplement our diets ourselves with the aforementioned plant foods and cut out the middle-cow.