I have a strange, yet severe, reaction to milk. It’s not just any milk, however, only milk produced conventionally in the United States. When I went to Australia in 2008, I ate a lot of yogurt in the mornings as that is the common type of protein they have there. No problems! I can have double cream in my coffee in London (yum!) with no affect whatsoever. Milk in the United States is a completely different experience. If I add the smallest pat of butter to a whole pot of rice and eat a few spoonfuls of it, the muscles in my hands and feet start to ossify. They turn to stone and all the tissues around them swell. It is incredibly painful and quite disabling.
After I returned from Australia, I decided to try adding yogurt to my diet here in the states, to disastrous effect. I became disabled and could not work for 6 weeks. It took my doctors and I months to figure out that milk was causing the problem. Once I removed all dairy from my diet, the swelling and pain slowly went away, leaving, unfortunately, scar tissue in the muscles.
Since that time, I’ve been trying to determine what in the milk could be causing this. I started by testing a bite of conventional cheese and noting my reaction to it over the next two weeks. (Yikes! That was all I could say.) Next, I added a raw-milk cheese to one serving of dinner and had no reaction over the next two weeks. I added an organic cheese and again nothing happened. I then repeated the organic cheese and I had a huge reaction. (What the heck?) It didn’t make any sense. Why would I react differently to the same organic cheese?
Then I read this article: http://www.dairyherd.com/dairy-news/latest/Holes-found-in-organic-milk-certification-141103203.html
According to a USDA study, organic milk can, at times, be contaminated by conventionally produced milk in transportation or processing. They are recommending better controls and more stringent inspections to assure consumers that organic really means organic. For some of us, this can’t come soon enough. One way to circumvent cross-contamination is to find an organic dairy that pasturizes their milk on the farm and sells to consumers directly.
In the meantime, I can use some raw and my organic coconut milk to ensure that I don’t get anything that can cause these problems to recur.