The Calcium Calamity

By Gunnar Fairbairn

WANT Original Content

Over 6,000 years ago there is some evidence of human milking domesticated cows. This would mean that humans have been drinking milk for quite awhile. What allows human to break down these animal milks is a gene mutation. The people with mutation could gain the nutrients from the domesticated animal and therefore passed the gene on to their healthy children. In the United States this 6,000 year old tradition of drinking a domesticated animals milk has evolved. The cows are highly specialized to produce milk regularly, milk is pasteurized, hormones are used on the cows to make them grow faster, and machines milk the cows on an industrial level.

At some point along this chain of evolving milk the calcium nutrients had an adverse effect. Milk does support strong bones due to it calcium and some calories taken from consumption more and more people are lactose intolerant and the cow’s milk isn’t actually the best source of calcium anymore. The science and economics ripe for nut, other cattle, and grain milks to replace your standard cows milk.

The change could be seen easily in my progressively filling refrigerator with an ever-changing assortment of healthy foods. My mother was interested in the gluten free craze, the kale craze, and the organics boom. All of these changes have stuck as key parts of our home diet, but the milk changes. My mother needs to have some kind of milk in her coffee. She would always drink the 2% organic milk from the local store and I would drink the soy milk. I hated the taste of pure cow’s milk, but somehow loved this Soy Milk. Made from soy beans it had special properties including some natural extra estrogen milked in.

Many reports came out that estrogen in Soy Milk was small, but could it effect some people? Would it effect me and make me more feminine? This was part of what turned me off Soy Milk. After awhile it also just started tasting not as sweet. My mom refused to buy the sweeten versions of soy milk, which came in chocolate, vanilla, and various other blends. This Milk alternative had become some liquid milkshake that replace milk in your fridge. After that we stopped drinking it all together.

What came next seemed completely out there. My mother once again decided to try almond milk and so did I. We liked this milk derived from what other than almonds.

Photo Credit: Steven Wilke

About Grace Masback

Grace Masback, 17, aspires to give voice to the voiceless and holds the modest ambition of becoming the voice of Gen Z. Frustrated by the dearth of impactful platforms for teen journalists, she founded WANT, a news, sports, and entertainment website that aggregates the best in high school journalism from school newspapers and teen bloggers around the world (

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