Speaking of butter, how about milk? The dairy lobby is very powerful in North America. Its political clout and campaign contributions have the governments of both the United States and especially that of Canada eating out of its hand (literally), providing the dairy industry with price supports. Because of these price supports, in Canada cheese costs half again more than it does in the United States. The dairy lobby is also very cozy with the medical profession so licensed nutritionists constantly bombard us with "drink milk" and "cheese is good for you" propaganda.

And people naturally like dairy foods. They taste good and are fat-rich with a high satiety value. Dairy makes you feel full for a long time. Dairy is also high in protein; protein is hard to digest and this too keeps one feeling full for a long time. But many people, especially those from cultures who traditionally (genetically) didn't have dairy cows, particularly Africans, Asians and Jews, just do not produce the enzymes necessary to digest cows milk. Some individuals belonging to these groups can digest goats milk. Some can't digest any kind except human breast milk. And some can digest fermented milk products like yogurt and kiefer. Whenever one eats a protein food that is not fully digestible, it putrefies in the digestive tract, with all the bad consequences previously described.

But no one, absolutely no one can fully digest pasteurized cows milk, which is what most people use because they have been made to fear cow-transmitted diseases and/or they are forced to use pasteurized dairy products by health authorities. I suspect drinking pasteurized milk or eating cheese made from pasteurized milk is one of the reasons so many people develop allergic reactions to milk. Yet many states do not allow unpasteurized dairy to be sold, even privately between neighbors. To explain all this, I first have to explain a bit more about protein digestion in general and then talk about allergies and how they can be created.

Proteins are long, complex molecules, intricate chains whose individual links are amino acids. Proteins are the very stuff of life. All living protoplasm, animal or plant, is largely composed of proteins. There are virtually an infinite number of different proteins but all are composed of the same few dozen amino acids hooked together in highly variable patterns. Amino acids themselves are highly complex organic molecules too. The human body custom-assembles all its proteins from amino acids derived from digesting protein foods, and can also manufacture small quantities of certain of its own amino acids to order, but there are eight amino acids it cannot make and these are for that reason called essential amino acids. Essential amino acids must be contained in the food we eat. .

Few proteins are water soluble. When we eat proteins the digestive apparatus must first break them down into their water-soluble components, amino acids, so these can pass into the blood and then be reassembled into the various proteins the body uses. The body has an interesting mechanism to digest proteins; it uses enzymes. An enzyme is like the key for a lock. It is a complex molecule that latches to a protein molecule and then breaks it apart into amino acids. Then the enzyme finds yet another protein molecule to free. Enzymes are efficient, reusable many many times.

Enzymes that digest proteins are effective only in the very acid environment of the stomach, are manufactured by the pancreas and are released when protein foods are present. The stomach then releases hydrochloric acid and churns away like a washing machine, mixing the enzymes and the acid with the proteins until everything has digested.

So far so good. That's how its supposed to be. But. Dr. Henry Bieler, who wrote Food Is Your Best Medicine, came up with the finest metaphor I know of to explain how protein digestion goes wrong. He compared all proteins to the white of an egg (which is actually a form of protein). When raw and liquid, the long chains of albumen (egg white) proteins are in their natural form. However, cook the egg and the egg white both solidifies and becomes smaller. What has happened is that the protein chains have shriveled and literally tied themselves into knots. Once this happens, pancreatic enzymes no longer fit and cannot separate all the amino acids. Cooked proteins may churn and churn and churn in the presence of acid and pancreatic enzymes but they will not digest completely. Part becomes water soluble; part does not.

But, indigestible protein is still subject to an undesirable form of consumption in the gut. Various bacteria make their home in our airless, warm intestines. Some of these live on protein. In the process of consuming undigested proteins, they release highly toxic substances. They poison us.

What is true of the white of an egg is also true of flesh foods and dairy. Raw meat and raw fish are actually easily digestible foods and if not wrongly combined will not produce toxemia in a person that still has a strong pancreas. However, eating raw meat and fish can be a dicey proposition, both for reasons of cultural sensibility (people think it is disgusting) and because there may be living parasites in uncooked flesh that can attack, sicken and even kill people. It has been argued that a healthy stomach containing its proper degree of acidity provides an impenetrable barrier to parasites. Perhaps. But how many of us are that healthy these days? Cooked flesh and fish seems more delicious to our refined, civilized sensibilities, but are a poor food.

In my household we have no moral objection to eating meat. We do have an ethical objection in that meat eating does not contribute to our health. But still, we do eat it. A few times a year, for traditional celebrations we may invite the children over and cook a turkey. A few times for Thanksgiving when the children were going through their holier-than-thou vegetarian stage, I purchased the largest, thickest porterhouse steak I could find at the natural meat store and ate it medium-rare, with relish. It was delicious. It made me feel full for hours and hours and hours. I stayed flat on the couch and groggily worked on digesting it all evening. After that I'd had enough of meat to last for six months.

When milk is pasteurized, the proteins in it are also altered in structure. Not so severely as egg white is altered by cooking because pasteurization happens at a lower temperature. But altered none the less. And made less digestible. Pasteurizing also makes milk calcium far less assimilable. That's ironic because so many people are drinking milk because they fear they need more calcium to avoid osteoporosis and to give their children good teeth. What pasteurized milk actually does to their children is make them calcium deficient and makes the children toxic, provoking many colds, ear infections, sinusitis, inflammations of the tonsils and lung infections, and, induces an allergy to milk in the children.