Health Notes #10

M A D Cow Disease

Animal protein, from cows and other domestic animals, often has disease germs. The latest one is Mad Cow disease. At first they thought that this would not affect humans, but their tune is changing since ten young people in England have developed and died from a variant of this disease. The brains of these young people looked like those of the infected cows, and they had been exposed to food (beef and milk) from mad cows.

This disease produces holes throughout the brain causing it to look like a sponge. Autopsies of Alzheimer's victims have found that 5.5% of the patients did not have Alzheimer's but died of destruction of the brain resembling Mad Cow disease.

Prions (pree'ons) are the infectious agents that produce the holes and are practically indestructible.

1. Boiling or baking does not kill them.
2. Autoclaving (superheated pressure steaming) does not kill them.
3. They survive ultraviolet light or X-rays.
4. Burying them for 3 years does not kill them.
5. They can stand 680O F.
6. Mad Cow disease is incurable.

Feeding cows with infected sheep to increase milk production started the whole disaster. It is still being practiced in the USA, but they are also adding to the cow feed infected cows that die of prions brain destruction.

The cow leukemia virus can also be transmitted. There is considerable evidence that human leukemia virus is a close relative to the cow leukemia. Both the cow and the human virus behave the same and infect the same blood cells. They both hide so that the virus particles or antibodies are not found in the peripheral circulation for months after the infection occurs.

If I were not a vegan vegetarian, the above information would make me very nervous about eating hamburgers or drinking cows milk! What are the alternatives?

There are several milk substitutes on the market today. Check your grocery stores and see what they carry. Soyagen, Better Than Milk, and Rice Dream are three choices.

We prefer to make our own for cereal and cooking. We have gotten over the habit of drinking with our meals because it dilutes the digestive juices so that they don't function as effectively.

Basic Nut Milk

1 c. water
1 c. nuts, raw cashews, or almonds
1-2 Tbs. honey
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla or almond flavoring
3 c. water

Blend all but the 3 c. water on high 1-2 min. until creamy. Stop blender and add remaining water. Blend briefly. Serve immediately or chill first.

Yield: 4-2/3 c.

Variations: May flavor with fresh fruit, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, etc. Blend fruit with the other ingredients.

Cashew-Pear Milk

1 c. water
1 c. raw cashew pieces
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c. canned pears

Blend all but last ingredient on high 1-2 min. until creamy. Add pears. Blend for 30 seconds more. Chill.

Yield: 4-3/4 c.

Maple Walnut Milk

1-1/2 c. water
3/4 c. toasted walnuts
2 Tbs. honey
2-1/4 tsp. maple flavoring
1/4 tsp. salt
2-1/2 c. water

Make as above adding 2-1/2 c. water last.

Yield: 4-3/4 c.

Strawberry Milk

1 c. water
3/4 c. raw cashew pieces
2 T. honey
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
2-3/4 c. strawberries
1-1/4 c. strawberries
2/3 c. apple juice concentrate

Blend all but 1-1/4 c. strawberries for 1-2 min. Add these berries and blend for 3-5 seconds. Pour into pitcher and serve. Use fresh or frozen berries.

Yield: 4 c.

Hint: Get creative and try some wild things getting your children in on the fun. Using frozen bananas or berries and less water will make delicious "smoothies" = sugar-free milk shakes.

Back to Health Note #9Health Notes IndexForward to Health Note #11