|By Robert Cohen Executive Director|
Harlem asthma survey said:
One Out of Four Harlem Kids Has Asthma "Many cases of asthma and sinus infections are reported to be relieved and even eliminated by cutting out dairy." Frank Oski, M.D., Chief of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Medical School Natural Health, July, 1994 _______________________________________________________ Saturday's Page One New York Times story (4/19/03) confirmed everything I've been writing since 1995. One out of four children in Harlem tests positive for asthma. Scientists were shocked by the latest data. According to the New York Times, that frequency of asthma is more than double the incidence rate which researchers expected to find. America's national average asthma rate runs about six percent, or nearly one out of seventeen. Scientists tested 2000 children under the age of 13 living in one 24-block New York City Harlem neighborhood and found that 25.5% of the kids had asthma. The researchers are clueless as to the cause, but have observed that the asthma rate has doubled since 1980. Geoffrey Canada, president of the Harlem Children's Zone, the study's sponsor, said: "This is a very poor community where a lot of the families have very troubled lives, with lots of stresses..." For many children, living in Harlem means living below the poverty level. USDA runs an anti-nutrition program called WIC (Women/Infants/Children). The foundation of WIC's food giveaway program is subsidized milk and dairy products, purchased at retail to bail out failing dairy farmers who have no other outlet for their surplus product. Our government also feeds 28 million school kids each day with their National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program (SBP). Those milk meal giveaways cost over 6 billion dollars per year, which does not include the cost of medical treatment for asthma attacks and asthma medicine. In attempting to explain exploding asthma rates, the New York Times article reports: "Some of the worst triggers, studies have found, are most prevalent in poor communities, including the feces of cockroaches and dust mites, cigarette smoke and mold and mildew. Harlem, East Harlem and the South Bronx also have a heavy concentration of diesel bus and truck traffic, and the tiny particles in diesel exhaust are thought to be another serious asthma trigger." Environmental considerations are all very important, of course, and everybody wants more than one breath of fresh air each day, but not one of the factors cited by the Times has doubled since 1980. One factor, though, not considered by researchers, has more than tripled. In 1980, the average American was eating just ten pounds of cheese per year. Today, the average American consumes thirty-one pounds of cheese. Eighty percent of milk and cheese protein is casein. When casein is isolated from milk, it becomes the glue to adhere a label to a bottle of beer. Casein is the glue used to hold together wood in furniture. When a child living in Harlem eats cheese or ice cream, this allergy-causing milk protein triggers the production of histamines, which in turn create mucus. Sometimes, the reaction takes as long as 12 hours. Tonight's slice of pizza may trigger tomorrow's asthma attack. Asthma is not the only result. Milk hormones interfere with a child's ability to learn. It is a wonder that only one out of four kids living in poverty have asthma. Perhaps the other three are fortunate enough to be severely lactose intolerant, and avoid complimentary bovine secretions like the plague. Ninety-five percent of African-Americans cannot tolerate lactose. Pizza and ice cream taste delicious on the way into their bodies. Lactose is a sugar and most people need the enzyme lactase to break down lactose into glucose and galactose. Intact, this sugar is broken down in the intestines by bacteria and the results are gas, bloating, and intestinal distress. Milk contains powerful hormones. Rates of sexual maturity in children are astounding endocrinologists and behavioral psychologists. A recent study revealed that eighty percent of nine-year-old African-American girls have developing breasts. Children are becoming overweight at an early age. By eating high caloric food with growth hormones and saturated animal fat, the body has a way of listening to the signals of those chemical messengers: Grow! One out of five children has Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). A recent study in the Journal of Autism linked ADD with a milk protein, casomorphin. Herman Mitchell, an asthma researcher and epidemiologist, has this comment regarding the shocking Harlem asthma data: "This is certainly one of the highest rates attributed in the United States, if not the highest." With that inspiring comment, I decided to take advantage of a lull in New York City's perpetual traffic jam. Easter Sunday afforded such an opportunity. It would not be practical for me to enter the schools and follow 2000 kids, but I could perform my own completely unbiased observation of Harlem. I drove from my New Jersey home to the 125th exit off of the West Side Highway, and soon found myself in "the hood." Our New Jersey neighborhood has one pizzeria, and we once had an ice cream store, but it closed for lack of business in January of this year. We have cigarette smokers, mice, and insects, but there is no WIC service in our school systems. Little or no poverty can be found in Oradell, New Jersey. No subsidized daily dairy overdoses for our children. Dairy is a major part of Harlem's in-school food culture. That same bad habit has become an addiction of the streets. The study area was bounded by 116th Street, 123rd Street, Fifth Avenue and Eighth Avenue. There were just too many dairy outlets to count. I took notes as I drove, and gave up on 116th Street. I found Domino's Pizza, and Baskin Robbins Ice Cream. Krispy Kreme Donuts and fast food franchises serving shakes and cheeseburgers. As I drove through the streets, I observed hundreds upon hundreds of quick-fix dairy foods providing after school treats. The poorest children in America begin their day at schools with milk and cereal for breakfast. Snack time provides chocolate milk and cookies. Lunch means macaroni and cheese or pizza. The casein within the mozzarella cheese and cheddar insures poor digestion, and sets into motion a reaction by which the bronchioles of a child's lungs clog with mucus. Here is what happened to one very famous American who lived and died by the milk mustache. Flo Jo choked on her body fluids, dying from an asthma attack. Her autopsy: http://notmilk.com/deb/flojoms.html
Robert Cohen, author of: MILK A-Z
Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dairy Education Board
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