Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cow Colostrum - A Bit Wrong?

Is it just me, or is drinking cow colostrum a bit, well, icky?

The antibody and growth-factor packed first milk is the latest performance enhancing supplement for daft cyclists (including Olympic silver medallist Gustav Larsson).

I know it's really no different to drinking cow's milk, but I just can't get away from the feeling that it's a bit wrong. I mean, aren't the super antibodies and growth factors designed for cows not humans? And what about the poor calves?

If it's not speed then it's EPO. If it's not EPO then it's caffeine. Those cyclists just can't get enough of their freaky supplements. And if you're not a cycling fan, you will probably have no idea what I'm talking about.

Cow colostrum. Not for me thanks.


Lisa - edenwild said...

That IS weird. My first thought was "what about the little calves who aren't getting it?" Because, as we know, colostrum only comes out for a limited amount of time. I dunno, seems wrong to me.

Joe said...

Ditto Lisa, and also: eww. I would be concerned about the types of growth factors and antibodies I'd be getting too.

Just in case I grow a tail, ya know... :)

Different species function differently, and can't just be interchangeable left and right. Cats eat raw mice, but if WE did, I betcha we'd be heck of sick.

Melodie said...

I just heard about this too. The person who told me called it bovine colostrum, but whatever. Same gross difference. Where do people find this? Health food stores, vitamin shops, regular grocery shops? I can't imagine. Oh well - I certainly won't be buying any.

Earthenwitch said...

Ick. Just... ick. And yes - what about the calves?

If colustrum is so great (and of course it is), why aren't we promoting drinking the HUMAN version as adults? :)

Cave Mother said...

Cycling Weekly has adverts for it. You can get it mail order - though I bet Holland & Barrett will be stocking it soon! It comes from New Zealand. I won't be letting Cave Father buy any.

Amanda said...

I don't know. Doesn't seem any weirder than drinking cows' milk. If drinking non-human milk doesn't ick you out in the first place, drinking colostrum shouldn't.

As for the calves getting enough. My understanding is that colostrum is a supply and demand deal just like milk. Calves are fed first to their satisfaction and then extra colostrum is harvested for sale.

Earthenwitch and Joe: There are quite a few folks who think humans shouldn't be drinking non-human milk at all. And then there are the goat milk fans. Goats milk is actually the closest to human milk in it's make-up. Much better for you than cow's milk, but I just can't get by the, well, goat flavor!

Anonymous said...

For all those worried about the calves - sadly, today most dairy industries take calves away from their mothers on their first day after birth. So just like the milk, the colostrum from dairy farms unfortunately wouldn't go to the calves anyway. Also, cows generally have only one calf per pregnancy, and all the male calves (or "bobby calves", which are not wanted in a dairy farm) are either killed or sent to "finishing farms" from day 1 (as letting the cow bond would only stress it even more when the calf is removed). I used to work as an environmental consultant in New Zealand and our main clients were from the dairy sector - one farmer explained to me that they would only ever keep a bobby calf in the farm if it was very exceptional and looked like it would make a great bull (and they only used two bulls for hundreds of cows, so that was probably a very rare occasion). This article has some interesting info: