Is milk gluten free?
Is milk gluten free? Plain milk, whether from cows, goats, sheep, or even raccoons, is gluten free. Regular milk, 2% milk, 1% milk, skim milk, half-and-half, and even heavy whipping cream are safe to eat on a gluten free diet. However, flavored milks and coffee creamers may not be safe. Always check the labels for ingredients which may contain gluten.
What about milk from grain-fed cattle?
There is some controversy about whether it’s safe to drink milk that comes from grain-fed cattle, due to this study which showed that small amounts of gluten were present in breast milk after women consumed gluten. If this concerns you, be sure that the milk you buy is from grass pastured cattle, or avoid dairy products altogether. Bear in mind that most commercial farms feed their cattle grains as well as giving them hormones and antibiotics. Currently, milk which is labeled organic requires that the cattle are grass pastured for 30% of their diet; the rest of the time they can be grain-fed with organic grain. (These cattle cannot be treated with hormones or antibiotics though.) I am always an advocate for locally grown food from small farms, and this seems like another good reason to support them.
If you choose to avoid grain-fed cattle products, remember that in addition to plain milk, this affects anything made with milk, such as cheese, ice cream, yogurt, butter, infant formulas, baked goods labeled gluten-free, and a whole host of processed foods made with milk products. These are all things you would be avoiding anyway if you are also eating a casein free diet.