In the above title, 'nutrition' is intended to mean the nutrients predominant in milk. (I'm not a biochemist; so I wrote this vaguely.) The Dietitians of Canada assert that everybody of ages 19-50 need 1000 mg of Calcium daily. Please omit all those foods (eg these)
from which the quantity needed to satisfy the Recommended Daily Allowance,
cannot be productively consumed.
It's unrealistic to eat daily 5 cups of collards, kale, yogurt; or 10 cups of turnip, etc...

Walter Willett MD (Michigan) MPH DPH (Harvard) and David Jenkins DPhil DM (Oxford).

[Source:] But there has been this general belief that we need to consume a lot of milk because that will prevent osteoporosis and fractures. Yet studies that have looked at milk and dairy consumption do not show that people who drink more cow’s milk have lower fracture risk.”

“Humans have no nutritional requirement for animal milk, an evolutionarily recent addition to the diet,” Willett and his co-author, David Ludwig, of Boston Children’s Hospital, wrote in an article published last September in the journal, JAMA Pediatrics.

This CBC program also doubts milk, and features Alissa Hamilton JD (Toronto) PhD (Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies) and Prof Douglas Goff MS PhD (Cornell)

Footnote: My fears of charlatanism and pseudoscience oblige me to include the postnomials, but sorry if they're excessive.

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    What nutrition are you referring to in the "calcium and nutrition"? Any specific elements?
    – JohnP
    Apr 23, 2015 at 19:48
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    Could you please also clarify which foods you don't want in the answer and what exactly makes them "impractical"? Apr 23, 2015 at 20:11
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    Why do you believe kale, peas, beans, sardines, figs, almonds, etc. are "too impractical to replace milk as a daily source of sufficient calcium and nutrition"? Apr 23, 2015 at 20:39
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    @anongoodnurse - Because of volume is what I got out of his text (10 cups of turnips).
    – JohnP
    Apr 23, 2015 at 21:50
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    @anongoodnurse - We should probably let him clarify, but I believe he is saying it's impractical to eat the volume necessary to get the 1000 minimum recommendation. Such as kale, you would need to eat 10 chopped cups to get 1000 mg.
    – JohnP
    Apr 23, 2015 at 22:08

1 Answer 1


If you are eliminating milk only, then many of the other dairy sources still hold true as valuable sources of calcium. For example, an 8 ounce serving of fruit yogurt has ~ 300mg of calcium. This would also allow for cheese, which is also in the neighborhood of 300 mg for a 1.5 ounce serving. This makes it fairly easy to avoid milk.

If you eliminate dairy, then your three best sources out of native food are going to be canned salmon, sardines and tofu. The salmon and sardines have calcium because they have the bones included. Tofu is ground up soybeans, and it has about 800mg of calcium per 1 cup. The canned fish is 200-300 depending on the size of the can/serving, etc.

However, what makes it easier is to add fortified foods to your list. A single cup of calcium fortified orange juice has 500mg of calcium. That gets you half way there, and if you make a turkey sandwich with enriched bread and throw on some kale you can easily get to your daily requirement.

If, however, you avoid enriched foods and all dairy, then you probably will need to either eat a lot of tofu or be prepared to eat a lot of varied foods. You can also consider supplements such as vitamins or similar.

For reference from a US based source, the University of California has a reference page on calcium in food, as does the National Institute of Health. Also, google will bring up nutritional information on foods when searched.

  • 2
    How would pre-modern, non-dairy, non-fish eating peoples ever have gotten enough calcium? If they didn't, were they any the worse for it? Jun 13, 2015 at 20:52

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