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Wednesday, 25 May 2016



Cow's milk first became part of the human diet in the west 10,000 years ago in what is now Afghanistan and Iran. However it was an unreliable source of drink as cattle roamed wild and had to be caught before they could be milked.

Girl milking a cow by hand. By Jonathunder - Wikipedia Commons
The people of Mesopotamia, who dwelled in the Tigris and Euphrates river valleys, began rearing their own goats around 8000 BC, which provided a source of milk for them to drink.

By 6000 BC, domesticated cows could be found in Greece and Crete after wild cattle were attracted to the fields of grain and robbed the locals of their food. Captured and bred they are were farmed both for their meat and their milk.

Drinking milk used to be considered a luxury by the ancient Greeks and by the Romans.

Roman Emperor Nero's second wife, Poppaea, kept 500 asses to provide milk for her bath.

Louis Pasteur developed pasteurization for beer more than 20 years before he did it for milk.

In 1900 more than half of London's dairies were owned by Welsh people, and much of the milk supply set off from Wales each morning by train - hence the nickname for an early train, the 'milk train.'

Henry Ford once proposed that milk be made synthetically. The American businessman believed that dairy cows are inefficient and unsanitary, which probably harked back to his childhood milking cows on his fathers farm.

Drinking milk in Germany in 1932 By Bundesarchiv, Wikipedia Commons

Electric milk floats first went into service in London in 1932. Built by T H Lewis for Express Dairies they served the Highgate and Kenton depots.

A court ruling in 1973 barred the UK dairy company Unigate from delivering beer along with milk.

In the U.S the FDA approved bovine growth hormone, a controversial additive used to boost milk production in 1993 However in the European Union, a moratorium was placed on its sale. Injected into dairy cattle, the product could increase milk production by anywhere from an average of 10% up to 40%.


Cows produce 90 per cent of the world's milk needs.

Saudi Arabia opened the world's first commercial dromedary dairy in Riyadh in 1986, selling camel milk at £1.20 a litre.

Whale milk is so fatty that it has the consistency of toothpaste.

Hippo milk is pink.

Steamed milk's hydrophobic molecules—the proteins and fats that don't interact with water—are what create latte foam.

Buttermilk doesn't contain any butter. It's usually a simple recipe containing lemon juice, white vinegar and milk.

Chocolate milk was invented in Jamaica.

The fattiest milk in the world is produced by the hooded seal, which is about 60% fat. For comparison, cow's milk is about 3.5% fat.

The skimmest milk in the world comes from the black rhinoceros, with a fat content of about 0.2%.


Scientists have discovered from 8,000-year-old skeletons that our European forefathers had no lactase, the enzyme which makes milk tolerable to humans. Drinking it would have caused them to develop rashes, flatulence and violent diarrhea. Yet some Europeans rapidly became lactose-tolerant, a huge advantage at the time as water was rank. Today 90% of Northern Europeans have the enzyme, but 80% of Southern Europeans still do not.

Today the ability of humans to digest milk as an adult, is only common among North Europeans and those of North European ancestry, as a unique mutation. Most of the global population, including 90% of Asians and 100% of Native Americans, have some degree of lactose intolerance.

In almost all mammals, milk is fed to infants through breastfeeding,. The early milk from mammals is called colostrum and it contains antibodies that provide protection to the newborn baby as well as nutrients and growth factors. The makeup of the colostrum and the period of secretion varies from species to species.

A goat kid feeding on its mother's milk. By Fir0002 - Wikipedia Commons

Milk can relieve a spicy mouth because milk contains casein, which pulls capsaicin molecules off of flavor receptors and dissolves them.

Buffalo milk has 25 per cent more protein than cow's milk.

Greece is the only country in Europe that has legislation to determine the permitted shelf life for milk, which is five days.


A cow can produce 25 gallons of milk per week.

More than 600 million tons of milk are produced each year worldwide, which is about equal to the mass of hydrogen burnt by the Sun every second.

Due to overproduction, American dairy farmers dumped more than 43 million gallons of milk into their fields in the first eight months of 2016. That is enough to fill 66 Olympic swimming pools.

A Turk called Ilker Yilmaz holds the world record for squirting milk the farthest distance from his eyes, managing a distance of 9ft 2in (279 cm). He does this by breathing milk through the nose and relies on a duct that links the eyes and nose.

A pint of milk in a supermarket can contain milk from over a thousand different cows.

Bagged milk is a real thing that is commonly found in the grocery stores of Quebec and the Maritimes, in Canada.

The American Sign Language for "pasteurized milk" is the sign for "milk" while moving your hand past your eyes .

Source Daily Express, Daily Mail

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