You can be unclear about who should get the credit if the question “Who invented Drinking milk?” is posed. We’ll talk about that. Unbelievably, for the majority of the estimated 150,000 years that humans have been on the planet, we have been able to drink milk. Naturally, young children consume milk, but at 6 or 7, their bodies start to lose the ability to produce lactase, the enzyme that breaks down the lactose sugar in milk.
According to archeological evidence, milk was used in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia as early as the Neolithic Revolution (8000 BCE). Because we have figured out how to use, develop, and invent from what we find around us, humans are a successful species. Because milk is good for our nutrition and longevity, we continue to consume it today. The fact that scientists have uncovered four distinct instances of genetic evolution in humans to digest milk is intriguing—and quite astonishing.
Calcium, protein, and vitamin D are just a few critical nutrients that may be found in milk. It is regarded by many as being essential to a balanced diet. Others, however, have a variety of justifications for not eating it. Cows, sheep, camels, goats, and a variety of other animals are sources of milk and milk products. Soy milk, almond milk, flax milk, coconut milk, and hemp milk are all acceptable milk substitutes.
The healthfulness of milk relies on the consumer and the sort of milk they drink. Many people can benefit from pasteurized milk’s high protein, low fat, and additive-free composition. On the other hand, some flavored milk has the same sugar as a soda can. These are not wise decisions.
Cow’s milk today is not just one thing. There are various options, including fresh or long-life, fat-free, lactose-free, fortified with extra omega-3s, hormone-free, organic, or raw.
In the past, Europe and nations with sizable populations of European ancestry have been the only places where large-scale milk production and consumption have occurred. However, milk consumption has changed dramatically in Asian nations while remaining flat or even dropping in European countries, and countries descended from Europe. Milk is promoted globally due to its beneficial impact on children’s development and, consequently, the personal and societal advantages that result from that development.
In the United States, milk is currently promoted as a food that helps people lose weight. By constantly changing and redefining itself as a “special” meal with attributes able to ease the health concerns viewed as most salient at the moment, milk has acquired a global presence. It continues to be relevant in areas where its usage has been dropping.
Reference: Transforming Milk in a Global Economy
Who Invented Drinking Milk?
Since cow-milking is linked to domestication, it’s possible that the first Aurochs were milked 8,000 to 10,000 years ago in two distinct regions of the world, but it’s more likely that European farmers were the first. As a result, cow’s milk has been consumed by humans for roughly 6,000–8,000 years.
Early Evidence of Milking Cattle in Neolithic Britain
Scientists have determined that Neolithic farmers in Britain and Northern Europe may have been among the first to start milking cattle for human use by analyzing degraded lipids on uncovered potshards. These European farmers may have raised dairy animals as long as 6,000 years ago.
Scientists believe that a genetic mutation known as lactase persistence, which allowed post-weaned people to continue to digest milk, slowly spread over the world between 5000 and 4000 B.C.E., giving humans the ability to digest milk. If the date is accurate, the emergence of other significant dairying civilizations in the Near East, India, and North Africa may have occurred before that time.
Evidence of Dairy Cows Playing a Major Role in Ancient Sumerian Civilization
Although there is evidence that cattle were domesticated in Mesopotamia as early as 8000 B.C.E., the Sumerian civilization did not heavily rely on milking dairy cows until around 3000 B.C.E.
According to archeological findings, the Ancient Sumerians consumed cow’s milk and processed it to create cheese and butter.
The image on the left shows a carving of a dairy scene discovered in the Ninhursag temple in the Sumerian city of Tell al-Ubaid. The picture from the early part of the third millennium B.C.E. depicts common dairy tasks like milking, straining, and preparing butter.
The Domesticated Cow Appears in Northern Indian Vedic Civilization
The domesticated cow first arose in Northern India around 2000 B.C.E., just as the Aryan nomads set up camp there.
From 1750 BCE to roughly 500 BCE, the Vedic civilization that governed Northern India greatly depended on cows and the dairy products they produced.
The Vedas, the Hindu holy epics, where the cow was revered as a sacred animal, further legitimized this strong reliance on the animal.
Milk in Ancient Hebrew Civilization and the Bible
The earliest Hebrew texts include copious evidence of the widespread usage of milk from very early times. The ancient Hebrews… held milk in high regard. Twenty times in the Old Testament, the phrase “country that floweth with milk and honey” is used. Palestine is a place of amazing fertility, offering all the creature comforts and requirements of existence. There are fifty references to milk and dairy products in the Bible overall.
Milk Maids and the Compulsory Smallpox Vaccine in the United States
It was widely believed in Europe in the 18th century that milkmaids, or women who milked cows, appeared to be immune to the smallpox plagues when they swept through the continent.
Based on this traditional understanding, English physician Edward Jenner created a smallpox vaccine in 1796.
“Jenner purposefully infected James Phipps, an eight-year-old kid, with cowpox in 1796 after realizing that dairymaids with cowpox immunity were resistant to smallpox. The smallpox was then given to Phipps, who escaped contracting it. Jenner concluded that vaccination offered smallpox immunity after experimenting again on additional kids, including his son.”
Beginning in the early 1800s, the mandatory smallpox vaccination program was implemented in the United States state-by-state.
Louis Pasteur develops the Process of Pasteurization.
The “germ theory,” made famous by the French chemist and biologist Louis Pasteur, is the belief that germs bring on infectious diseases and food-borne illnesses. Pasteur is regarded as one of the fathers of microbiology.
According to Pasteur’s study, harmful germs in milk and wine can make people sick. To combat this, he created the “pasteurization” technique, which involves quickly heating and cooling the liquids to kill most of the microbes.
People Who had a Big Hand in Giving Milk its Current Form
Here are some important people who played an important role in giving milk its current form:
Dr. Thatcher, a pharmacist in Potsdam, New York, created the milk bottle in the early 1880s. When he discovered a flaw with the milk delivery system, he was 48 years old. Milkmen transported milk from the barn to the house using standard cartons, a dip container, and a spoon. This milk transfer technique was inefficient and unhygienic. Dr. Thatcher decided to design a container to increase consumer convenience and access to milk. Following the Second World War, Margaret Thatcher’s administration introduced free milk for kids. This program aimed to keep kids from becoming hungry while also promoting learning.
Milton Hershey was inspired when he realized that chocolate could create milk. When he was 28, he started writing to his uncles and other family members to request money. He had to leave school early because of his circumstances, but he wanted to educate others. Despite his financial situation, he was determined to change the world by giving to others. Milton Hershey built a modest home with a view of the Hershey Company’s headquarters despite having minimal fortune because he cherished his neighborhood.
As early as 1907, Hershey’s started giving back to the community. He donated $20,000 to five neighborhood churches, and in 1936 he founded the M. S. Hershey Foundation to aid local nonprofits. Additionally, he contributed to establishing the town’s orphan boys and girls school, which is still operational today. He has supported the Milton Hershey Theatre, Community Archives, and Hershey Museum through his charitable endeavors.
Charles Page, the father of the Page brothers, covered the Civil War as a correspondent for the New York Tribune. Charles Page was named U.S. Consul to Zurich, Switzerland, where he observed the expansion of dairy industries after completing his term. He finally established the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Co., which started operations in 1866 and organized milk canning in Zurich. William, who started working at the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk facility in England, soon joined the other three Page brothers, and Rowland did the same in 1878.
The American brothers George and Charles Page established the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Co. in Cham, canton Zug, Switzerland. With operations in Missouri and Kansas, the corporation became among the biggest milk producers in the United States. Charles Page, an American vice-consul, got the idea to introduce Swiss condensed milk to Europe after observing the abundance of cows there. George Page, a University of Michigan alumnus who the corporation had employed since then, finally rose to the position of president.
In the field of food and nutrition, there weren’t many scientific advances before Henry Nestle invented milk. However, he identified one significant nutritional issue that affected infants globally: they did not consume enough breast milk. He also discovered that many employees were compelled to quit working to care for their newborns. Nestle was motivated to develop a cheap, practical, and secure infant formula.
Nestle’s formula was successful because it was straightforward. Nestle started getting milk delivered to his factory in 1869 after acquiring it from a collection point. By 1875, Nestle’s products were offered worldwide because of his keen business sense and superior products. Although Nestle’s formula did not succeed immediately, the business subsequently diversified into other markets, including the food industry.
Storing and Transporting Milk Today
When a milking machine is utilized, the milk is transported from the cow through the machine and pipes to a bulk tank where it is stored. There will have been no human contact with the milk. This is a “closed system” because it guards against milk contamination.
Most dairy farms have daily stops by cold trucks to collect milk and transport it to creameries. The milk trucks are tested to ensure they are hygienic and can safely transport milk. Some dairy farms have their creameries. Thus they are not required to carry milk in this method off the farm.
Processing is the process of transforming raw resources into useful products. Food processors, often known as agricultural workers, take basic materials and turn them into various edible products. In a creamery, for instance, milk is processed to create cheese, butter, or chocolate milk.
Processing is frequently carried out away from the farm. However, some farmers in Iowa have on-site creameries that they may use to process the milk. The milk is checked at the processor to ensure it is safe before it is unloaded from the truck. After that, it undergoes a three-step procedure called homogenization, pasteurization, and standardization.
- Standardization: The liquid milk is separated from the milk fat.
- Pasteurization: The milk is heated to 161 degrees F for more than 15 seconds to kill bacteria that might spoil the milk or make people sick.
- Homogenization: The fat molecules in milk are broken down so that the milk does not separate
Scientists have determined that Neolithic farmers in Britain and Northern Europe may have been among the first to start milking cattle for human use by analyzing degraded lipids on uncovered potshards. These European farmers may have raised dairy animals as long as 6,000 years ago. There is strong evidence, according to scientists, that humans first drank raw milk from animals at least 10,000 years ago. Ancient clay pottery containers, Neolithic human tooth remnants, and bone studies of animal bones all prove the early consumption of bovine milk.