Who doesn’t love a glass of ice-cold milk? Well, at least if you’re not lactose intolerant! (But even then, there are alternatives; see below!) My family and I are big milk drinkers. It seems I’m always running out to the store to restock!
What about you? Is your family big milk drinkers? Let us know in the comments section near the bottom of this page.
Milk drinking has been around for a long time. According to finedininglovers.com, the habit of drinking milk first became popular 10,000 years ago, when the first animals were domesticated, initially in Afghanistan and Iran, and later in Turkey and Africa. Cows first arrived in the United States in the 1600s.
Get To Know Milk
Here are some other fun facts about milk that you may not know about:
- The average American consumes between 18 gallons and 25 gallons of milk in a year.
- Milk is white because of its fat content. Although milk is composed of approximately 87% water, which is colorless, the fat and protein molecules floating inside it reflect all light wavelengths, making it appear white.
- Milk is the only food that you can survive wholly on. No single vegetable, legume, or type of carbohydrate contains all nine essential amino acids that humans require to build proteins, and a meat-only diet lacks the necessary Vitamin C. Milk, however, contains every nutrient we need—even as adults.
- Milk has 9 essential nutrients for human health: calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, niacin, vitamin A, vitamin B 12, riboflavin and vitamin D.
- Thanks to 19th century French biologist, Louis Pasteur, the milk we drink today contains little or no harmful bacteria. Pasteur initially applied his bacteria-killing technique, known as pasteurization, to beer.
- Milk will stay fresher if you add salt. Adding a pinch of salt or baking soda to each carton as soon as you open it will keep milk fresh for over a week past its expiration date. The active ingredients preserve the milk, keeping it from spoiling so quickly.
Get To Know The Cows
- Milk comes from seven main breeds of dairy cows: Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein, Jersey and Milking Shorthorn. (A seventh, Red and White, is a variation of the Holstein breed.)
- On average, a cow produces 6.3 gallons of milk each day. That’s nearly 2,300 gallons per year.
- Lactating cows drink as much as 420 pounds of water daily. Water weighs 8.3 lbs. per gallon. Though normally a milking dairy cow drinks between 30 to 50 gallons of water per day, this can double in the hotter months.
- Milk is still produced by family farms. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nearly 98% of dairy farms in the US are still family owned and operated.
- Dairy farmers and workers follow several steps to assure the sanitary collection of milk from dairy cows. Human hands never touch the milk as it travels from cow to consumer.
Lactose-Free Milk Options
There are also plenty of lactose-free milk options available in most grocery stories. Here are some of those options, according to tasteofhome.com:
- Soy milk
- Rice milk
- Almond milk
- Cashew milk
- Hazelnut milk
- Hemp milk
- Oat milk
- Peanut milk
Scan Your Milk!
Please remember to scan all your milk and dairy purchases, no matter if they’re from a cow or nut-based!
- Plant-Based Protein Product Sales Are Growing (September 15, 2021)