Blog: Raw Milk: The Whole Truth
by chef jem

Early History Evidence of Milk Drinking

Historical Timeline - A brief history of cow's milk, from the ancient world to the present.

Date:   11/19/2010 2:37:15 AM   ( 12 y ) ... viewed 25727 times

"Through analyzing degraded fats on unearthed pot-shards, scientists have discovered that Neolithic farmers in Britain and Northern Europe may have been among the first to begin milking cattle for human consumption.

The dairying activities of these European farmers may have begun as early as 6,000 years ago. According to scientists, the ability to digest milk was slowly gained some time between 5000-4000 B.C.E. by the spread of a genetic mutation called lactase persistance that allowed post-weaned humans to continue to digest milk."[3]

"Integrating genetic and archaeological data, Mark Thomas and colleagues at University College London were able to trace down the first evidence of lactase—the enzyme that allows us to digest the complex milk sugar lactose — persisting beyond the weaning years into adulthood to 'exactly when you see the beginning of Linearbandkeramik culture [considered the first Neolithic society in Europe],' Thomas says. 'When that started, you saw a change from a mixed economy to one based primarily on cattle.' And, with this revolution, came a strong evolutionary advantage for people able to consume milk and its nutrients without digestive discomfort."[4]
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Update on June 7, 2011: "The authors (of 2 Million Years of the Food Industry") present archaeological evidence clearly
establishing the keeping of animals for milk at least 30,000 years ago thus avoiding the common error of linking dairying to the rise of arable (grain)farming a mere 10,000 years ago."

I liked this informative comment: "... pastoral people would have easily found out, like the Masai in Africa, that the curdling of milk, not only allowed it to be preserved longer but allowed the lactose to break down on its own ... "[2]
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"The Jesuit Priest, Eusebio Kino, introduced cattle to Baja California in 1679 as part of the missionary effort to establish mission settlements... Milk became a blessing to missionaries in time of need.

During a food shortage in 1772, Junipero Serra stated that '...milk from the cows and some vegetables from the garden have been [our] chief subsistence.'

In 1776, at the Mission San Gabriel, Father Font wrote that 'The cows are very fat and they give much and rich milk, which they [Native American women at the mission] make cheese and very good butter.'"
Robert L. Santos "Dairying in California through 1910," Southern California Quarterly, Summer 1994
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November 8, 2018 - More Recent History -

"... there was a time in American history when raw milk and pasteurized milk coexisted in peace.
If people wanted raw milk, they could easily obtain it. If they preferred pasteurized, that was available too.
This period was from about 1890 – 1940, a full fifty years of a raw milk/pasteurized milk truce!
There was no rapid and desperate movement to pasteurize except in the major cities where filthy, confinement dairies with sick cows fed distillery waste were producing a tainted, bluish milk that was making children very ill."[1]
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The above appeared among my search results and was directly preceded by discovering Milton Joseph Rosenau, who "studied at ... the Pasteur Institute in Paris (1900)"[5] after which he wrote "The Milk Question" in which he advocated pasteurization of milk.
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Notes:

[1] https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/the-rise-and-fall-of-pasteurized-milk/

[2] Similar article:
http://www.geneticarchaeology.com/research/Milk_drinking_started_around_7500_...

[3] http://milk.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000832

[4] http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=lactose-toleraence

[5] https://www.ncpedia.org/biography/rosenau-milton-joseph
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Keywords:

milk Timeline, cow's milk, milk drinking, lactase, lactose tolerance, ancient dairying, raw milk, pasteurized milk, confinement dairies
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