When studying the geography of diet, a fascinating topic is milk. Milk is the food that mammals, including humans have as their first food. It is a food for the new eater, a drinkable essence created by a mother for the challenging diet of her young. When our ancestors begin getting involved in dairy they took on the cow, the ewe, and the goat as their surrogate mothers. These animals performed the amazing task of turning fields of otherwise useless meadow and straw into endless nourishment. Milk is a form of sustenance that humans have used for a very long time, so long in fact that the exact hearth is unknown. There is much evidence though which gives us information about the likely origin of it, and how it developed from there. The modern conception of milk turned it from a precious and marvelous resource into an ordinary commodity that can be produced with great efficiency, in great quantities. This essay will begin by discussing the hearth of milk with as much locational precision as possible.
[...] These animals were originally retained for their meat, but the discovery of milking proved to be a valuable one. As mentioned, dairying is the most efficient way to use uncultivated lands for nourishment, and it was especially important as farming communities spread outward from Southwest Asia. (McGee, 2004: 10). Small ruminants and then cattle were likely milked into containers made from animal stomachs or skins. earliest hard evidence of dairying to date consists of clay sieves, which have been found in the settlements of the earliest northern European farmers, from around 5000 BCE.” (McGee, 2004: 10). [...]
[...] It worked well in the Dutch lowlands, the heavy soils of western France and its high, rocky central massif, the cool, moist British Isles and Scandinavia, alpine valleys in Switzerland and Austria.” (McGee, 2004: 11). Over time, Europe developed many different methods of making milk and dairy, and even developed different mammal breeds that were best suited for the specific conditions. For example, the Brown cow was used in Switzerland for making cheese in the mountains, and the diminutive Jersey and Guernsey for making butter in the Channel Islands. [...]
[...] Its virtue is that it gives newborn animals the advantage of ideally formulated food from the mother even after birth, which then allows it to grow outside of the womb. Milk played a vital role in the development of the human race as well. Humans would not be able to survive the first few weeks out of the womb without the nourishment that milk provides. Milk performs the role of bridging our development from birth, to a point down the line when we can sustain ourselves. [...]
[...] Much of the milk that is produced also contains added vitamins, which in addition to its high calcium levels make it a very nourishing food product. Milk has found its way into various cuisines as a key ingredient in other foods, for instance, yogurt. In China for example, in 2003 yogurt consumption levels were eight times higher than they were just seven years earlier. (Wiley, 2007). It is clear that milk has maintained its popularity in the parts of the world that have historically produced and consumed milk, namely North America and Europe. [...]
[...] Its use, along with other dairy products then spread west to many areas of Europe, and down into the Mediterranean. Columbus then brought it over to the New World in the 1400s. Milk was typically absent from warmer climates, even China as they did not have the abundant pastures needed to the cattle, nor did they have the needed refrigeration to produce and store it. When the industrial revolution came, everything changed and milk production changed and it started appearing all over the world. [...]
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