Milk consumption dates back to the 5th century AD where cows and sheep were prized for their milk production. Archaeologists from the University of York identified a milk protein, called beta-lactoglobulin (BLG), placed in the mineralized dental inscription of seven people who lived in the new stone age period. This shows that humans have been drinking animal milk for at least 6,000 years.
In the current era, some of the best and most famous delicacies all over the world are prepared using milk as an ingredient.
In Africa in particular, it is believed that the ability to digest milk co-evolved with livestock domestication as depicted by a geneticist at the University of Pennsylvania. (Read more).
Baked beans with milk are a common delicacy in East Africa. In regions such as the ranching farmlands of southern Kenya, milk is literally added into every meal that does not include meat.
Europe is also a huge consumer of milk products as well. Italy created the well-known frozen dessert, Gelato, which is made with dairy. For many, Gelato is a simple way to appreciate the rich taste of milk.
Dairy has also played a significant role in cooking and baking in North America. Aunt Sally, Florida's first self-made millionaire, made the first Key lime pie in the late 1800s using majorly sweetened condensed milk and lime juice. During the world wars, biscuits were traditionally made with milk as an ingredient as it was cheap and nutritious and therefore served to soldiers to keep them going during hard days in the field.<
Milk is an important source of nutrients that must continue to be embraced all over the world. In 2001, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) chose June 1st as a day of celebration for milk lovers all over the world. It is also a day to raise awareness of how the dairy sector is contributing to the world’s economic development, livelihoods, nutrition, and environmental sustainability. This day is known as World Milk Day and is celebrated all globally under the hashtags #WorldMilkDay and #EnjoyDairy.
Come June 1st, join me among others in celebrating the world’s most important nourishment.