June is National Dairy Month, as well as part of the NH Harvest of the Month! This year is also the 100th anniversary for the New England Dairy Council. What better way to celebrate than learning more about dairy?!
Did You Know?
- Humans have been drinking milk for as long as we have had domesticated animals.
- Ancient Egyptians used to save milk for royalty!
- In NH, milk mostly comes from cows but there are also goat and sheep milk farms.
- In other countries, people use buffalo, camel, yak, horse, reindeer, and donkey milk!
- Pasteurization, the process of heating milk to kill bacteria, was invented by Louis Pasteur in 1864.
What About Non-Dairy Alternatives?
What is in my milk?
Info from New England Dairy Council:
There are no antibiotics in your milk. Farmers provide medicines to cows only when they are sick. All milk is tested multiple times before it gets to the store. If it tests positive for even the slightest amount of antibiotics, it is discarded. When a cow is sick it is removed from the milking herd for treatment, and not returned until her milk tests free of antibiotics. On an organic farm, that cow permanently leaves the herd.
Hormones are not added to milk. Just like you, cows need the hormones they naturally produce for proper body function. Hormones are naturally present in many foods of either plant or animal origin, including milk. Although it is very uncommon, some farmers choose to supplement their cows with rbST, an FDA-approved synthetic hormone, to help with milk production. Science shows that it is safe for cows and has no effect on humans or the hormone levels in the milk itself. In response to consumer requests, dairy farmers in New England no longer use rbST.
There are no GMOs in milk. Some cows eat feed containing bioengineered corn and soybeans, which cows digest the same way as they do non-bioengineered grains. Bioengineered DNA has never been detected in milk.