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The History of Milk

If anyone ever said milk was a thing of the past, well, they’d be right! This blog will delve into the long history of this refrigerator staple and chart just how it’s become such a fundamental part of our world today.

In the beginning

It seems that we’ve been consuming the white stuff for a long time. A really long time in fact. Humans first learnt about the wonders of milk as early as 3500 BC thanks to the agricultural revolution. It was at this point in time when we started to settle into communities (as opposed to nomadic tribes) and quickly began to domesticate the most important dairy animals; goats, sheep and of course, cows. Then known as ‘aurochs’, these cows were the wild ancestors of what we now know as domestic cattle such as jerseys and friesians – they definitely weren’t as good looking as our girls though! Did you know that milk wasn’t just consumed as a drink in the early days? Interestingly it’s been discovered that the ancient Egyptians used it to treat burns too!

All aboard the Dairy Express

Fast forward to the 19th century and, although still a fair way from the first ever flat white, the increased industrialisation of our world meant that milk was about to become much more readily available. Thanks to the expansion of railway networks and growing urban population, the demand and means now existed for the milk trade to steadily grow. Soon it became considered something to be consumed on a daily basis and demand around the world grew and grew. With the invention of pasteurisation thrown into the mix, the milk supply chain became the most sophisticated of all food products by the end of the 19th century!

Here to stay

So, there you have it. From ancient times to the present day, milk’s been there to refresh and nourish us. After a few thousand years we reckon it’s safe to say that milk’s most definitely here to stay. Certainly in the Graham’s household anyway!