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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A glass of pasteurized cow's milk

Milk is an opaque white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It provides the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. The early lactation milk is known as colostrum, and carries the mother's antibodies to the baby. It can reduce the risk of many diseases in the baby. The exact components of raw milk varies by species, but it contains significant amounts of saturated fat, protein and calcium as well as vitamin C. Cow's milk has a pH ranging from 6.4 to 6.8, making it slightly acidic.[1][2]


Types of consumption

There are two distinct types of milk consumption: a natural source of nutrition for all infant mammals, and a food product for humans of all ages derived from other animals.

Nutrition for infant mammals

A goat kid feeding on its mother's milk

In almost all mammals, milk is fed to infants through breastfeeding, either directly or by expressing the milk to be stored and consumed later. Some cultures, historically or currently, continue to use breast milk to feed their children until they are 7 years old.[3]

Food product for humans

In many cultures of the world, especially the Western world, humans continue to consume milk beyond infancy, using the milk of other animals (especially cattle, goats and sheep) as a food product. For millennia, cow's milk has been processed into dairy products such as cream, butter, yogurt, kefir, ice cream, and especially the more durable and easily transportable product, cheese. Modern industrial processes produce casein, whey protein, lactose, condensed milk, powdered milk, and many other food-additive and industrial products.

Humans are an exception in the natural world for consuming milk past infancy, despite the fact that more than 75% of adult humans show some degree (some as little as 5%) of lactose intolerance, a characteristic that is more prevalent among individuals of African or Asian descent.[4] The sugar lactose is found only in milk, forsythia flowers, and a few tropical shrubs. The enzyme needed to digest lactose, lactase, reaches its highest levels in the small intestines after birth and then begins a slow decline unless milk is consumed regularly.[5] On the other hand, those groups that do continue to tolerate milk often have exercised great creativity in using the milk of domesticated ungulates, not only of cattle, but also sheep, goats, yaks, water buffalo, horses, and camels. The largest producer and consumer of cattle and buffalo milk in the world is India.[6]

Top ten per capita cow's milk and cow's milk products consumers in 2006[7]
Country Milk (litres) Cheese (kg) Butter (kg)
 Finland 183.9 19.1 5.3
 Sweden 145.5 18.5 1.0
 Ireland 129.8 10.5 2.9
 Netherlands 122.9 20.4 3.3
 Norway 116.7 16.0 4.3
 Spain 119.1 9.6 1.0
 Switzerland 112.5 22.2 5.6
 United Kingdom 111.2 12.2 3.7
 Australia 106.3 11.7 3.7
 Canada 94.7 12.2 3.3


The term milk is also used for whitish non-animal substitutes such as soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, and coconut milk. Even the regurgitated substance secreted by glands in the mucosa of their upper digestive tract which pigeons feed their young is called crop milk though it bears little resemblance to mammalian milk.

Grade A vs Grade B milk

In the United States, there are two grades of milk, with Grade A primarily used for direct sales and consumption in stores, and Grade B used for indirect consumption, such as in cheesemaking or other processing.

The differences between the two grades are defined in the Wisconsin administrative code for Argiculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection, chapter 60.[8] Grade B generally refers to milk that is cooled in milk cans, which are immersed in a bath of cold flowing water, typically drawn up from an underground water well rather than using mechanical refrigeration.

  • Grade A farms are inspected every 6 months, while Grade B farms are inspected every 2 years {WI-ATCP 60.24.2}
  • Both types of farms are required to have two cleaning vats in the milkhouse for washing and rinsing of equipment {WI-ATCP 60.07.2(g)}. A farm must also have an additional separate sink and faucet provided for handwashing {WI-ATCP 60.07.2(h)}, unless the bulk tank was installed before Jan 1, 1979 or the farm uses milk cans.
  • Grade A milk stored in a bulk tank is cooled to 45 degrees F within 2 hours of milking. Grade A milk in a may only rise to 50 F if milk from additional milking sessions are added to the tank (potentially requiring a plate cooler to reduce the temperature of a large volume influx quickly enough) and must be cooled back to 45 F within two hours. {WI-ATCP 60.2.4(b)}
  • Grade B milk in milk cans is cooled to 50 degrees F within 2 hours of milking. Grade B farms can not mix milk into cans from previous milking. {WI-ATCP 60.2.4(c)}
  • The somatic cell count (SSC) of Grade A or B cow or sheep milk may not exceed 750,000 cells per mL, and the SCC of Grade A or B goat milk may not exceed 1,000,000 cells per mL. {WI-ATCP 60.15.4}
  • The bacterial plate or loop count of Grade A milk may not exceed 100,000 per mL, while Grade B milk may not exceed 300,000 per mL. {WI-ATCP 60.15.2}
  • A bacterial plate count test is required at least once a month. {WI-ATCP 60.18.3} If the bacterial count exceeds 100,000 per mL for Grade A or 300,000 per mL for grade B in 3 out of 5 tests, the license to sell milk is suspended. The license will be immediately revoked if the bacterial count ever exceeds 750,000 per mL. {WI-ATCP 60.18.6}


Holstein cattle, the dominant breed in industrialized dairying today
Drinking milk in Germany in 1932

Milk glands are highly specialized sweat glands. It has been suggested that the original function of lactation (milk production) was to keep eggs moist. Much of the argument is based on monotremes (egg-laying mammals):[9][10][11]


Girl milking a cow by hand
1959 milk supply in Oberlech, Vorarlberg, Austria

Animal milk is first known to have been used as human food during the Secondary Products Revolution, around 5000BC. It is assumed that when animals such as cattle were first domesticated, it was only for purposes of meat. Cow's milk was first used as human food in the Middle East. Goats and sheep are ruminants: mammals adapted to survive on a diet of dry grass, a food source otherwise useless to humans, and one that is easily stockpiled. The animals dairying proved to be a more efficient way of turning uncultivated grasslands into sustenance: the food value of an animal killed for meat can be matched by perhaps one year's worth of milk from the same animal, which will keep producing milk — in convenient daily portions — for years.[5]

Milk byproducts found inside stone age pottery from Turkey indicate processed milk was consumed in 6500 BC some thousands of years before the ability for adult humans to digest unprocessed milk had evolved.[12][13]

DNA evidence extracted from Neolithic skeletons indicates that a thousand years later in 5500 BC people in Northern Europe were like all other peoples of the time and were still lactose intolerant. Earthenware vessels found in England from a thousand years after this in 4500 BC contain milk byproducts indicating milk was used in some form although perhaps not drunk directly.[14]

Milk was first delivered in bottles on January 11, 1878. The day is now remembered as Milk Day and is celebrated annually. The town of Harvard, Illinois also celebrates milk in the summer with a festival known as "Milk Days". Theirs is a different tradition meant to celebrate dairy farmers in the "Milk Capital of the World."[15]


Goat's milk can be used for other applications such as cheese and other dairy products

In addition to cattle, the following livestock animals provide milk used by humans for dairy products:

In Russia and Sweden, small moose dairies also exist.[16]

According to the National Bison Association, American Bison (also called American buffalo) are not milked commercially.[17] However, various sources report cows resulting from cross-breeding bison and domestic cattle are good milk producers, both during the European settlement of North America[18] and during the development of commercial Beefalo in the 1970s and 1980s.[19]

Human milk is not produced or distributed industrially or commercially; however, milk banks exist that allow for the collection of donated human milk and its redistribution to infants who may benefit from human milk for various reasons (premature neonates, babies with allergies or metabolic diseases, etc.).

All other female mammals do produce milk, but are rarely or never used to produce dairy products for human consumption.

Modern production

Milk output in 2005. Click the image for the details.

In the Western world today, cow's milk is produced on an industrial scale, and is by far the most commonly consumed form of milk. Commercial dairy farming using automated milking equipment produces the vast majority of milk in developed countries. Dairy cattle such as the Holstein have been specially bred for increased milk production. 90% of the dairy cows in the United States and 85% in Great Britain are Holsteins.[5] Other dairy cows in the United States include Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Jersey, and Milking Shorthorn (Dairy Shorthorn). The largest producers of dairy products and milk today are India followed by the United States,[20] Germany, and Pakistan.

Increasing affluence in developing countries, as well as increased promotion of milk and milk products, has led to a rise in milk consumption in developing countries in recent years. In turn, the opportunities presented by these growing markets have attracted investment by multinational dairy firms. Nevertheless, in many countries production remains on a small-scale and presents significant opportunities for diversification of income sources by small farmers.[21] Local milk collection centers, where milk is collected and chilled prior to being transferred to urban dairies, are a good example of where farmers have been able to work on a cooperative basis, particularly in countries such as India[22].

This table below shows the numbers of water buffalo milk production. Cattle milk is produced in a much wider range.

Top ten buffalo milk producers in 2007[23]
Country Production (tonnes) Note
 India 59,210,000 Unofficial/Semi-official/mirror data
 Pakistan 20,372,000 official figure
 People's Republic of China 2,900,000 FAO estimate
 Egypt 2,300,000
 Nepal 958,603 official figure
 Iran 241,500 FAO estimate
 Myanmar 220,462 official figure
 Italy 200,000 FAO estimate
 Vietnam 32,000
 Turkey 30,375 official figure
 World 86,574,539 Aggregate


It was reported in 2007 that with increased worldwide prosperity and the competition of biofuel production for feedstocks, both the demand for and the price of milk had substantially increased world wide. Particularly notable was the rapid increase of consumption of milk in China and the rise of the price of milk in the United States above the government subsidized price.[24]

Physical and chemical structure

Schematic of a micelle

Milk is an emulsion or colloid of butterfat globules within a water-based fluid. Each fat globule is surrounded by a membrane consisting of phospholipids and proteins; these emulsifiers keep the individual globules from joining together into noticeable grains of butterfat and also protect the globules from the fat-digesting activity of enzymes found in the fluid portion of the milk. In unhomogenized cow's milk, the fat globules average about four micrometers across. The fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K are found within the milkfat portion of the milk.[5]

The largest structures in the fluid portion of the milk are casein protein micelles: aggregates of several thousand protein molecules, bonded with the help of nanometer-scale particles of calcium phosphate. Each micelle is roughly spherical and about a tenth of a micrometer across. There are four different types of casein proteins, and collectively they make up around 80 percent of the protein in milk, by weight. Most of the casein proteins are bound into the micelles. There are several competing theories regarding the precise structure of the micelles, but they share one important feature: the outermost layer consists of strands of one type of protein, k-Casein, reaching out from the body of the micelle into the surrounding fluid. These Kappa-casein molecules all have a negative electrical charge and therefore repel each other, keeping the micelles separated under normal conditions and in a stable colloidal suspension in the water-based surrounding fluid.[5][25]

A simplified representation of a lactose molecule being broken down into glucose and galactose

Both the fat globules and the smaller casein micelles, which are just large enough to deflect light, contribute to the opaque white color of milk. The fat globules contain some yellow-orange carotene, enough in some breeds (such as Guernsey and Jersey cattle) to impart a golden or "creamy" hue to a glass of milk. The riboflavin in the whey portion of milk has a greenish color, which can sometimes be discerned in skim milk or whey products.[5] Fat-free skim milk has only the casein micelles to scatter light, and they tend to scatter shorter-wavelength blue light more than they do red, giving skim milk a bluish tint.[26]

Milk contains dozens of other types of proteins besides the caseins. They are more water-soluble than the caseins and do not form larger structures. Because these proteins remain suspended in the whey left behind when the caseins coagulate into curds, they are collectively known as whey proteins. Whey proteins make up around twenty percent of the protein in milk, by weight. Lactoglobulin is the most common whey protein by a large margin.[5]

The carbohydrate lactose gives milk its sweet taste and contributes about 40% of whole cow's milk's calories. Lactose is a composite of two simple sugars, glucose and galactose. In nature, lactose is found only in milk and a small number of plants.[5] Other components found in raw cow's milk are living white blood cells, Mammary-gland cells, various bacteria, and a large number of active enzymes.[5]


Milk products and productions relationships (Click for details)

In most Western countries, a centralized dairy facility processes milk and products obtained from milk (dairy products), such as cream, butter, and cheese. In the U.S., these dairies are usually local companies, while in the Southern Hemisphere facilities may be run by very large nationwide or trans-national corporations (such as Fonterra).


Pasteurization is used to kill harmful microorganisms by heating the milk for a short time and then cooling it for storage and transportation. Pasteurized milk is still perishable and must be stored cold by both suppliers and consumers. Dairies print expiration dates on each container, after which stores will remove any unsold milk from their shelves.

A newer process, Ultra Pasteurization or ultra-high temperature treatment (UHT), heats the milk to a higher temperature for a shorter time. This extends its shelf life and allows the milk to be stored unrefrigerated because of the longer lasting sterilization effect.


Microfiltration is a process that partially replaces pasteurization and produces milk with fewer microorganisms and longer shelf life without a change in the taste of the milk. In this process, cream is separated from the whey and is pasteurized in the usual way, but the whey is forced through ceramic microfilters that trap 99.9% of microorganisms in the milk (as compared to 95% killing of microorganisms in conventional pasteurization). The whey is then recombined with the pasteurized cream to reconstitute the original milk composition.

Creaming and homogenization

A milking machine in action

Upon standing for 12 to 24 hours, fresh milk has a tendency to separate into a high-fat cream layer on top of a larger, low-fat milk layer. The cream is often sold as a separate product with its own uses; today the separation of the cream from the milk is usually accomplished rapidly in centrifugal cream separators. The fat globules rise to the top of a container of milk because fat is less dense than water. The smaller the globules, the more other molecular-level forces prevent this from happening. In fact, the cream rises in cow's milk much more quickly than a simple model would predict: rather than isolated globules, the fat in the milk tends to form into clusters containing about a million globules, held together by a number of minor whey proteins.[5] These clusters rise faster than individual globules can. The fat globules in milk from goats, sheep, and water buffalo do not form clusters so readily and are smaller to begin with; cream is very slow to separate from these milks.

Milk is often homogenized, a treatment which prevents a cream layer from separating out of the milk. The milk is pumped at high pressures through very narrow tubes, breaking up the fat globules through turbulence and cavitation.[27] A greater number of smaller particles possess more total surface area than a smaller number of larger ones, and the original fat globule membranes cannot completely cover them. Casein micelles are attracted to the newly-exposed fat surfaces; nearly one-third of the micelles in the milk end up participating in this new membrane structure. The casein weighs down the globules and interferes with the clustering that accelerated separation. The exposed fat globules are briefly vulnerable to certain enzymes present in milk, which could break down the fats and produce rancid flavors. To prevent this, the enzymes are inactivated by pasteurizing the milk immediately before or during homogenization.

Homogenized milk tastes blander but feels creamier in the mouth than unhomogenized; it is whiter and more resistant to developing off flavors.[5] Creamline, or cream-top, milk is unhomogenized; it may or may not have been pasteurized. Milk which has undergone high-pressure homogenization, sometimes labeled as "ultra-homogenized," has a longer shelf life than milk which has undergone ordinary homogenization at lower pressures.[28] Homogenized milk may be more digestible than unhomogenized milk.[29]

Kurt A. Oster, M.D., who worked in the 1960s through the 1980s, suggested a link between homogenized milk and arterosclerosis, due to damage to plasmalogen as a result of the release of bovine xanthine oxidase (BXO) from the milk fat globular membrane (MFGM) during homogenization. However, Oster's hypothesis has been widely criticized and has not been generally accepted by the scientific community. No link has been found between arterosclerosis and milk consumption.[29]

Nutrition and health

The composition of milk differs widely between species. Factors such as the type of protein; the proportion of protein, fat, and sugar; the levels of various vitamins and minerals; and the size of the butterfat globules and the strength of the curd are among those than can vary.[30] For example:

  • Human milk contains, on average, 1.1% protein, 4.2% fat, 7.0% lactose (a sugar), and supplies 72 kcal of energy per 100 grams.
  • Cow's milk contains, on average, 3.4% protein, 3.6% fat, and 4.6% lactose, 0.7% minerals[31] and supplies 66 kcal of energy per 100 grams. See also Nutritional value further on.

Donkey and horse milk have the lowest fat content, while the milk of seals and whales can contain more than 50% fat.[32][33] High fat content is not unique to aquatic mammals, as guinea pig milk has an average fat content of 46%.[34]

Milk composition analysis, per 100 grams [35]
Constituents unit Cow Goat Sheep Water
Water g 87.8 88.9 83.0 81.1
Protein g 3.2 3.1 5.4 4.5
Fat g 3.9 3.5 6.0 8.0
Carbohydrate g 4.8 4.4 5.1 4.9
Energy kcal 66 60 95 110
Energy kJ 275 253 396 463
Sugars (lactose) g 4.8 4.4 5.1 4.9
Cholesterol mg 14 10 11 8
Calcium IU 120 100 170 195
Fatty acids saturated g 2.4 2.3 3.8 4.2
Mono-unsaturated fatty acids g 1.1 0.8 1.5 1.7
Polyunsaturated ffatty acids g 0.1 0.1 0.3 0.2

These compositions vary by breed, animal, and point in the lactation period.

Milk fat percentages
Cow breed Approximate percentage
Jersey 5.2
Zebu 4.7
Brown Swiss 4.0
Holstein-Friesian 3.6

The protein range for these four breeds is 3.3% to 3.9%, while the lactose range is 4.7% to 4.9%.[36]

Milk fat percentages can be manipulated by dairy farmers' diet formulation strategies. Mastitis infection can cause fat levels to decline.[37]

Nutritional value

Cow milk (whole)
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 252 kJ (60 kcal)
Carbohydrates 5.26 g
Sugars 5.26 g
Lactose 5.26 g
Fat 3.25 g
saturated 1.865 g
monounsaturated 0.812 g
polyunsaturated 0.195 g
Protein 3.22 g
Tryptophan 0.075 g
Threonine 0.143 g
Isoleucine 0.165 g
Leucine 0.265 g
Lysine 0.140 g
Methionine 0.075 g
Cystine 0.017 g
Phenylalanine 0.147 g
Tyrosine 0.152 g
Valine 0.192 g
Arginine 0.075 g
Histidine 0.075 g
Alanine 0.103 g
Aspartic acid 0.237 g
Glutamic acid 0.648 g
Glycine 0.075 g
Proline 0.342 g
Serine 0.107 g
Water 88.32 g
Vitamin A equiv. 28 μg (3%)
Thiamine (Vit. B1) 0.044 mg (3%)
Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.183 mg (12%)
Vitamin B12 0.44 μg (18%)
Vitamin D 40 IU (10%)
Calcium 113 mg (11%)
Magnesium 10 mg (3%)
Potassium 143 mg (3%)
100 ml corresponds to 103 g.[38]
Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database

Processed milk began containing differing amounts of fat during the 1950s. 1 cup (250 ml) of 2%-fat milk contains 285 mg of calcium, which represents 22% to 29% of the daily recommended intake (DRI) of calcium for an adult. Depending on the age, milk contains 8 grams of protein, and a number of other nutrients (either naturally or through fortification) including:

The amount of calcium from milk that is absorbed by the human body is disputed.[39][40] Calcium from dairy products has a greater bioavailability than calcium from certain vegetables, such as spinach, that contain high levels of calcium-chelating agents,[41] but a similar or lesser bioavailability than calcium from low-oxalate vegetables such as kale, broccoli, or other vegetables in the Brassica genus.[42]

Medical research

Studies show possible links between low-fat milk consumption and reduced risk of arterial hypertension, coronary heart disease, colorectal cancer and obesity. Overweight individuals who drink milk may benefit from decreased risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.[43] One study has shown that for women desiring to have a child, those who consume full fat dairy products may actually slightly increase their fertility, while those consuming low fat dairy products may slightly reduce their fertility.[44] Milk is a source of Conjugated linoleic acid.

Milk appears to be effective at promoting muscle growth.[45]

Lactose intolerance

Lactose, the disaccharide sugar component of all milk must be cleaved in the small intestine by the enzyme lactase in order for its constituents (galactose and glucose) to be absorbed. The production of this enzyme declines significantly after weaning in all mammals. Consequently, many humans become unable to properly digest lactose as they mature. There is a great deal of variance, with some individuals reacting badly to even small amounts of lactose, some able to consume moderate quantities, and some able to consume large quantities of milk and other dairy products without problems. When an individual consumes milk without producing sufficient lactase, they may suffer diarrhea, intestinal gas, cramps and bloating, as the undigested lactose travels through the gastrointestinal tract and serves as nourishment for intestinal microflora who excrete gas, a process known as anaerobic respiration.

It is estimated that 30 to 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant, including 75 percent of Native Americans and African-Americans, and 90 percent of Asian Americans. Lactose intolerance is less common among those descended from northern Europeans.[46]

Lactose intolerance is a natural process and there is no reliable way to prevent or reverse it. Lactase is readily available in pill form, and many individuals can use it to briefly increase their tolerance for dairy products.


Other studies suggest that milk consumption may increase the risk of suffering from certain health problems. Cow's milk allergy (CMA) is as an immunologically mediated adverse reaction to one or more cow's milk proteins. Rarely is it severe enough to cause death.[47] Milk contains casein, a substance that breaks down in the human stomach to produce casomorphin, an opioid peptide. In the early 1990s it was hypothesized that casomorphin can cause or aggravate autism,[48][49] and casein-free diets are widely promoted. Studies supporting these claims have had significant flaws, and the data are inadequate to guide autism treatment recommendations.[49] Studies described in the book The China Study note a correlation between casein intake and the promotion of cancer cell growth when exposed to carcinogens. However other studies have shown whey protein offers a protective effect against colon cancer.[50]

A study demonstrated that men who drink a large amount of milk and consume dairy products were at a slightly increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease; the effect for women was smaller.[51] The reason behind this is not fully understood, and it also remains unclear why there is less of a risk for women.[51][52] Several sources suggest a correlation between high calcium intake (2000 mg per day, or twice the US recommended daily allowance, equivalent to six or more glasses of milk per day) and prostate cancer.[53] A large study specifically implicates dairy, i.e., low-fat milk and other dairy to which vitamin A palmitate has been added.[54][55] A review published by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research states that at least eleven human population studies have linked excessive dairy product consumption and prostate cancer,[56] however randomized clinical trial data with appropriate controls only exists for calcium, not dairy produce, where there was no correlation.[57] Medical studies have also shown a possible link between milk consumption and the exacerbation of diseases such as Crohn's disease,[58] Hirschsprung's disease–mimicking symptoms in babies with existing cow's milk allergies,[59] and the aggravation of Behçet's disease.[60]

Bovine growth hormone supplementation

Since November 1993, with FDA approval,[61] Monsanto has been selling recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST), also called rBGH, to dairy farmers. Cows produce bovine growth hormone naturally, but some producers administer an additional recombinant version of BGH which is produced through a genetically-engineered E. coli because it increases milk production. Bovine growth horome also stimulates liver production of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1). If rbST-treated cows produced milk with higher levels of IGF1 this would be of medical concern, because IGF1 stimulates cancer growth in humans. Elevated levels of IGF1 in human blood has been linked to increased rates of breast, colon, and prostate cancer.[62][63] Monsanto has stated that both of these compounds are harmless given the levels found in milk and the effects of pasteurization.[64] However Monsanto's own tests, conducted in 1987, demonstrated that statistically significant growth stimulating effects were induced in organs of adult rats by feeding IGF-1 at low dose levels for only two weeks. "Drinking rBGH milk would thus be expected to significantly increase IGF-1 blood levels and consequently to increase risks of developing breast cancer and promoting its invasiveness."[65]

The EU has recommended against Monsanto milk[66] On June 9, 2006, the largest milk processor in the world and the two largest supermarkets in the United States--Dean Foods, Wal-Mart, and Kroger--announced that they are "on a nationwide search for rBGH-free milk."[67] Milk from cows given rBST may be sold in the United States, and the FDA stated that no significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST-treated and that from non-rBST-treated cows.[68] Milk that advertises that it comes from cows not treated with rBST is required to state this finding on its label.

Cows receiving rBGH supplements may more frequently contract an udder infection known as mastitis[69]. Problems with mastitis have led to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan banning milk from rBST treated cows. Mastitis, among other diseases, may be responsible for the fact that levels of white blood cells in milk vary naturally.[70][71]

Ethical concerns

Vegans and some other vegetarians do not consume milk for a variety of reasons. They may object to features of dairy farming including the necessity of killing almost all the male offspring of dairy cows (either by disposal soon after birth, for veal production, or for beef), the routine separation of mother and calf soon after birth, other perceived inhumane treatment of dairy cattle, and culling of cows after their productive lives.[72]

Varieties and brands

Milk products are sold in a number of varieties based on types/degrees of

  • age (e.g., cheddar),
  • additives (e.g., vitamins),
  • coagulation (e.g., cottage cheese),
  • farming method (e.g., organic, grass-fed).
  • fat content (e.g., half and half),
  • fermentation (e.g., buttermilk),
  • flavoring (e.g., chocolate),
  • homogenization (e.g., raw milk),
  • mammal (e.g., cow, goat, sheep),
  • packaging (e.g., bottle),
  • sterilization (e.g., pasteurization),
  • water content (e.g., dry milk),

Demeter certified milk is produced with biodynamic agriculture methods and is similar in standards to organic milk and biological milk, with a few special farm procedures added that are biodynamic-specific.

Additives and flavoring

In areas where the cattle (and often the people) live indoors, commercially sold milk commonly has vitamin D added to it to make up for lack of exposure to UVB radiation.

Reduced fat milks often have added vitamin A palmitate to compensate for the loss of the vitamin during fat removal; in the United States this results in reduced fat milks having a higher vitamin A content than whole milk.[73]

To aid digestion in those with lactose intolerance, milk is available in some areas with added bacterial cultures such as Lactobacillus acidophilus ("acidophilus milk") and bifidobacteria ("a/B milk").[74] Another milk with Lactococcus lactis bacteria cultures ("cultured buttermilk") is often used in cooking to replace the traditional use of naturally soured milk, which has become rare due to the ubiquity of pasteurization which kills the naturally occurring lactococcus bacteria.[75]

Milk often has flavoring added to it for better taste or as a means of improving sales. Chocolate milk has been sold for many years and has been followed more recently by such other flavors as strawberry and banana.


Glass milk bottles used for home delivery service in the UK
A glass milk bottle from the US. Note that American milk bottles are generally square.
Dry skim milk
Brazilian Yakult uses milk.

Because milk spoils so easily, it should, ideally, be distributed as quickly as possible. In many countries milk used to be delivered to households daily, but economic pressure has made milk delivery much less popular, and in many areas daily delivery is no longer available. People buy it chilled at grocery or convenience stores or similar retail outlets. Prior to the widespread use of plastics, milk was sold in wax-coated paper containers; prior to that milk was often distributed to consumers in glass bottles; and before glass bottles, in bulk that was ladled into the customer's container.

United Kingdom

In the UK, milk can be delivered daily by a milkman who travels his local milk round (route) using a milk float (often battery powered) during the early hours. Milk is delivered in 1 pint glass bottles with aluminium foil tops. Silver top denotes full cream unhomogenized; red top full cream homogenized; red/silver top semi-skimmed; blue/silver check top skimmed; and gold top channel island.

Empty bottles are rinsed before being left outside for the milkman to collect and take back to the dairy for washing and reuse. Currently many milkmen operate franchises as opposed to being employed by the dairy and payment is made at regular intervals, by leaving a cheque; by cash collection; or direct debit.

Although there was a steep decline in doorstep delivery sales throughout the 1990s, the service is still prominent, as dairies have diversified and the service is becoming more popular again.[citation needed] The doorstep delivery of milk is seen as part of the UK's heritage, and is used by people up and down the country.

Australia and New Zealand

In Australia and New Zealand, prior to "metrification", milk was generally distributed in 1 pint (568ml) glass bottles. In Australia there was a government funded "free milk for school children" program, and milk was distributed at morning recess in 1/3 pint bottles. With the conversion to metric measures, the milk industry were concerned that the replacement of the pint bottles with 500ml bottles would result in a 13.6% drop in milk consumption. Hence, all pint bottles were recalled and replaced by 600ml bottles. With time, due to the steadily increasing cost of collecting, transporting, storing and cleaning glass bottles, they were replaced by cardboard cartons. A number of designs were used, including a tetrahedron which could be close-packed without waste space, and could not be knocked over accidentally. (slogan: No more crying over spilt milk.) However, the industry eventually settled on a design similar to that used in the United States.[76] Milk is now availability in a variety of sizes in cardboard cartons (250ml, 375ml, 600ml, 1 litre and 1.5 litres) and plastic bottles (1 in NZ [2], 1.1 in Australia, 2 and 3 litres). A significant addition to the marketplace has been "long life" milk (UHT), generally available in 1 and 2 litre rectangular cardboard cartons. In urban and suburban areas where there is sufficient demand, home delivery is still available, though in suburban areas this is often 3 times per week rather than daily. Another significant and popular addition to the marketplace has been flavoured milks - for example, as mentioned above, Farmers Union Iced Coffee outsells Coca-Cola in South Australia.


In rural India milk is delivered daily by a local milkman carrying bulk quantities in a metal container, usually on a bicycle; and in other parts of metropolitan India, milk is usually bought or delivered in a plastic bags or cartons via shops or supermarkets.

United States

In the United States, glass milk bottles have been mostly replaced with milk cartons (tall paper boxes with a square cross-section and a peaked top that can be folded outward upon opening to form a spout) and plastic jugs. Gallons of milk are almost always sold in jugs, while half-gallons and quarts may be found in both paper cartons and plastic jugs, and smaller sizes are almost always in cartons. Recently, milk has been sold in smaller resealable bottles made to fit in automobile cup holders. These individual serving sizes are also sold in flavored varieties.

The half-pint milk carton is the traditional unit as a component of school lunches.


In Pakistan, milk is supplied in jugs. Milk has been a staple food, especially among the pastoral tribes in this country.

UHT Milk

Milk preserved by the UHT process is sold in cartons often called a brick that lack the peak of the traditional milk carton. Milk preserved in this fashion does not need to be refrigerated before opening and has a longer shelf life than milk in ordinary packaging. It is more typically sold unrefrigerated on the shelves in Europe and Latin America than in the United States. In Australia it is generally sold unrefrigerated, though some supermarkets also keep small quantities refrigerated.


Glass milk containers are now rare. Most people purchase milk in bags, plastic bottles, or plastic-coated paper cartons. Ultraviolet (UV) light from fluorescent lighting can alter the flavor of milk, so many companies that once distributed milk in transparent or highly translucent containers are now using thicker materials that block the UV light. Many people feel that such "UV protected" milk tastes better.[citation needed]


Milk comes in a variety of containers with local variants:

Distributed in a variety of sizes, most commonly in aseptic cartons for up to 1.5 litres, and plastic screw-top bottles beyond that with the following volumes; 1.1L, 2L, and 3L. 1 litre milk bags are starting to appear in supermarkets, but have not yet proved popular. Most UHT-milk is packed in 1 or 2 litre paper containers with a sealed plastic spout.[76]
Used to be sold in cooled 1 litre bags, just like in South Africa. Nowadays the most common form is 1 litre aseptic cartons containing UHT skimmed, semi-skimmed or whole milk, although the plastic bags are still in use for pasteurized milk. Higher grades of pasteurized milk can be found in cartons or plastic bottles. Sizes other than 1 liter are rare.
1.33 litre plastic bags (sold as 4 litres in 3 bags) are widely available in some areas (especially the Maritimes, Ontario and Quebec), although the 4 litre plastic jug has supplanted them in western Canada. Other common packaging sizes are 2 litre, 1 litre, 500 millilitre, and 250 millilitre cartons, as well as 4 litre, 1 litre, 250 ml aseptic cartons and 500 ml plastic jugs.
Sweetened milk is a drink popular with students of all ages and is often sold in small plastic bags complete with straw. Adults not wishing to drink at a banquet often drink milk served from cartons or milk tea.
UHT milk (trajno mlijeko/trajno mleko/трајно млеко) is sold in 500 ml and 1 L (sometimes also 200 ml) aseptic cartons. Non-UHT pasteurized milk (svježe mlijeko/sveže mleko/свеже млеко) is most commonly sold in 1 L and 1.5 L PET bottles, though in Serbia one can still find milk in plastic bags.
Sizes of 500 millilitres, 1 litre (the most common), 1.5 litres, 2 litres and 3 litres are commonplace.
Commonly sold in 1l or 1.5l cartons, in some places also in 2dl and 5dl cartons.
milk is sold in glass bottles (220 ml), cartons (236 ml and 1L), plastic jugs (2 litres) and aseptic cartons (250 ml).
Commonly sold in 500 ml plastic bags and in bottles in some parts like in west. It is still customary to serve the milk boiled, despite pasteurization. Milk is often buffalo milk. Flavored milk is sold in most convenience stores in waxed cardboard containers. Convenience stores also sell many varieties of milk (such as flavored and ultra-pasteurized) in different sizes, usually in aseptic cartons.
Usually sold in 1 litre cartons, but smaller, snack-sized cartons are available.
Non-UHT milk is most commonly sold in 1 litre waxed cardboard boxes and 1 litre plastic bags. It may also be found in 0.5L and 2L waxed cardboard boxes, 2L plastic jugs and 1L plastic bottles. UHT milk is available in 1 litre (and less commonly also in 0.25L) carton "bricks".
Commonly sold in 1 litre waxed paperboard cartons. In most city centers there is also home delivery of milk in glass jugs. As seen in China, sweetened and flavored milk drinks are commonly seen in vending machines.
Commonly sold in 1 litre bags. The bag is then placed in a plastic jug and the corner cut off before the milk is poured.
sold in cartons (180ml, 200ml, 500ml 900ml, 1L, 1.8L, 2.3L), plastic jugs (1L and 1.8L), aseptic cartons (180ml and 200ml) and plastic bags (1L).
Commonly sold in 0.3L, 1L or 1.5L cartons and sometimes as plastic or glass milk bottles..
UHT milk is mostly sold in aseptic cartons (500ml, 1L, 2L), and non-UHT in 1L plastic bags or plastic bottles. Milk, UHT is commonly boiled, despite being pasteurized.
Milk is supplied in 500 ml Plastic bags and carried in Jugs from rural to cities and sell
Commonly sold in 500 ml or 1L cartons or special plastic bottles. UHT milk is more popular. Milkmen also serve in smaller towns and villages.
Most stores stock imperial sizes: 1 pint (568 ml), 2 pints (1.136 L), 4 pints (2.273 L), 6 pints (3.408 L) or a combination including both metric and imperial sizes. Glass milk bottles delivered to the doorstep by the milkman are typically pint-sized and are returned empty by the householder for repeated reuse. Milk is sold at supermarkets in either aseptic cartons or HDPE bottles. Milk can still be legally sold by the imperial pint in the UK under EU regulations (a distinction only shared with beer and cider).
Commonly sold in gallon (3.78 L), half-gallon (1.89 L) and quart (0.94 L) containers of natural-colored HDPE resin, or, for sizes less than one gallon, cartons of waxed paperboard. Bottles made of opaque PET are also becoming commonplace for smaller, particularly metric, sizes such as one liter. The U.S. single-serving size is usually the half-pint (about 240 mL). Less frequently, dairies deliver milk directly to consumers, from coolers filled with glass bottles which are typically half-gallon sized and returned for reuse. Some convenience store chains in the United States (such as Kwik Trip in the Midwest) sell milk in half-gallon bags.
Commonly sold in 1 litre bags. The bag is then placed in a plastic jug and the corner cut off before the milk is poured.

Practically everywhere, condensed milk and evaporated milk is distributed in metal cans, 250 and 125 ml paper containers and 100 and 200 ml squeeze tubes, and powdered milk (skim and whole) is distributed in boxes or bags.

Spoilage and fermented milk products

When raw milk is left standing for a while, it turns "sour". This is the result of fermentation, where lactic acid bacteria ferment the lactose inside the milk into lactic acid. Prolonged fermentation may render the milk unpleasant to consume. This fermentation process is exploited by the introduction of bacterial cultures (e.g. Lactobacilli sp., Streptococcus sp., Leuconostoc sp., etc) to produce a variety of fermented milk products. The reduced pH from lactic acid accumulation denatures proteins and caused the milk to undergo a variety of different transformations in appearance and texture, ranging from an aggregate to smooth consistency. Some of these products include sour cream, yoghurt, cheese, buttermilk, viili, kefir and kumis. See Dairy product for more information.

Pasteurization of cow's milk initially destroys any potential pathogens and increases the shelf-life [77][78], but eventually results in spoilage that makes it unsuitable for consumption. This causes it to assume an unpleasant odor, and the milk is deemed non-consumable due to unpleasant taste and an increased risk of food poisoning. In raw milk, the presence of lactic acid-producing bacteria, under suitable conditions, ferments the lactose present to lactic acid. The increasing acidity in turn prevents the growth of other organisms, or slows their growth significantly. During pasteurization however, these lactic acid bacteria are mostly destroyed.

In order to prevent spoilage, milk can be kept refrigerated and stored between 1 and 4 degrees Celsius in bulk tanks. Most milk is pasteurized by heating briefly and then refrigerated to allow transport from factory farms to local markets. The spoilage of milk can be forestalled by using ultra-high temperature (UHT) treatment; milk so treated can be stored unrefrigerated for several months until opened. Condensed milk, made by removing most of the water, can be stored in cans for many years, unrefrigerated, as can evaporated milk. The most durable form of milk is milk powder, which is produced from milk by removing almost all water. The moisture content is usually less than five percent in both drum and spray dried milk powder.

Language and culture

The importance of milk in human culture is attested to by the numerous expressions embedded in our languages, for example "the milk of human kindness". In ancient Greek mythology, the goddess Hera spilled her breast milk after refusing to feed Heracles, resulting in the Milky Way.

In African and Asian developing nations, butter is traditionally made from fermented milk rather than cream. It can take several hours of churning to produce workable butter grains from fermented milk.[79]

Holy books have also mentioned milk; the Bible contains references to the 'Land of Milk and Honey'. In the Quran, there is a request to wonder on milk as follows: 'And surely in the livestock there is a lesson for you, We give you to drink of that which is in their bellies from the midst of digested food and blood, pure milk palatable for the drinkers.'(16-The Honeybee, 66). The Ramadhan fast is traditionally broken with a glass of milk and dates.

The verb, "to milk" something is often used in the vernacular of many English-speaking countries as a synonym for extortion or, in less loaded terms, taking advantage of a situation where one has another person at a disadvantage, as in 'milking the situation'.

The word milk has had many slang meanings over time. In the early 17th century the word was used to mean semen, or vaginal secretions, or to masturbate oneself or someone else. In the 19th century, milk was used to describe a cheap alcoholic drink made from methylated spirits mixed with water. The word was also used to mean defraud, to be idle, to intercept telegrams addressed to someone else, and a weakling or 'milksop'. In the mid 1930s, the word was used in Australia meaning to siphon gas from a car.[80]

Milk is sometimes referred to as moo juice in American English,[81] while Cockney rhyming slang calls it Acker Bilk, Tom Silk, Lady in silk and Kilroy Silk.[82]

The name of the Russian Molokan (Russian: "Молока́не") religion in Russian is derived from Russian "Молоко́ " meaning "Milk" as they would drink milk on the Russian Orthodox days of fast.

Other Uses

Besides serving as a beverage or source of food, milk has been described as used by farmers and gardeners as an organic fungicide and foliage fertilizer.[83] Diluted milk solutions have been demonstrated to provide an effective method of preventing powdery mildew on grape vines, while showing it is unlikely to harm the plant.[84]

See also


  1. ^ William H. Bowen and Ruth A. Lawrence, Comparison of the Cariogenicity of Cola, Honey, Cattle Milk, Human Milk, and Sucrose, PEDIATRICS Vol. 116 No. 4 October 2005, pp. 921-926. Retrieved on 21 July 2009.
  2. ^ Soil pH: What it Means, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Retrieved on 21 July 2009.
  3. ^ Deborah Jackson, . . . or just go with the flow?. The Times, 5 May 2005. Retrieved on 21 July 2009.
  4. ^ Champe, Pamela (2008). "Introduction to Carbohydrates". Lippincott's Illustrated Reviews: Biochemistry, 4th ed.. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. pp. 88. ISBN 0-7817-6960-0. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k McGee, Harold (1984). "Milk and Dairy Products". On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. pp. 3–53. ISBN 0-684-18132-0. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Introduction to Dairy Science and Technology: Milk History, Consumption, Production, and Composition, University of Guelph, Retrieved on 21 July 2009.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Oftedal, O.T. (2002). "The mammary gland and its origin during synapsid evolution". Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia 7 (3): 225–252. doi:10.1023/A:1022896515287. PMID 12751889. 
  10. ^ Oftedal, O.T. (2002). The origin of lactation as a water source for parchment-shelled eggs=Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia. 7. pp. 253–266. 
  11. ^ "Lactating on Eggs". 2003-07-14. Retrieved 2009-03-08. 
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ Early man "couldn't stomach milk", 27 Feb 2007, Retrieved on 21 July 2009.
  14. ^ Stone Age Man Drank Milk
  15. ^ Harvard Milk Days Festival, Harvard, IL, Retrieved on 21 July 2009.
  16. ^ "Moose milk makes for unusual cheese". The Globe and Mail. 26 June 2004. Retrieved 2007-08-27. 
  17. ^ "About Bison: Frequently Asked Questions". National Bison Association. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  18. ^ Allen, Joel Asaph (June 1877). "Part II., Chapter 4. Domestication of the Buffalo". in Elliott Coues, Secretary of the Survey. History of the American Bison: bison americanus. extracted from the 9th Annual Report of the United States Geological Survey (1875). Washington, DC: Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey, Government Printing Office. pp. 585–586. OCLC 991639. Retrieved August 16, 2009. 
  19. ^ "The basics of Beefalo Raising". Mother Earth News (Ogden Publications) (68). March/April 1981. Retrieved August 16, 2009. 
  20. ^ International dairy product prices are turning down: how far, how fast?, FAO Food outlook No.1, June 2006. Retrieved on 21 July 2009.
  21. ^ J. Henriksen, "Milk for Health and Wealth". FAO Diversification Booklet Series 6, Rome
  22. ^ O.P. Sinha, "Dairy in India", FAO, Rome
  23. ^ Livestock Production statistics, FAOSTAT, Food And Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. Retrieved on 21 July 2009.
  24. ^ Wayne Arnold, "A Thirst for Milk Bred by New Wealth Sends Prices Soaring", The New York Times September 4, 2007.
  25. ^ Composition and Structure of Milk, Dairy Chemistry and Physics, University of Guelph. Retrieved on 21 July 2009.
  26. ^ Physical Properties of Milk, Dairy Chemistry and Physics, University of Guelph. Retrieved on 21 July 2009.
  27. ^ Homogenization of Milk and Milk Products, webpage of University of Guelph
  28. ^ "Research Can Lead To Longer Shelf Life For Dairy Products"
  29. ^ a b "Does homogenization affect the human health properties of cow’s milk?"
  30. ^ Introduction to Dairy Science and Technology, webpage of University of Guelph
  31. ^ Milk contains traces of ash
  32. ^ Milk From Cows and Other Animals, web page by Washington Dairy Products Commission
  33. ^ "MSN encarta". Archived from the original on 2009-11-01. 
  34. ^ Morales, Edmundo (1995). The Guinea Pig : Healing, Food, and Ritual in the Andes. University of Arizona Press. ISBN 0-8165-1558-1. 
  35. ^ "Milk analysis". North Wales Buffalo. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 3 August 2009.  (Citing McCane, Widdowson, Scherz, Kloos, International Laboratory Services.)
  36. ^ McGee, Harold (2004). On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, Completely Revised and Updated. New York, NY: Scribner. pp. 13. ISBN 9780684800011. 
  37. ^ Google Books - Designing Foods: Animal Product Options in the Marketplace
  38. ^ Jones, Alicia Noelle (2002). "Density of Milk". The Physics Factbook. 
  39. ^ Calcium Rich Foods: Get All The Calcium You Need Without Milk
  40. ^ Feskanich D, Willett WC, Stampfer MJ, Colditz GA. Milk, dietary calcium, and bone fractures in women: a 12-year prospective study. Am J Public Health 1997; 87:992-7.
  41. ^ Brody T. Calcium and phosphate. In: Nutritional biochemistry. 2nd ed. Boston: Academic Press, 1999:761–94
  42. ^ American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Heaney and Weaver, 51 (4): 656.
  43. ^ Dairy's Role in Managing Blood Pressure, web page of the US National Dairy Council
  44. ^ Chavarro JE, Rich-Edwards JW, Rosner B, Willett WC (May 2007). "A prospective study of dairy foods intake and anovulatory infertility". Human Reproduction 22 (5): 1340–7. doi:10.1093/humrep/dem019. PMID 17329264. 
  45. ^ Roy BD (2008). "Milk: the new sports drink? A Review". J Int Soc Sports Nutr 5: 15. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-5-15. PMID 18831752. 
  46. ^ University of Maryland Medical Center. "Digestive Disorders - Lactose Intolerance". Retrieved 2009-05-03. 
  47. ^ Høst A (1994). "Cow's milk protein allergy and intolerance in infancy. Some clinical, epidemiological and immunological aspects". Pediatric Allergy and Immunology 5 (5 Suppl): 1–36. PMID 7704117. 
  48. ^ Reichelt KL, Knivsberg A-M, Lind G, Nødland M (1991). "Probable etiology and possible treatment of childhood autism". Brain Dysfunct 4: 308–19. 
  49. ^ a b Christison GW, Ivany K (2006). "Elimination diets in autism spectrum disorders: any wheat amidst the chaff?". J Dev Behav Pediatr 27 (2 Suppl 2): S162. doi:10.1097/00004703-200604002-00015. PMID 16685183. 
  50. ^ Hakkak, et al., "Dietary Whey Protein Protects against Azoxymethane-induced Colon Tumors in Male Rats," Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, Vol. 10, 555-558, May 2001.
  51. ^ a b H. Chen et al., Consumption of Dairy Products and Risk of Parkinson's Disease, American Journal of Epidemiology. 2007 May;165(9):998-1006
  52. ^ "Milk linked to Parkinson's risk". BBC News. 
  53. ^ Giovannucci E, Rimm EB, Wolk A, et al. (February 1998). "Calcium and fructose intake in relation to risk of prostate cancer". Cancer Research 58 (3): 442–7. PMID 9458087. 
  54. ^
  55. ^ Chan JM, Stampfer MJ, Ma J, Gann PH, Gaziano JM, Giovannucci EL (October 2001). "Dairy products, calcium, and prostate cancer risk in the Physicians' Health Study". The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 74 (4): 549–54. PMID 11566656. 
  56. ^ The World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research (1997). "Food, nutrition and the prevention of cancer: a global perspective". Food, nutrition and the prevention of cancer: a global perspective. 
  57. ^ Chan JM et al., (2005) Role of diet in prostate cancer development and progression. J Clin Oncol 23:8152-60.
  58. ^ How Bacteria In Cows' (sic) Milk May Cause Crohn's Disease
  59. ^ Cow milk protein allergy presenting with Hirschsprung's disease–mimicking symptoms.
  60. ^ Humoral and cell mediated immune response to cow's milk proteins in Behçet's disease
  61. ^ Report on the Food and Drug Administration's Review of the Safety of Recombinant Bovine Somatotropin
  62. ^ Kahán Z, Gardi J, Nyári T, et al. (July 2006). "Elevated levels of circulating insulin-like growth factor-I, IGF-binding globulin-3 and testosterone predict hormone-dependent breast cancer in postmenopausal women: a case-control study". International Journal of Oncology 29 (1): 193–200. PMID 16773200. 
  63. ^ Pacher M, Seewald MJ, Mikula M, et al. (January 2007). "Impact of constitutive IGF1/IGF2 stimulation on the transcriptional program of human breast cancer cells". Carcinogenesis 28 (1): 49–59. doi:10.1093/carcin/bgl091. PMID 16774935. 
  64. ^ Institute of Food Science & Technology (1999-09-01). "Bovine somatotropin (bST)". Monsanto Company. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  65. ^
  66. ^ International Scientific Committee Warns of Serious Risks of Breast and Prostate Cancer from Monsanto's Hormonal Milk. Press release of the Cancer Prevention Coalition.
  67. ^ Oca News Articles
  68. ^ US Food and Drug Administration
  69. ^ Milk: Epstein, S., America's Health Problem. Web page of the Cancer Prevention Coalition.
  70. ^ Mastitis Control Programs: Milk Quality Evaluation Tools for Dairy Farmers
  71. ^ Greger, Michael. Paratuberculosis and Crohn's Disease: Got Milk? Pro-vegan online publication, January 2001
  72. ^ People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. "Milk Sucks". Retrieved 2009-12-09. 
  73. ^ "How to Buy Dairy Products", Home and Garden Bulletin 255, USDA, February 1995. Retrieved 16 May 2007.
  74. ^ "Yogurt and Other Cultured Dairy Products", National Dairy Council, 2000.
  75. ^ Rombauer, Irma S. and Marion Rombauer Becker (1975). The Joy of Cooking (Revised Edition). Bobbs Merrill. pp. 533. ISBN 0-672-51831-7. 
  76. ^ a b Milk and Juice Cartons Fact Sheet, Waste Wise WA, Retrieved on 21 June 2009.
  77. ^ Got Milk? Make Sure It's Pasteurized
  78. ^ Shelf-Life of Pasteurized Fluid Milk as Affected by Age of Raw Milk
  79. ^ Crawford et al., part B, section III, ch. 1: Butter. Retrieved 28 November 2005.
  80. ^ Cassell's Dictionary of Slang
  82. ^ Cockney Rhyming Slang
  83. ^ Campbell, Malcom (2003-09-19). "Fact Sheet: Milk Fungicide". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2009-04-01. 
  84. ^ "Drop of white the right stuff for vines". Science Daily. 2002-09-12. Retrieved 2009-04-01. 


External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Milk (film) article)

From Wikiquote

Milk is a 2008 film about Harvey Milk, a politician and activist who became the first openly gay man elected to major public office in the United States.

Directed by Gus Van Sant. Screenplay by Dustin Lance Black.

Harvey Milk

  • This is Harvey Milk speaking- Friday, November the 18th. This is only to be played in the event of my death by assassination. During one of the early campaigns, I began to open speeches with a line — became something of a signature.
  • If I was speaking to a slightly hostile audience or a mostly straight one, I might try to break the tension with a joke.
  • I know I'm not what you were expecting, but I left my high heels at home.
  • I fully realize that someone who stands for what I stand for... an activist, a gay activist... makes themself a target for someone who is insecure, frightened, terrified, and disturbed themselves. It's a very real possibility you see because — in San Fransisco... we have broken the dam of major prejudice in this country.
  • I wish I had time to explain all the things that I did. Almost everything was done with an eye on the gay movement.
  • Forty years old — and I haven't done a thing that I'm proud of.
  • We need one of our own in office.
  • I'm not the candidate. I'm part of a movement. The movement is the candidate- there is a difference. You don't see it. I do.
  • (on his new look) I'm not gonna let those Pacific Heights biddies write me off because of a ponytail. And I like it. No more pot, no more bathhouses for me and my little poo.
  • I don't think state assembly seats should be the reward for service to the Democratic Party machine. Machines run on oil and grease. They're dirty, they're dehumanizing, and they tend to be entirely unresponsive to the needs of anybody but those of their operator.
  • I don't want to see another sign that says fucking "Machine" on it because this three-time "faggot loser" is running for Supervisor.
  • I know you're angry! (cheers) I'm angry! Let us march the streets of San Francisco and share our anger!
  • (to Cleve) March them right up to the steps of City Hall. When things start to look really bad- the city's first gay supervisor... will come out and play peacemaker. Do it with me. (Gives Cleve the bullhorn)
  • My name is Harvey Milk and I'm here to recruit you! I want to recruit you in the fight to preserve your democracy! My brothers and sisters you must come out! Come out to your parents, come out to your friends — if indeed they are your friends! Come out to your neighbors! Come out to your fellow workers! Once and for all, let's break down the myths and destroy the lies and distortions!
  • Get me Orange County.
  • This is shit. Shit and masturbation. This is just a coward's response to a dangerous threat.

Cleve Jones

  • (after first meeting Harvey) Not interested, old man.
  • What are you, some sort of street shrink?
  • Fuck that. Elections of any kind are nothing more than a fucking bourgeois affectation.
  • At least now you look gay.
  • Out of the bar and into the streets; Anita Bryant is coming for you!
  • (on Dan White) Is it just me or is he cute?
  • The new Mrs. Milk. I give it a week.

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010
(Redirected to milk article)

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



A glass of cow's milk.


From Old English meolc; compare Danish mælk, Dutch melk, West Frisian molke, German Milch, Norwegian melk, Swedish mjölk, Yiddish מילך (milkh). Polish mleko




countable and uncountable; plural milks

milk (countable and uncountable; plural milks)

  1. (uncountable) A white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals to nourish their young, especially that which comes from a cow.
    1. (US standard of identity) The lacteal secretion, practically free from colostrum, obtained by the complete milking of one or more healthy cows, and including the addition of limited amounts of vitamin A, vitamin D, and other carriers or flavoring ingredients identified as safe and suitable.
  2. (uncountable) A white (or whitish) colored liquid obtained from a vegetable source such as soy beans, coconuts, almonds, rice, oats. Also called non-dairy milk.
  3. (countable, informal) An individual serving of milk.
    Table three ordered three milks. (Formally: The guests at table three ordered three glasses of milk.)


  • 2007 September 24, Chris Horseman (interviewee), Emily Harris (reporter), “Global Dairy Demand Drives Up Prices”, Morning Edition, National Public Radio
    [] there's going to be that much less milk available to cover any other uses. Which means whether it's liquid milk or whether it's cheese or yogurt, the price gets pulled up right across the board.

Derived terms




to milk

Third person singular

Simple past

Past participle

Present participle

to milk (third-person singular simple present milks, present participle milking, simple past and past participle milked)

  1. (transitive) To express milk from (a mammal, especially a cow).
    The farmer milked his cows.
  2. (transitive) To express any liquid (from any creature).
  3. (transitive) To talk or write at length about (a particular point).
  4. (transitive) To take advantage of (a situation).
    When the audience began laughing, the comedian milked the joke for more laughs.

Derived terms

  • milk it


See also

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

  1. Hebrew halabh, "new milk", milk in its fresh state (Jdg 4:19). It is frequently mentioned in connection with honey (Ex 3:8; 13:5; Josh 5:6; Isa 7:15, 22; Jer 11:5). Sheep (Deut 32:14) and goats (Prov 27:27) and camels (Gen 32:15), as well as cows, are made to give their milk for the use of man. Milk is used figuratively as a sign of abundance (Gen 49:12; Ezek 25:4; Joel 3:18). It is also a symbol of the rudiments of doctrine (1Cor 3:2; Heb 5:12, 13), and of the unadulterated word of God (1 Pet 2:2).
  2. Heb. hem'ah, always rendered "butter" in the Authorized Version. It means "butter," but also more frequently "cream," or perhaps, as some think, "curdled milk," such as that which Abraham set before the angels (Gen 18:8), and which Jael gave to Sisera (Jdg 5:25). In this state milk was used by travellers (2 Sam 17:29). If kept long enough, it acquired a slightly intoxicating or soporific power.

This Hebrew word is also sometimes used for milk in general (Deut 32:14; Job 20:17).

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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Simple English

A glass of milk

Milk is a white liquid produced by mammals, for example cows, dogs, and humans. It is made in the mammary glands (breasts, udders, or teats) of female mammals. Because newborn babies have no teeth, they must be fed milk before they can eat solid food. Milk contains many nutrients to help babies grow and be healthy.


Storing milk

If milk is not kept cool in a refrigerator, it will spoil and become sour after some time. When milk is warmed, it turns sour.[1] Fermentation makes this happen. Lactic acid bacteria changes the milk sugar into lactic acid. Fermentation is used when making dairy products.

Milk is often pasteurised before humans drink it, or is made into dairy products like cream, butter, yoghurt, ice cream, gelato, or cheese. Pasteurised cows' milk will turn sour if it is not kept in a refrigerator. Milk should be stored between 1° and 4° Celsius. If milk is treated with ultra-high temperatures (UHT), it will last longer before spoiling. This means it does not have to be put in the refrigerator until it is opened.


Milk contains a chemical called lactose. Babies make an enzyme called lactase inside their bodies. Adults make less lactase. If they do not have enough, they may not be able to digest lactose anymore. This problem is called lactose intolerance and it affects many adults. There are many medicines that help adults digest lactose. Many lactose-intolerant people drink soy milk instead of animal milk, because it does not contain lactose. Soy milk is similar to animal milk, but it is made from soybeans.

Goat milk

Goat's milk is the milk from a goat. It can be drunk, both by humans or baby goats, or cheese can be made from it. This cheese is called goat's milk cheese.[2]

Coconut milk

Coconut milk looks similar to real milk, but it does not have as many nutrients. It is made by removing the white "meat" from a coconut, pressing or squeezing the "meat", then adding water. It is sometimes used in cooking, for example, in Thai curry. Coconut cream is a thicker version of coconut milk which contains added sugar.


Milk forms an important part of a person's daily balanced diet. It contains a lot of calcium that helps bones and teeth to grow stronger. Also, milk provides the body with high quality proteins, and helps in meeting the body's requirement for vitamins. One glass of milk gives about 44% to the daily-recommended vitamins intake. Some kind of milks, though, do not have good calcium. These kind of milk products include cream, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, and cream cheese.[3]


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