Sunday, June 26, 2016

June is Dairy Month -- Milk Comes from More Than Just Cows

As Dairy Month is winding down, here is an oldie but goodie post from Empire State Farming from three years ago.

While 90 percent of all milk consumed by humans comes from cows, there are other animals that provide milk to us.

Here is a list from the Dairy Farmers of Washington website. Some might be a little surprising, I think:

Goats:  This is probably a no-brainer for most people. Who hasn't heard of that great creamy cheese made from goat's milk? Some people also drink goat's milk because they find it easier to digest because fat globules in the milk are smaller than those in cow's milk.

Sheep: Not as popular as goat's milk, but still something that can be found in the United States. Sheep's milk has twice the fat of cow's milk. It is used to make French Roquefort and chevre cheeses. 

Horse: Not popular in the United States. The Washington website said Mongolian warriors back 700 years ago used horse milk to produce a concentrated paste. Later, during their long marches, they would add water to the paste and make a liquid to drink. Also, in southeastern Russia, people use horse milk to make an alcoholic drink.

Camel: In the desert, camel milk will keep for seven days at temperatures above 80 degrees. If refrigerated, it can stay good for nearly three months.

Water buffalo: Half of all the milk that people drink in India comes from water buffaloes.

Yak: In Tibet, yak butter tea is made from yak milk.

Reindeer: The only source of milk for Laplanders in Northern Scandinavia is reindeer milk. The fat content of this milk is 22 percent, six times as much as cow's milk.

Photos from National Public Radio, University of Wyoming

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