Milk is undoubtedly one of the most useful beverages in our world. It is the first thing we consume after being born and we use it in many of our dishes. Yet there are so many things we don’t know about it. Interestingly, there are some facts about the liquid food that could be considered unusual.
We usually think of milk as a product of female mammals as a way to nourish their young. However, birds can also produce milk and it’s not just the Momma Bird who can do it. Male flamingos, pigeons, and even penguins have been known to produce a thick, milk-like substance for their babies.
Here are seven more unusual facts about milk that you probably didn’t know about:
Have you ever noticed that milk is always in the back of the grocery store? Sure, that’s where the dairy section is, but there is another reason why you can’t get milk as soon as you step into the store. One theory suggests that store owners do this to encourage you to buy more products. A short stroll down the aisle will allow you to see other snacks and treats that you’ll want to eat with your milk so you purchase more items.
Did you know that mothers can produce a specific kind of milk depending on the gender of their child? Michigan State University scientists ran a test observing 72 Kenyan moms. Interestingly, the women with baby boys produced fattier milk. This could be because boys and girls have different needs and males need more fat since they are more active. A similar test has been done on rhesus macaques with comparable results.
You can buy just about anything on the internet and these days, that already includes breast milk. The website Only The Breast offers exactly that, allowing moms with excess milk to sell their goods. The online community is still growing and has branched out to Canada and the United Kingdom.
Milk is so versatile that you can even wear it. German fashion designer Anke Domaske developed a fabric called QMilch, which is made from the milk protein casein. Domaske claims that the fabric “feels like silk, doesn’t smell,” and also has some health benefits. It is rather expensive, as an entire dress could cost $199.
They say drinking whole milk is for babies, that’s why 60 percent of adults develop lactose intolerance. However, there are some people who have a mutation that allows them to continue digesting milk. The mutation reportedly makes these people continue producing lactase, the enzyme that digests the sugar in milk. Interestingly, the mutation is usually found in people from Europe, Africa, and India.
Do cows really need to be in the mood to make milk? A new study has found that songs with less than 100 beats per minute can increase milk production by three percent. However, the cows do have their favorite tunes. They reportedly prefer Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day”, R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts”, and Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge over Troubled Water”. The scientists did not reveal how the cows feel about Frank Sinatra or Bing Crosby.
You probably haven’t considered trying pig milk. After all, pigs are the last animal anyone would think of that would produce milk for human consumption. However, a Dutch farmer has reportedly milked some pigs. In addition to that, he produced experimental pig milk cheeses.
But how does it taste? The cheese is reportedly “chalky and a little bit salty.” Although pigs won’t be replacing cows as the top milk producer, this could be something to watch out for.
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