Cover image for
Milk : a local and global history / Deborah Valenze.
Call Number:
641.37109 VAL
Publication Date:
New Haven [Conn.] : Yale University Press, c2011.
Physical Description:
xv, 351 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
The culture of milk. Great mothers and cows of plenty -- Virtuous white liquor in the Middle Ages -- The Renaissance of milk -- Feeding people. Cash cows and Dutch diligence -- A taste for milk and how it grew -- Milk comes of age as cheese -- An interlude of livestock history -- Industry, science, and medicine. Milk in the nursery, chemistry in the kitchen -- Beneficial bovines and the business of milk -- Milk in an age of indigestion -- Milk gone bad -- Milk as modern. The ABC's of milk -- Good for everybody in the twentieth century -- Milk today.
"How did an animal product that spoils easily, carries disease, and causes digestive trouble for many of its consumers become a near-universal symbol of modern nutrition? In the first cultural history of milk, historian Deborah Valenze traces the rituals and beliefs that have governed milk production and consumption since its use in the earliest societies. Covering the long span of human history, Milk reveals how developments in technology, public health, and nutritional science made this once-rare elixir a modern-day staple. The book looks at the religious meanings of milk, along with its association with pastoral life, which made it an object of mystery and suspicion during medieval times and the Renaissance. As early modern societies refined agricultural techniques, cow's milk became crucial to improving diets and economies, launching milk production and consumption into a more modern phase. Yet as business and science transformed the product in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, commercial milk became not only a common and widely available commodity but also a source of uncertainty when used in place of human breast milk for infant feeding. Valenze also examines the dairy culture of the developing world, looking at the example of India, currently the world's largest milk producer. Ultimately, milk's surprising history teaches us how to think about our relationship to food in the present, as well as in the past. It reveals that although milk is a product of nature, it has always been an artifact of culture"-- Provided by publisher.

"A history of milk and its many uses in different cultures of the world"-- Provided by publisher.
Bibliography Note:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Horizon Bib Number:


Call Number
Material Type
Item Holds
641.37109 VAL Adult Non-fiction Book
641.37109 VAL Adult Non-fiction Book

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