When Did Man Begin To Drink Milk?


3 Answers

Pippa Corbett Profile
Pippa Corbett answered
No exact date is known for when mankind first started drinking milk, but it's thought that the practice probably started around 9,000 years ago.

Anthropologists point to areas of modern-day Iran and Turkey as the locations where milk was first consumed as a human food source.

Where did drinking milk start?
We may take it for granted that drinking a cool glass of milk is a logical thing to do, but, until just over 9,000 ago, it would have been considered 'bonkers' to drink a glass of cow's milk.

In fact, whilst drinking breast milk is something that comes naturally to all human babies, the idea of people consuming cow milk didn't really take off until the early civilizations of the Euphrates/Tigris delta.

These civilizations would have been the first to herd livestock (for meat), and this is probably where the idea of drinking milk first started.

Who were the first milk-drinkers?
Interestingly, most scientists believe that, until 7,000 years ago, drinking cow milk would have actually made most people sick! According to studies, early man would have been lactose-intolerant (and therefore drinking cows milk would have made him sick).

It was only due to a genetic mutation in humans living in central Europe that milk became digestible - and this has since spread all over the world.
Sudipa Sarkar Profile
Sudipa Sarkar answered
The first use of milk and milk products took place since before the recorded history of mankind.

Milk and its by-products like butter and cheese were common foods of the people roaming the grassland of Asia thousands of years ago.

According to the Bible, Able, the son of Adam, was a "keeper of sheep" and probably consumed milk. The earliest mention of milk in the bible is "Jacobs's prediction" in 1700 B.C.

Canaan was "the land of milk and honey" in 1500 B.C. With all these cases, the mention of milk implies that it was used much earlier.

It is very surprising that the idea of making concentrated and dry milk is not a modern idea; the method was also in use as early as the year 1200 A.D.

The Tartars used milk in dry form and also used it as food during the raids under Genghis Khan. The original patent for evaporated milk was given in 1856 and it was used widely by the soldiers in the civil war.
Gillian Smith Profile
Gillian Smith answered
There's no documentary evidence for when people first started to drink milk.

I would imagine that people would have used the milk from most animals that they could have managed to control.

Wild horses, the forerunners of cattle - aurochs would have been much more wild than their domesticated followers but it's likely that some people in some areas will have recognized the potential of the mobile milk supply and been able to harness it.

As for smaller animals, they too well may have been used for their milk supply prior to the neolithic and the gradual domestication of animals on a large scale for their meat, milk and hides.

In cooler climates it's highly likely that animals such as reindeer provided milk as a food source.

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