I was hoping for history that would inform the present, but the present is almost an afterthought here. Jul 08, stillme rated it it was ok Shelves: Milk is written in a very academic way, so I often found myself falling asleep while trying to read. It's possible you could just read the last two sections and get a good sense for why we drink so much milk.
I feel that more coverage could have been given to the dairy lobbies and the huge "got milk" campaigns - these obviously affect how we view milk and why we think it's something we all need to drink. Jul 14, Megan rated it did not like it Shelves: This book bored me to tears.
I only made it a few chapters in. I thought I'd learn interesting things about milk, but the first several chapters were an exhaustive list of when and where milk has occurred in arts and literature. Aug 26, Yanxy added it. A bit dry, but if you like milk and have a curious mind, why not.
Aug 07, Susan Reed rated it it was ok Shelves: May 03, Francisco Valdes rated it really liked it. A very thorough historical and sociological perspective of milk and the dairy industry.
Ultimately, milk's surprising history teaches us how to think about our relationship to food in the present, as well as in the past. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Jan 27, Alicia rated it liked it. 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. A peek into the average British fridge will find white-coloured water in bottles: 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. And it isn't just milking and making products from milk that is the question, it's, "Why cows?
Jan 27, Alicia rated it liked it. More academic than anticipated but still readable and enjoyable. Nov 11, Christy rated it liked it. This is read as a history book The information was extremely interesting, just not 'get sucked in' kind of book. Olivia Marohnic rated it really liked it Jan 16, Phoebe Newton rated it it was amazing Dec 30, Chriskolak rated it really liked it May 13, Kate rated it really liked it Jan 10, Jesse De Angelis rated it liked it Dec 03, Dylan Craig rated it it was amazing Mar 25, Kevin rated it liked it Sep 17, Sarah rated it it was ok Jul 23, Jennifer rated it really liked it May 17, Throughout her book, she makes that point quite clearly.
Busty ancient goddesses, the Virgin Mary squirting breast milk into the mouths of saints, the rise of European pastoral dairy culture, and the rise of the industrial milk system are only some of the examples Valenze uses to show that milk has always been a special food, treasured by one culture after another as a precious substance. She illustrates this theme in exquisite detail, making her book the most thoroughly researched and wide-spanning history of milk yet undertaken.
Valenze's book is an excellent reference document and a deep compendium of historical evidence that any serious food scholar would find useful. The chapter on milk as a symbol of virtue in medieval times considers the meaning Most users should sign in with their email address. If you originally registered with a username please use that to sign in.
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Seen through a milk historian's eyes, Pepys's diaries tell of an orgy of milk product consumption: Today, we are no less exercised by myths and quasi-scientific beliefs about milk. Health fears and worries about the side-effects of industrialised production have meant declining consumption for 40 years in Europe.
A peek into the average British fridge will find white-coloured water in bottles: The only disappointment in Valenze's book is that after telling of 5, years of ups and downs in the fortunes of milk, she doesn't venture far into milk's current decline. Traditional dairy farming, which shaped the countryside of northern Europe more than any other human activity, is disappearing. Thousands of British dairy farmers have gone out of business in the last decade, chiefly because we or the supermarkets won't pay enough for our pint. Unless this changes, the future is the vast milk factories already dominant in the US, filled with hybrid cows which never see a grassy pasture and work only two or three years before being destroyed.
Daisy the dairy cow, with a straw hat in a field of clover, gave milk for 10 years or more.
As one study cited by Valenze tellingly reveals: Topics Food and drink books The Observer. Health, mind and body books reviews.