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Milk: a local and global history

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?

(PDF) DEBORAH VALENZE. Milk: A Local and Global History | E Melanie DuPuis - ecejyredagij.ml

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.

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It reveals that although milk is a product of nature, it has always been an artifact of culture. No other book covers the territory in quite the same way. Deborah Valenze is professor of history at Barnard College. She lives in Cambridge, MA.

Deborah Valenze on the History of Milk

This epic saga will make you rethink everything you thought you knew about milk — from the health benefits and safety, to its nutritional value and hallowed place in the American diet. This is an enourmous gulp of a history, traversing many centuries and the myriad of attitudes toward milk that could not possibly be more different than our own. She also quotes widely from historical and literary sources.


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