25 Interesting Facts about Dairy Products

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1 Chocolate milk

Chocolate milk

The chocolate milk was invented by Irishman Hans Sloane in the 1680s when he was in Jamaica. He found the locals’ mix of chocolate and water nauseating and used milk instead. He then brought chocolate milk to Europe where it was sold as medicine.

2. The cheese used by major pizza companies (Dominoes, Papa Johns, Pizza Hut) is monopolized by a single cheese company, Leprino Foods, which has control over 85% of the pizza cheese market.

3. The liquid at the top of yogurt and sour cream is whey. It was originally considered a waste product and was pumped into rivers and streams causing large concentrations of algae and a hazard to the ecosystem.

4. 65% of the world drinks goat milk over cow milk.

5. Stilton blue cheese is known to frequently cause odd and vivid dreams.

6 Milk fat

Milk fat

Because of a surplus of whole milk and milk fat, the USDA has worked with restaurants to expand their menus with cheese-laden products, including paying for a $12 million marketing campaign for Domino’s to develop a new line of pizzas with 40% more cheese.

7. A dairy farm named Hong Ning in Hong Kong, despite having no cattle on the site has been churning out some 4000 bottles of “fresh milk” made of formula every day since 2008 without the public’s knowledge.

8. Before World War 2, skim milk, as a byproduct of the butter making process, was either thrown out or used to fatten pigs up. Shortly thereafter, it was marketed as a weight loss food to people.

9. String cheese is made by heating mozzarella to 60°C which causes the milk proteins to line up. They can then be peeled off in strings.

10. Dondurma or Turkish ice cream is resistant to melting and is so stretchy that you can skip with it.

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11 Ghee and Clarified butter

Ghee and Clarified butter

The difference between Ghee and Clarified butter is that Ghee is simmered making it nuttier tasting and aromatic.

12. Ultra-pasteurized milk like Organic Horizon and Stonyfield do not need to be refrigerated. They are put into the cooling section at the store because people don’t trust unrefrigerated milk, especially in the United States.

13. Cheddar cheese is naturally lactose-free due to the natural process of making aged cheese. Liquid whey which separates from the milk is removed. This is why many types of aged cheese like Cheddar, Asiago, Parm and Swiss contain little to no lactose.

14. According to a poll done by the “Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy”, 7% of American adults think chocolate milk comes from brown cows.

15. In 2011, Norway went through a nationwide butter shortage, where smugglers would often get caught smuggling butter and online auctions for one packet of butter reached as high as $77.

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16 Milk


Milk must be offered at every meal if a United States school district wishes to get reimbursement from the federal government.

17. Icelandic Skyr is technically a cheese, not a yogurt.

18. Until about 11,000 years ago milk was toxic to humans. The only way humans were able to consume it was by lowering the lactose levels by turning it into cheese. Today only one-third of the adults are lactose tolerant, and the closer you get to the equator the lower the tolerance level is.

19. There’s a cheese named maggot cheese from Sardinia which has maggots in it. It’s outlawed by European Union for food hygiene and health violations. However, it is still made and sold on the black market.

20. Milk allergy is quite different from Lactose intolerance and can be problematic for young children due to ignorance of the differences.

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21 Swiss cheese

Swiss cheese

The “holes” in Swiss cheese were, until recently, seen as a sign of imperfection and something cheesemakers tried to avoid.

22. Though nowadays there are plenty of rennet substitutes, Indian cheese known as Paneer is one of the few kinds of cheeses in the world that has traditionally not required a calf slaughter to obtain stomach enzymes to curdle the cheese. Paneer is curdled by just adding lemon juice.

23. A fermented milk drink named kefir was traditionally made in skin bags that were hung near a doorway. The bag would be knocked by anyone passing through the doorway to help keep the drink mixed.

24. Holes in Swiss cheese are actually called ‘eyes’. Swiss cheese without eyes is known as ‘blind.’

25. Cheese can be addictive, as it contains trace amounts of naturally occurring morphine, that comes from the cow’s liver.

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  1. Any techie out there will love this. The first family we visited with young children invested in a robot to help milk their cows so they can have the flexibility to go to their kids’ sports games and other commitments. Any busy family can understand this balancing act! The cows line up when they know they’re ready (moms who’ve ever nursed a baby can relate, I am sure), they enter the stall, and then the machine sterilizes and hooks right up to their udders. The accompanying computer records which tagged cows have been milked and how many gallons they produced. It was amazing to see this technology!

  2. Re #12: I was first introduced to UHT (in German “UHZ”) milk when I lived in Germany way back in 1980. The UHT milk was not put in the refrigerated shelves. When I moved back to the US in 1983, the UHT milk on sale at the local supermarkets were not refrigerated. I now live in China and, once again, the UHT milk is not in the refrigerated shelves at the stores.



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