The Weird Milk Fact Reverse Monthly Calendar




December

ALL HAIL THE DAIRY LOBBY!

Milk has been proclaimed the official state beverage in each of the following states:
    Arkansas
    Delaware
    Louisiana
    Minnesota
    Mississippi
    New York
    North Carolina
    North Dakota
    Pennsylvania
    South Carolina
    South Dakota
    Vermont
    Virginia
    Wisconsin

     


November

WANNA BUY MILK-FLAVORED MILK?

It seems that a few years back the New Zealand government passed a retail law which prevented supermarkets from selling "ordinary" milk, in an attempt to protect local corner shops and home- delivery services. The big stores, however, were allowed to continue selling "flavoured milk," presumably on the grounds that this was considered to be a confectionery rather than food.

The supermarkets hit back in the simplest possible way by producing and selling "milk-flavoured milk" - ordinary milk with milk powder added. This was so similar to "pure" milk that people happily bought it as such. A few months later the government was obliged to repeal the law.

from New Scientist, 29 August 1998



     


October

THE GREEKS HAD A WORD FOR IT


A Greek poem satirizing a Thracian wedding in the fourth century BC describes the guests as "butterophagous gentry" with unkempt hair. The two attributes amount to the same thing: untidy hair and butter-eating were equally outlandish. Greeks in their own estimation had better coiffeurs than anything available to Thracians; Greeks preferred olive oil to barbarous butter.

The word butter comes from bou-tyron, which seems to mean "cow-cheese" in Greek.

from Margaret Visser's Much Depends on Dinner



     


September

GEORGE WASHINGTON'S
ICE CREAM


Beating the summertime heat with ice cream has been big business for over two centuries. The first commercial ice cream was made by a Mr. Hall of New York City, who advertised it on June 8, 1786. Ice cream itself had been around for much, much longer, of course. Nero had ice imported "from distant snow-capped mountains" for his. And George Washington's expense ledger records a purchase for a "cream machine for ice" on May 17, 1784.


     


August

ALSO STANK ZARATHUSTRA


According to Pliny the Elder, Zarathustra acquired eloquence only after living entirely on cheese for 20 years.


     


July

HI, I'M ELSIE AND I'M IN HEAT


Farmers in the US who want to know when their cows become fertile can glue a special patch called Heat Watch to their tails. Inside the patch is a piezoelectric sensor and a tiny radio with a 400-meter range.

Farmers normally know that a cow is in oestrus when other cows in the herd try to mount her. When a cow receives unwelcome attention from other cows the piezoelectric pressure sensor is triggered and a radio signal is sent. Cows are only in oestrus for 10-12 hours each month. So the patch will be a boon to farmers, telling them the optimum time to artificially inseminate the cows.


     


June

HOW TO HAVE A TRULY CONTENTED COW


"Interbull helps US cows meet the world's best bulls," moos a press release from the US Department of Agriculture. "Interbull, the International Bull Evaluation Service... is like a consumer report that objectively rates bulls world-wide, based on an extensive list of important quality standards."

No fewer than 128,000 American bulls are rated on the list of the Swedish- based agency according to the milk production records of their daughters.

Visit Interbull at: www-interbull.slu.se


     


May

THE COW THAT GAVE SKIM MILK


Researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara gave their experimental cows a diet of protein-coated low fat grain. The coating works to protect the food from being broken down in the cow's first stomach and turned into fat.

The taste: poor to passable depending on the batch. The milk was, oddly, too thick in texture and tasted of sunflower seeds. Fat-free ice cream and beef were given high marks, however.


     


April

I'M BEN AND JERRY. FLY ME.


In 1943, the New York Times reported on a triumph of Yankee ingenuity over that worst of all human conditions: the lack of frozen milk products.

The problem, according to the Times, was that US airmen overseas during World War II couldn't get a regular supply of ice cream.

But they could get fresh milk. Problem solved.

The Yanks built a special canister for the ice cream mixture and attached it to the tail gunner's compartment of the plane. The plane's vibrations plus the icy temperatures at the high altitudes of a normal mission turned the mixture into a creamy dessert by the time they got back to base.


     


March

HOW NOW BLUE COW?


Every spring, so it is reported, Iraqi peasants perform an important ritual to appease their gods.

They fend off hostile spirits by painting their animals in traditional hues.

The faces of calves, for instance, get painted magenta. The udders of full-grown cows are covered in red, except for their teats, which become a vivid green.

One exception. Cattle bred for meat must reproduce themselves to ensure a constant supply for the future. So the only parts of them to be daubed are, um, the genitals. These get to be a brilliant and perhaps all-too-noticeable blue.


     


February

THE FIRST FLYING COW!


February 17th is the 68th anniversary of 1930's first flight by a cow in an airplane.

Elm Farm Ollie, while watched by reporters, produced milk that was put into containers and parachuted over St. Louis, Mo.

Welcome to the wonderful world of publicity stunts.


     


January

ELSIE SHEDS A TEAR!


Ooops. Now we know why the dairy industry is pumping so much money into those Got Milk? ads. Nobody's using the stuff!


Look at this table showing the percentage of Americans who eat each type of milk product, from the 1997 HealthFocus Trends Report:

Product1990199219941996
Margarine83847673
Regular Cheese79545256
Butter46373942
Lowfat Cheese38504736
Ice Cream32303435
Lowfat YogurtNA293929
Nonfat YogurtNA193323
Frozen Yogurt23162619
Whole Milk26242019
    From a survey of more than 2000 consumers' attitudes and actions toward shopping and eating.

And how about those of us who don't drink milk?
  • 9% always or usually choose foods that do not contain dairy products.
  • 8% call themselves Lactose Intolerant.


Bonus Extra Month

CURDS AND VOMIT - A SALES PITCH


Every innovation in milk that we take for granted today was once a very tough sell. First the milk industry had to convince people that pasteurized milk was better than raw milk straight from the cow. When homogenization was developed, the industry had the further problem of getting people to give up the cream that they could skim off the top of the bottle.

When in doubt, appeal to health. The McDonald Dairy of Flint, Michigan, wanted their milkmen, who then went door to door and so were in direct contact with the customer, to be able to prove the claim that homogenized milk was better digested. So the company hired men to drink milk. Half drank regular milk, half the newfangled homogenized stuff. Then they vomited the partially digested milk back up - and bottled the vomit so that the McDonald milkmen could show that, indeed, homogenized curds were more easily digested.

Only in America.

    From Vince Stratten, Can You Trust a Tomato in January? The Hidden Life of Groceries and Other Secrets of the Supermarket.


     


     



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