chapter  6
Pages 5

In this book I have outlined ways in which milk has been imagined and reimagined across human prehistory and history and across cultures. Humans have a relatively recent evolutionary history with other mammalian milks. The adoption of these by some human populations led to natural selection favoring alleles allowing for the digestion of milk (specifi cally the milk sugar lactose) throughout life. People were now free to imagine milk in a new way: a novel source of food that had once been the exclusive provenance of infants was now available to all age groups, and which could also be modifi ed in myriad ways for various purposes: preservation, transport, cooking, etc. Not everyone jumped on the milk bandwagon though, and many human populations did not keep dairy animals or used them exclusively for dairy products rather than for fresh milk. For many of them fresh milk was imagined as undesirable at best or outright disgusting.