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eBook Milk: A Local and Global History download

by Deborah Valenze

eBook Milk: A Local and Global History download ISBN: 0300188129
Author: Deborah Valenze
Publisher: Yale University Press (August 7, 2012)
Language: English
Pages: 368
ePub: 1970 kb
Fb2: 1926 kb
Rating: 4.9
Other formats: lrf mobi lrf lit
Category: Cooking
Subcategory: Cooking by Ingredient

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Milk: A Local and Global. Though Valenze does not only focus on cow's milk, much of the later story becomes how that substance, not widely drunk in Europe, comes to be a central commodity by the end of the 19th Century there and in many countries around the world. Many of what I think of as contemporary discussions or food issues Valenze bears out to have long roots: breast milk or animal milk (which is better for the child)?; cow's milk versus goat's milk (I was stunned to learn of an earlier prevalence of goat's milk drinking in the US); raw versus pasteurized (a raging debate went.

Milk, says Deborah Valenze in this fascinating history, has been crucial to survival in many societies. Religious superstitions promoted and confused milk drinking from the beginning and still do so. In all of them, it came in a complex cultural package. Every chapter of its history has involved a kind of cosmic drama, in which the magic or potency associated with the liquid food comes urgently at issue. The notion of milk's potency as a precursor or catalyst of civilisation has often proved controversial. Quite frequently, parts of India, now the world's biggest producer, run out of milk, when rumours spread that Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of wisdom, wishes to "drink" some.

Not far into Deborah Valenze's 3,000-year history, it is apparent that instinct long anticipated wisdom. The Ancients' appreciation of milk was, around the time of the Great War, dignified with, or reduced to, the term "vitamin A". Governments urged its merits, but all educational drives pall beside the case of Bernard of Clairvaux.

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.

Books related to Milk: A Local and Global History.

In the first cultural history of milk, historian Deborah Valenze traces the rituals and beliefs that have governed milk . 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.

Milk: A Local and Global History. Deborah Valenze is Professor of History at Barnard College, Columbia University, in New York City. 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.

According to Deborah Valenze’s stimulating cultural history, the idea of milk has always thrived on contradiction. It is the most basic of foodstuffs, the first nourishment of all mammalian young, including ourselves, and a commodity at the heart of a complex global industry. In the past it has been seen as both a magical, sacred bodily fluid and a bestial by-product carrying uncomfortable reminders of our own animal nature. It has been praised by some as a superfood and condemned by others as a dangerously indigestible threat to health. In the Middle Ages, the virtuous white liquor was.

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? 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. Yet as business and science transformed the product in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, commercial milk became not only a common and widely available commodity but also a source of uncertainty when used in place of human breast milk for infant feeding. Valenze also examines the dairy culture of the developing world, looking at the example of India, currently the world's largest milk producer.

Ultimately, milk's surprising history teaches us how to think about our relationship to food in the present, as well as in the past. It reveals that although milk is a product of nature, it has always been an artifact of culture.

Comments: (4)
Dalarin
This book was my reading companion through one whole summer--packing enough punch for the historian in me, but digestible and with enough story to sustain me beyond initial subject interest. Very succinctly, Milk: A Local and Global History traces milk's doubters and champions through a wide range of culinary, nutrition, cultural, religious, childcare, hygiene, and medical practices, mostly in Europe and North America. Though Valenze does not only focus on cow's milk, much of the later story becomes how that substance, not widely drunk in Europe, comes to be a central commodity by the end of the 19th Century there and in many countries around the world. Many of what I think of as contemporary discussions or food issues Valenze bears out to have long roots: breast milk or animal milk (which is better for the child)?; cow's milk versus goat's milk (I was stunned to learn of an earlier prevalence of goat's milk drinking in the US); raw versus pasteurized (a raging debate went on about this in the early 20th Century; I greatly appreciate that Valenze takes no sides in this debate and displays the very real concerns on both sides); Dutch farming practices of building soil three - four hundred years ago (soil building practices now widely advocated in alternative agricultural); the prevalence of milk drinking in India (I assumed this to be a long-standing practice--Valenze shows it as a more recent development); and, the connection between women taking care of milk herds and the introduction of "scientific" management and industrial processes into milk production, leading to the elimination of the milk maid. On a whimsical note, though Valenze does not mention A Clockwork Orange's Moloko Milk Bar, I was surprised to learn of the prevalence of actual milk bars in places like Australia in the 1950s... so, what had once seemed fabricated and fiction through this reading rose to the level of fact. I was also able to extend this to the appearance in the US about the same time of "Dairy Bars" or "Dairy Queens" and the like-- "wholesome" alternatives to alcohol bars.

Far more than just of interest to foodies, this reading will satisfy both the casual and more serious historian of not only food, but of industrialization, globalization, and even epistemology. Digging deeply for the meaning of milk, Valenze ties these shifting meanings to shifts in milk's use and its processes/processing. Through Valenze, we discover milk's move from mysterious substance likened to blood over centuries to its mundane presence: so common as to be unexamined and generally unexplained. Thus, milk's ubiquity certainly begs for such a thorough history to re-sensitize us to the struggle and the complexity of such a substance whose presence many of us take for granted.
Darkraven
I saw this book on the table of a cheesemaker I was visiting in England and ordered it as soon as I got home to the US. It delivered a wonderful, amazingly well written and insightful history that has given me a broader perspective on not only the dairy industry, but on the current state of food regulations and issues.

If you are a food lover, cheesemaker, or in any dairy related industry, I would really encourage you to own and read this book. So many "milk" focused tomes veer into political or philosophical extremes, but Ms. Valenze really did a great job, in my opinion, staying passionately neutral and sharing facts.

Thank you for this great book!!
Macill
A thorough historical and sociological analysis of the rise of milk as today mythological foodstuff and of the rise of the dairy industry.
Good read.
Dainris
Super fun and enjoyable to read.