Tuesday, April 25, 2023

History of low-fat milk

Historians date the practice of drinking cows’ milk back to the past 8,000 to 10,000 years. Prior to the 1930s, skim milk still existed as a byproduct of the butter-making process. Non-fat milk, also called skim milk, is cow milk from which most of the fat content has been removed. It tends to be thinner and has a less rich taste.

This “waste” was commonly disposed of by dumping it into rivers throughout the 1920s until the government was forced to put a stop to it due to the horrific odor of spoiled milk that permeated the surrounding areas.

Whole milk, which contains at least 3.25% fat, was the preference of consumers until dietary concerns caused reduced fat milk to become popular.

The development of skim milk and low fat-milk as an attractive product for sale only came about because dairy producers, emboldened by their success selling milk to Uncle Sam during World War II, seized on postwar marketing opportunities to sell what once had been hog slop to housewives and families. Defatting milk and producing non-fat milk and low-fat milk began to grown in popularity in the 1950s. In addition to non-fat products, people can now buy 1% or 2% milk, which tends to taste more like whole milk.

Lower fat milks gained in popularity beginning in the 1960s because of the move against saturated fats, which were believed to lead to weight gain and because saturated fat raised LDL, and LDL was tied to heart disease.

In 1979, after a National Academy of Sciences study dealing with ways to reduce fat, schools were told to serve unflavored low-fat milk, skim milk or buttermilk. Serving whole milk was a local option.

In 1985, the first time the Department of Agriculture (USDA) definitively recommended a switch to low-fat dairy as a way of managing fat intake. Since 2012, public schools have been required to serve only non-fat and low-fat milk to students, a change brought on by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
History of low-fat milk