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Those groups who do continue to tolerate milk, however, often have exercised great creativity in using the milk of domesticated ungulates, not only of cattle, but also sheep, goats, yaks, water buffalo, horses, reindeer and camels.India is the largest producer and consumer of cattle and buffalo milk in the world.The proportion of rural imports by rail as a percentage of total milk consumption in London grew from under 5% in the 1860s to over 96% by the early 20th century.By that point, the supply system for milk was the most highly organized and integrated of any food product.Possibly the first such instance was in 1846, when St Thomas's Hospital in Southwark contracted with milk suppliers outside London to ship milk by rail.The Great Western Railway was an early and enthusiastic adopter, and began to transport milk into London from Maidenhead in 1860, despite much criticism.In food use, the term milk is defined under Codex Alimentarius standards as: "the normal mammary secretion of milking animals obtained from one or more milkings without either addition to it or extraction from it, intended for consumption as liquid milk or for further processing." This definition thereby precludes non-animal products which may resemble milk in color and texture (milk substitutes) such as soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, and coconut milk. In addition, a substance secreted by pigeons to feed their young is called "crop milk" and bears some resemblance to mammalian milk, although it is not consumed as a milk substitute.The correct name for such products are 'soy beverage', 'rice beverage', etc. Humans first learned to consume the milk of other mammals regularly following the domestication of animals during the Neolithic Revolution or the development of agriculture.
In 1884, Hervey Thatcher, an American inventor from New York, invented a glass milk bottle, called 'Thatcher's Common Sense Milk Jar', which was sealed with a waxed paper disk.In many cultures, especially in the West, humans continue to consume milk beyond infancy, using the milk of other mammals (especially cattle, goats and sheep) as a food product.Initially, the ability to digest milk was limited to children as adults did not produce lactase, an enzyme necessary for digesting the lactose in milk.In almost all mammals, milk is fed to infants through breastfeeding, either directly or by expressing the milk to be stored and consumed later. Colostrum contains antibodies that provide protection to the newborn baby as well as nutrients and growth factors.Fresh goats' milk is sometimes substituted for breast milk, which introduces the risk of the child developing electrolyte imbalances, metabolic acidosis, megaloblastic anemia, and a host of allergic reactions.
The first glass bottle packaging for milk was used in the 1870s.