Where Does Milk Come From? Dairy Farm Facts Explained For Kids

Oluwatosin Michael
Oct 13, 2023 By Oluwatosin Michael
Originally Published on Oct 27, 2021
Milk in bottles on blue background.

Milking is the process of extracting milk from cows and other dairy animals.

Milk is an essential food item that is consumed almost every day by people all over the world. But, have you ever thought about where milk comes from and what dairy farms are?

Dairy animals, like cows and buffaloes, are the primary sources of milk in the modern world. A farmer must take care of their animals and ensure that they are eating good quality fodder in order to produce excellent quality of milk on their farms.

The farmer must also ensure that the animals are kept healthy and disease-free at all times.

After the animals are ready for milking, they are taken to a separate area on the farm. The milking area is equipped with all the necessary equipment for extracting and storing milk.

After you are done reading about the milk and milking process, do read our other articles on where does paprika come from and where does pepperoni come from.

Where does almond milk come from?

Almond milk comes from filtered water and almonds. Almonds are soaked in water overnight and then ground into a smooth paste. After this, the required quantity of water is added to get milk. Sometimes, the liquid is strained to remove any residual powder.

Almond milk is an excellent source of nutrition for people who are lactose intolerant or want to avoid dairy produce. It is lower in calories when compared to other kinds of milk when it’s unsweetened.

Almond milk must be avoided by those who are allergic to nuts and almonds. Furthermore, almonds are an excellent source of protein, but almond milk is not. It is also not a good source of calcium.

A cup of unsweetened almond milk contains about 30-60 calories, 0.03 oz (1 g) of carbohydrates, 0.03 oz (1 g) of protein and 0.1 oz (3 g) of fat. There are also a few benefits of almond milk, such as it being healthy.

However, it may not always be as good as cow's milk. Almond milk is also rich in vitamin E. Almond milk is dairy-free and is suitable for people suffering from a lactose intolerance. It also reduces the risk of heart disease.

Where does skimmed milk come from?

The quality of milk is directly affected by what the dairy animal is eating. There are three main types of milk that you can easily buy: whole cream milk, toned milk, and skimmed milk.

Full cream milk gets its name because it contains whole milk fat. There is almost 3.5 % fat in one glass of whole cream milk, which provides 150 calories. It is very beneficial and is generally given to children, bodybuilders, and youngsters.

Toned milk comes from mixing skimmed milk powder and water with whole cream milk. There is almost 3 % fat in toned milk. One glass of toned milk provides 120 calories.

When milk fat is removed from whole milk, skimmed milk is formed. There is 0.3 % fat in skimmed milk. One glass of skimmed milk provides 80 calories. It is referred to as 'skimmed milk' in the UK and Canada and is also called non-fat or fat-free milk.

The minimum fat content for milk varies: whole cream milk (3.5 %), toned milk(3 %) and skimmed milk (0-0.5 %). When people became conscious of the amount of fat in their diet in the US, skimmed milk became famous and became one of the most popular alternatives to whole milk.

Milk comes from the old English word 'meoluc' and can be described as the normal mammary secretion of all milking animals, which is taken from one or more milking process to consume as a liquid or for further processing. Dairy farm is a term related to animal milk or animal milk production.

These days, milk made out of plant-based products, like coconut, oats, soy, and almond, is also called milk due to its white color.

Humans produce milk too, which is fed to babies as they grow. After a certain period, humans switch to milk from other mammals like cows, buffalo, goats, and sheep.

The world's largest milk producer is India, which accounts for almost 21 % of global milk production, followed by other countries like America, China, Pakistan, Brazil, and Russia. Almost all countries are self-sufficient when it comes to milk production. South Asia is the primary source of milk production in the developing world.

What is milk a poor source of?

Milk is a poor source of iron and vitamins C and E.

Milk is an excellent source of high-quality protein which is divided into two parts, casein and whey protein. Proteins in milk are primarily categorized as casein. This is because it has lots of health benefits.

Milk contains vitamins and minerals that are necessary to sustain growth and development. Milk is rich in vitamin B12 and other minerals as well. Dairy products are the most significant source of riboflavin and are also a good source of phosphorus, which plays an essential role in many biological processes.

Unprocessed milk, sourced from grass-fed cattle dairy, contains 4% fat, but commercial milk varies depending on the type of milk.

Nutrients provide us with the energy that encourages repair and development and perform various functions in the human body. Milk contains vitamins A and B, such as nicotinic acid, riboflavin, and thiamine, but milk is a poor source of vitamin C, and E. Milk contains vitamin B12. The major minerals in milk are calcium, sodium, phosphorus, and potassium.

What happens if you drink milk every day?

Milk is an integral part of the diet of many people around the world.

Milk is highly nutritious. In cows, it is formed in the udders and designed to sustain a baby cow or calf during its first couple of months of life.

Many consider milking cows to be an inhumane treatment of a cow and her calf. This calf is then raised to be a farming animal too.

However, after milking a cow, the milk we get is processed, using various methods to pasteurize it and make it safe for human consumption. A variety of foods are made from cow’s milk like cheese, yogurt, cream, and butter.

Dairy farming is mostly an independent job and very different from agriculture. However, they are called farmers too. Food products produced by dairy farmers are called milk or dairy products. These products form a critical part of many people's everyday diet.

People over the age of nine can benefit from drinking three cups of milk per day because milk is an excellent source of nutrition, zinc, choline, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B12, riboflavin, vitamin D, vitamin A and selenium.

While drinking milk can lead to digestive issues such as cramps, bloating, and diarrhea for some people, consuming more than three glasses of milk can help prevent the risk of bone fractures. On the other hand, some people should avoid drinking milk, for example, people who are lactose intolerant.

Milk is used to make many food items like ice cream, yogurt, cheese, ice milk, pudding, hot chocolate, French toast, and various dairy products. Milk is also used to make a variety of food items, like bakery products, and put in coffee and tea.

Espresso drinks, like café latte, are also made by using milk. Therefore, dairy farming is considered a lucrative business worldwide.

Milk is a good health drink, especially for growing children. If they drink milk every day, they can get their required dose of calcium which is essential for growth and healthy bone development.

Milk is an excellent source of protein too. Furthermore, milk increases the appetite-reducing hormone known as ghrelin, which many people refer to as the hunger hormone.

Hence, a glass of milk will keep you satiated for a longer time. It is also a great source of BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids), which help in strong muscle growth.

However, there are some disadvantages of drinking excessive amounts of milk. Milk is known to cause skin conditions, like acne, as it is considered pro-inflammatory. In some people, it causes digestive problems like bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea.

In many cases, milk is heavily processed, which leads to an imbalance of good and bad gut bacteria. This could lead to digestive issues, especially for people who are lactose intolerant.

All types of milk produced by dairy farmers contain lactose (a form of sugar). Most processed milk has growth hormones in it, which can cause prostate or ovarian cancer. If you feel dairy products are making you sick, please ask for medical help.

As you can see, while milk is an excellent source of nutrients, there are some disadvantages to drinking it, especially if it is consumed in excessive quantities. If dairy-produced farm milk doesn’t suit you or your family, you can always switch to non-dairy plant-based milk.

Sometimes you might wonder where milk comes from. You will be glad to know that it’s straightforward to find out. There is a plant code stamped on the container or printed on the label of most dairy products. Just visit the website 'Where Is My Milk From?' and enter the code from your milk container to find out.

In some South Asian countries, fresh milk is home delivered by milkmen directly from dairy farms. You can buy milk from supermarkets too.

There have been some cases of milk adulteration in India. A 2011 survey by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India found that 70 % of samples did not conform to the standards set for milk production and consumption. They also found the presence of detergent in some milk, which is hazardous to human health.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for where does milk come from? Dairy farm facts explained for kids then why not take a look at snake snacks: what eats snakes?

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Written by Oluwatosin Michael

Bachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

Oluwatosin Michael picture

Oluwatosin MichaelBachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

With a Bachelor's in Microbiology from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Oluwatosin has honed his skills as an SEO content writer, editor, and growth manager. He has written articles, conducted extensive research, and optimized content for search engines. His expertise extends to leading link-building efforts and revising onboarding strategies. 

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