Milk Story: The Evolution of Milk Drinking

Milk Story: The Evolution of Milk Drinking


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Milk poured in a coffee cup

This article comes from reading about a report on the profound change in milk consumption among Gen Z with 49% of Gen Z ‘ashamed’ to order milk in public.

The dairy industry has long been a staple of the food industry, with milk being marketed as essential for health. However, in recent years, there has been a shift in thinking, with more and more people being labelled as lactose intolerant. This has led to a decrease in milk consumption, with many people opting for alternative dairy products.

The story of milk drinking is non-linear and complex and dates back several millennia ago.
We start with the following simple observations:

  • Humans are the only mammals to consume milk past childhood.
  • Humans are consuming milk from other mammals, which is not the result of the natural order of things.

How did we transition from milk-a-phobics to milkaholics? According to Mark Thomas, an evolutionary geneticist at University College London in the U.K. We don’t know. Genetic variation occurred thousands of years ago, which is not universal and makes it so that only about 35% of adults globally can fully digest lactose and thus milk.

Assuming this is a stable figure, a more interesting question would be, how did 65% of the population kept quiet and put up with milk drinking all those years ?

Here again answering is risky with many people grew up being told that milk was essential for health, and that it was the best source of calcium.

The trend is changing however, in recent years, there has been a shift in thinking and decrease in milk consumption due to cancel culture, social media or environmental reasons.

Alternative dairy has been on the rise with many startups rushing to offer alternative solutions for these, among those De Novo dairy, Zero Cow Factory, Real Deal Milk, Pure Mammary Factors just to name a few.

It is salutary that people are taking their freedom seriously to choose what suits them best, regardless of peer pressure. No two people have the same taste or convictions.

We’ll continue to increase our offering to make sure everyone can find the products that suit them. We believe in an economy with human and life at the center.



  • Jonathan Yao-Bama

    Jonathan is a Founder at Farmnetz, passionate about food and coding. He has a master's in economics and background in finance. He likes to discover new foods and creative ways of using natural products to make the world a better place. His favorite animal is a lion

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