Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

All mammals drink milk from an early age on. After that most of them switch to eating other things like fruits, vegetables, meat, corn, cereals, etc. But most humans don't switch completely and keep consuming (unprocessed) milk.

I think its a little bit strange, since other animal products like eggs, honey and meat are consumed by other animals.

So why do adult humans drink milk, while no other animal does?

share|improve this question

closed as off topic by Sobachatina, Martha F., Aaronut Aug 15 '11 at 21:35

Questions on Seasoned Advice are expected to relate to cooking within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

There's no real question here. Would vote to close if I had the rep. – Neil Fein Aug 15 '11 at 20:30
The question is in the last sentence – Martin Schlagnitweit Aug 15 '11 at 20:35
What does this have to do with cooking? This seems more like speculative nutritional anthropology than culinary science. My answer would be: because humans are a lot smarter and more resourceful than other animals. We are also the only creatures to bake bread or to make hollandaise sauce. – Sobachatina Aug 15 '11 at 20:59
Per the FAQ questions regarding Food, Food Preparation and Ingredient selection are "on topic" here. I would accept that milk is a Food which may be Prepared and an ingredient that may be selected. OP asks (essentially) "Why do we choose to select to consume Milk?". – Cos Callis Aug 15 '11 at 21:32
@Sobachatina Seconded. My cat cooks a wonderful bernaise though! – Max Aug 24 '11 at 1:10

Because it is good and good for you, and humans (well..some humans) are capable of making this choice.

First I would point out that humans (generally) do not continue to consume HUMAN milk, we consume cows or goats milk. In the US such milk is required to be pasteurized before sale.

Second research has shown that milk (especially chocolate milk) can be a great "sports drink"

share|improve this answer
It is also worth noting that most carnivores will eat milk/dairy given the opportunity. We're pretty much the only one that has the ability to harvest dairy though, so it seems like we have a monopoly. – Satanicpuppy Aug 15 '11 at 22:05
The statement that it is "good for you" is a very dubious one, since this is subject of a lot of debate with a lot of studies suggesting either way. As far as I can see milk might well be bad for you and anyone else... Putting it like this without any question to it i find this a bad anser. – ufotds Aug 16 '11 at 10:30
@ufotds. No, the research on this topic all trends in one direction. Studies contradicting the "Good For You" claim are definitely "outliers". While there are those people who are everything from "lactose intolerant" to downright "allergic" to milk they too do not represent a significant portion of the population to contradict the generality that milk is "good for you". In fact of that sentence my assertion that milk "is good" is far more dubious because it is naturally an opinion where as "good for you" is rather settled science. – Cos Callis Aug 16 '11 at 14:46
@cos callis: Well, the subject of potential health effects of milk is very vast and numerous review studies have been published in 2011 only. A quick look through them seems to indicate that most claim that evidence (on specific health implications) is mixed or inconsistent. The others I have come across seem to be claiming either way. I have not found one study that makes an overall assessment of milk healthiness which is logical as the different individual health effects have not been settled on. Have you got reference to such a super review study, or have you conducted one yourself? – ufotds Aug 16 '11 at 22:48
@ufotds As the SO thought police have dubbed this 'an off-topic' question I will invite you take your studies to and engage in that crowd further in your speculation. When looking at the kind of pseudo-science represented by those so-called 'studies' if their alarmist tripe held truth the human race would have died before the middle ages. Yet somehow mankind has survived on red meat and milk since the dawn of time. The sheer volume of those studies suggests to me that they are more trying to use the tactics of Goebbels & Orwell to shove this down your throat. – Cos Callis Aug 16 '11 at 23:39

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.