Cows Milk

8 Apr 2010

The Observer April 4th (see www.guardian.co.uk/) has a story about cows being the key to human success in Europe. A study of the remains of 20,000 people from the 8th century BC to the 18th century AD has found that during the Roman Empire period our level of nutrition declined - but increased again in the 'dark ages' and the reintroduction of traditional northern European farming with it's emphasis on dairying. A big factor in the height of people can directly be associated with milk consumption (and milk products such as cheese and butter). Larger bone growth is indicative of improved diet, the study claims, so presumably milk did not have a major role in Roman agriculture - when Britain was famous for its cultivation of grain.