Ask An Udderly Ridiculous Question….

I know that at least thirty people read this blog every day, sometimes more. At least this is what my WordPress stats tell me. With that in mind I was wondering if we could pool our collective brain power to answer a question that has been puzzling me for a while now.

Given that milk is transported around in big barrels and trucks before being pumped into bottles, how many cows contribute towards the average pint of milk? Potentially there are hundreds of strands of cow DNA passing through you each evening as you finish up your milk and cookies before heading off to bed!

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4 Responses to “Ask An Udderly Ridiculous Question….”

  1. With all of the potential donors for the milk you drink, aren’t you glad our food supply is so safe.

  2. I was holding off commenting in the hope someone else would answer!

    Apparently there are 2 million adult dairy cows in the UK but not all of them will contribute to every pint… It will depend somewhat on what kind of milk you buy (or consume via chocolate, biscuits, cheese, yoghourts, and even baked beans – most of which include milk products in the ingredients).

    Local independent dairies sometimes have their own milk. There’s an organic farm near me that has a herd of about 40 and markets their own milk so that’s probably the lower end of what you’d expect in a pint.

    Apparently the fact that cow DNA is present in milk is used by food scientists and health authorities to determine questions like whether cows’ milk had been used to bulk out (or adulterate) goats’ milk used in goats’ cheese, etc.

    There are plenty of other things in the food supply I worry about… I’m not sure how much or in what ways the amount of cow DNA is likely to matter?

    • illegibleme Says:

      Thanks for the answer jonvagg! Just to clarify; I’m not at all worried about the amount of cow DNA slushing around inside me, I just find myself fascinated by the concept for some reason. I’m odd like that.

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