Milk; Its Production, Its Care, Its Use

T. M. ROTCH
1900 Boston Medical and Surgical Journal  
the Coni'Hrkncic :•-The remarks of the gentlemen who have just spoken regarding milk and its production are very pertinent to the subject, and indeed pertinent in the sense of the extreme importance of the subject. Physicians have long recognized what ¡I dangerous food milk may be under certain conditions. It is probably tins most, dangerous food that we can supply to the people at large, and yet it is tins food that is evidently demanded by people all over the world, and has been lor centuries
more » ... been lor centuries ; that is, the milk question has existed for many centuries. It (hites back to the time of flus Iígyptians, and in their hieroglyphics we see what a change took place in regard to tins production of milk as time went on through the different dynasties ; that is, in tins earliest times before the value of milk as a food was recognized. From these records found on the pyramids, and traced from Century to century, it is evident that the cow at first Was neither 'developed for nor used ¡is a food producer. In the beginning the udders were small, and knowing how extremely realistic the Egyptians were "i their representations, we ¡ire led to believe that what is seen on tins pyramids and in the hieroglyphics 's a true record. This is interesting to us as physi wans, and also must las interesting to you health «Ulcers throughout the State and throughout the country ; in fact, throughout the world. The cow was not originally a food producer for the people, but simply gave sufficient milk for a limited time, and was not intended to produce milk throughout this year. As time went on the value of milk as a food was recognized. Later it came into _l|se as :i medicine by physicians, and soon became an ""portant article of food for the table of the rich and of the poor. In order to obtain a sufficient amount of this food the cow had to be developed in some way, ilhd gradually, as this hieroglyphics show, the udders Were depicted ¡is being larger and larger until finally ti 11 -\ , , L"c udder Wils fully developed and the cow became an animal directly connected with the food supply. Although ¡it different periods statements have been hade that milk is not a good i'ood, yet it has continued to be used, and its dangers being recognized, the people are now demanding a safe milk and are supporting the health ollicers in the measures which they take to get it. The physician is continually meeting With cases of sickness which arise from milk, and it f8 'his duty of the health ollicers to aid the physician ' .Y such regulation of the milk supply as to prevent r Us transmission of disease by milk. Milk, is such 8°°d culture ground for all forms of pathogeniĉ gftnisms that it becomes a source of the greatest ,' K1' 1' to, and one of the causes of tho great mor-dlllln t : Ul t . V among, infants and young children. It is true j,ili the health ollicers have been somewhat hampered 'thoip efforts by the ignorance of certain physicians 'o are dealing' with the diseases, but have no idea the source of such diseases. The health offloer ¡s "' Ls dealing directly with the milk well knows it "logerons, and therefore it is extremely irnpor-tant that when you health ollicers are discussing this subject you should impress upon the physicians that they should by their influence with the public support what the health ollicers do. The health ollicer lays down certain laws and in doing so the milk dealers lind that in order to conform to these laws they must raise the price of their milk, and the people are very apt to refuse to pay the high price which is giving them the best milk. This physician should therefore conic forward and insist that the health ollicer is right, and in this way the physician and health ollicer working together will las able in the future to make milk a safe food, and in doing so will give to the public ¡i good food. There is no doubt that milk is the ideal food ¡I it is good and if it is safe. You would perhaps like to hear a little about the way in which the milk is produced and cared for by some of the farms in the East. I have always been thankful to this health ollicers for what 1 have learned from them and to the expert farmers for what they have taught inc. The physician is too apt to turn aside from them and not obtain valuable knowledge which is ready to Iks given to him if he is ready to take it. 1 have been very much impressed with this, and have felt that I was often so powerless in curing infants and children after the disease transmitted by the milk had once begun, that it became very evident to me that we should turn our attention especially to this prophylaxis Of tinsse diseases. In attempting to get good milk, that is, safe milk, for children, my attention was first called to tho fanners, and I at once made up my mind that the cry of cheap food for the people was one which should Iks strenuously put down by the health ollicer, by the physician, and through them by the intelligent public. The cry of cheap food and cheap milk is a dangerous one, and one wliich of course is heard all over the world, but, as is true of everything which has to be produced in the world, you cannot get what is good cheaply, and you cannot produce and deliver milk for four or live cents ¡i quart in the best way. It must cost more and the people must learn that it must. I do not believe that it is the poor people who will Buffer, nor is it the people in moderate circumstances that will suffer when paying a higher price for their milk. I have had quite a largo experience in inducing people to buy what I believed to be sale milk and safe preparations of milk, rather than cheap preparations, and I have found in the East, and 1 think the same experience will be met with all over the country, that it is not the poor people nor the people of moderate means who object to the price ; it is the rich people, the millionaires, who lind the most fault if you ask them to pay ten or twelve cents a quart for their milk. This is simply one phase of human nature. The millionaire has often been a smart business man who has been trying to get this most for his money all his libs, and he is not half the time intelligent enough to look into such a complicated problem us milk, tie therefore linds fault with the cost of it. The poor man, liowever, has it practically brought before him every day. He sees his children sick and often dying with diseases evidently caused by cheap milk which he has been in the habit of giving them. As soon as he appreciates this he does not grumble about the price, but he saves in other ways and gives his children safe milk and one of higher price. In medicine, antitoxin, wliich preserves so many lives when
doi:10.1056/nejm190007191430301 fatcat:izsiaarchbdsbnij75cnlaxyxq