Consideration 36 - The Possibilities Of Improved Infant Nutrition In The Third World

I love the cultures that are used in yogurt and cheese making. Consider a hard pressed cheese like cheddar. Aged cheddar is a year old, it has no chemical preservatives, it is not frozen and it is consumed uncooked. Milk is among the most perishable of foods. I have 2 unpasteurized cheeses in my fridge. A cheddar and a emmentaler. Both are beautiful cheeses. Raw milk cheeses have to be aged for at least 2 months before they are sold. The bacterial numbers fall in the two months until the cheese is safe to eat.

Breastmilk makes the world healthier, smarter, and more equal: these are the conclusions of a new Lancet Series on breastfeeding. The deaths of 823 000 children and 20 000 mothers each year could be averted through universal breastfeeding, along with economic savings of US$300 billion. The Series confirms the benefits of breastfeeding in fewer infections, increased intelligence, probable protection against overweight and diabetes, and cancer prevention for mothers. The Series represents the most in-depth analysis done so far into the health and economic benefits that breastfeeding can produce. 

Countries Without Refrigeration

In 1970 the United Nations published a book called Observations on the Goat by M.H.French. This book states. “In the literature at the beginning of this century, it was not uncommon to see the goat recommended as a foster mother for children and books gave illustrations of children lying on cushions to suckle the obliging nanny.” 

This is raw milk. So is breastmilk. The defences that these milks provide are able to make them safe. Consider the teat. Small amount of milk will remain on the teat. Defences probably exist on the surface of the teat.

Most of the evolution of humans and goats happened in pre-history. The level of cleanliness would be similar for both species. The drying of parts of Africa, prompted the descent of earlier humans from the trees. They probably slept on grass matts. Goats would sleep on dirt or grass. If the infant could not survive because it’s milk was not the fittest, then the un-fittest milk would disappear.

Why can’t this happen again? “Neighborhoods” could a have “goat lady” that provided this service. Any kind of social group or family could provide this kind of service.

 There are ways to extend the shelf life of milk.

The yogurt possibilities.

Yogurt is pickled milk. Cucumbers are preserved when processed into pickles. Bacterial cultures are added to pasteurized milk. These cultures change lactose into lactic acid. The acid level rises until the milk proteins are coagulated. This inhibits the growth of bacterial organisms. The goal is to create an occupied ecology. If it is occupied ecology then others can’t live their.

Consider what happens when an acid producing culture is added to milk. They will grow rapidly and produce lactic acid. The two possibilities that can happen are; the cultures run out of lactose and then stop growing or the level of their excrement {lactic acid} rises until the acid level rises enough to pickle the milk. The latter is the one that happens. Reducing the amount of sugar helps.

The processes that I used to make yogurt are;

Pasteurization -145degrees F for 30 minutes.

Cooling to 110 degrees Fahrenheit {43 degrees Celsius}. This temperature never occurs in Alberta, so there are few microorganisms that exist at this temperature. [I am tempted to say no but with microorganisms zero is usually a non existing number]

The milk is inoculated with a starter culture. These cultures are bred to operate at these temperatures. A few hours later you have yogurt.

I have had yogurt last 7 months at room temperature. You can test this contention by purchasing some plain yogurt and keeping it at room temperature for a week. Flavored yogurt has the possibility of having yeasts in the fruit portion of the yogurt.

I have no experience with feeding yogurt to infants.

There are cultured dairy products available in countries with limited refrigeration.

I believe that this is the best alternative for infant nutrition in the third world.

An good discussion of third world infant nutrition is found in this document.

Milking the Third World

Tehila Sasson

American Historical Review Oc 2016