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Milk And Butter

( Originally Published 1917 )



Milk, the perfect food. Every human being has at one time lived wholly on milk! This proves beyond question that milk contains all the food elements required to sustain life and promote growth. But as the human being develops, the upbuilding of his body demands other foods. Here begins the insistent call for variety in our nourishment that has made man explore the whole world for things to eat.

In America, when we speak of milk we usually refer to the milk of cows. But in other countries the people use the milk of goats, sheep, horses, reindeer, and other animals. In Europe the milk of sheep and goats is used extensively, not only in making cheese, but also as a part of the daily food.

The amount of milk consumed by man is almost beyond imagination. In the United States alone the trade in milk amounts to 7,500,000,000 gallons a year. This by no means represents all the milk we consume, because there are many thousands of gallons used by the owners of the cows, and the government in compiling these figures cannot take these unmeasured supplies into account.

Food properties. in cow's milk. Cow's milk consists of about 85 per cent water and 15 per cent solids. These solids are composed of fat, casein, sugar, and albumin. There are also traces of salts of various kinds. The fat of milk, from which butter is made, is called butter fat. The casein is used for cheese.

Dairying and the cream separator. Dairy methods have greatly changed within recent years. Men who are now barely in middle life can easily recall the time when all milk intended for butter making was put into pans in a dairy house and the thick yellow cream skimmed from the top and churned by hand on the farm. Later came the creamery, which sometimes made cheese as well as butter. The dairy farmer hauled his milk each day to the creamery, and perhaps hauled back to the farm, in the same cans in which he had delivered his sweet milk, a load of buttermilk or whey for his calves and pigs. But this pastoral picture has been changed by the cream separator, one of the greatest of all modern inventions. It is especially valuable to the dairy farmer who lives too far from a town or city to sell his milk to those who use it in its natural state.

The cream separators, which may be operated either by hand or by power, resemble big brass bowls that whirl about with great rapidity. The centrifugal action resulting from the whirling sends the lighter cream to the top of the bowl while the heavier elements remain at the bottom. An outlet at the top permits the cream to escape, while a spout, nearer the bottom, drains off the skim milk.

The advantage of the separator to the farmer living a long distance from the creamery cannot be realized by one who has not seen a wagon heavily loaded with milk cans struggling through the mud and mire of a dirt road in the country after a spring thaw or a series of heavy rains. With the separator in his dairy house, the farmer remote from town or the creamery, instead of hauling hundreds of pounds of raw milk to market, takes one small can of cream. Then, instead of having to haul buttermilk or whey back to the farm for his calves and pigs he has a supply of sweet skim milk left at home for these animals. They relish this milk and thrive far better on it than on sour milk, buttermilk, or whey.

But not every dairy has a separator. There are still many dairies in the country where the milk is cooled in a picturesque springhouse just as it was during the last century. But dairies of this kind usually sell their milk for consumption in the natural state and not as cream, butter, or cheese.

Handling milk for family use. Modern improvements in the methods of handling milk for family use in cities and villages have been little short of marvelous. To-day there are hundreds of dairy farms which ship milk to the big plants every evening. Many of them milk from seventy-five to one hundred cows each and some of the larger farms several hundred cows. On these large farms today the milking machine, a modern labor-saving device, is being introduced. This ingenious machine is operated by electricity and is a great boon to the farmer with a large herd in a region where farm laborers are scarce and wages high.

If one of these farms is close to a large city it will send its whole milk-that from which the cream has not been taken to the city.

A model dairy farm. Not long ago the writer visited a large dairy farm near Chicago, and watched the handling of milk for the people who live in that city. Some of it goes to children who have never even seen a cow!

Everything connected with this farm was almost ideal. Its immense barns were as well ventilated and lighted as a modern school building. The cement floors of the stable could be flushed and washed clean with comparatively little labor. In winter a stream of cold, pure spring water flows through the long cement drinking and feeding troughs. There is hot water for washing purposes and the milkers are required to bathe frequently and to wash their hands and the udders of the cows before each milking. The milk house, which stands at some distance from the barn, is equipped with heating and refrigerating devices so that the milk may be cooled quickly or heated to any required degree. The bottling room also has live steam for the scalding of bottles and all vessels in which milk is placed. This model dairy is also fully equipped with milking machines which may be used whenever convenience requires.

Value of shady pastures. This farm abounds in grassy pastures threaded by a clear, cool stream with a rocky bed and banks overhung with trees. In the heat of summer the cows stand in this shaded stream, making a striking picture of contentment, while the rich ,grasses gathered from the pasture are being distilled into milk for the children of the city. The owner declares that this well-shaded stream is one of the farm's most valuable features; for quiet, comfort, and contentment on the part of the cows are necessary for the production of high-grade, perfectly wholesome milk.

Bottling the milk. Since this model dairy farm lies close to Chicago, the milk is sent to that city and marketed as whole milk. There, as near all large cities, are large milk-bottling plants to which many farmers send their milk. The milk is carried in wagons or by motor to the railroad station, where it is put on special milk trains and hauled to the bottling works. Here it is strained, put through the clarifier, pasteurized, and then bottled.. There are also large separators which take the cream from the milk. The cream is sold directly to customers, while the skim milk from the separators is either used in bakeries, sent back to the farms to be fed to the stock and poultry, or sold to the producers of milk-fed chickens.

Pasteurized milk or cream is that which has been heated to a point just below boiling, at which all bacteria are killed. Immediately following this heating, the milk is cooled to 50F., or possibly a little lower.

Testing milk. All milk must be tested before it is accepted in these bottling plants, for when it is sent to the city in bottles, to be delivered to the homes of consumers, the milk must have their guaranty of purity back of it. There are city, state, and federal milk inspectors who work in the different cities and whose business it is to see that no impure or unwholesome milk is sold. They must protect the people who purchase their milk and cream indirectly from the bottling plants or directly from the farmers.

Perhaps you would like to know just how a city using about 260,000' gallons of milk a day protects its citizens from impure milk. This city maintains special investigators whose business it is to "plate" samples of milk for bacteria. This means that, without notice, they take samples of milk being delivered in their city, carry them to their laboratory and there "culture" them, or give the bacteria a chance to develop. If harmful bacteria are found, the milk is rejected and immediate action taken to prevent further deliveries. The plant or farmer furnishing the milk is also subject to prosecution.

Work of the inspector. But the city inspection does not end here. Inspectors, whose duty it is to see that the farms themselves are kept in proper condition, are sent to the various dairy farms which furnish the. milk for the city. They also inspect the bottling plants and the methods in use there. The cows furnishing the milk must be inspected at stated intervals by a registered veterinarian to see that they are in good health.

In one city which takes these precautions, there are about 3,200 wagons delivering milk from some 1,300 distributing stations. These stations are scattered broadcast throughout the whole city.

Precautions to protect the public. Now let us take a look into one of these great milk-bottling plants, which are located throughout the dairy district of our country and maintain many branches in near-by cities. Let us see how they protect the public and meet the requirements of city and state authorities.

These bottling plants buy milk only from the dairy farmers with whom they make contracts and who will live up to their regulations. They employ high-grade, practical dairymen to go from one contract farm to another and offer suggestions calculated to encourage the production of more and better milk. The bottling companies also have expert veterinarians whose business it is to make frequent visits to the various dairy farms under their contract and see that the cows are in prime condition and receiving proper treatment.

The dairy experts divide their time equally between the plants and the farms. In the morning they are at the plants, sampling and testing the milk, as it is delivered, to make sure that it is up. to the standard of quality and purity. In the afternoon they visit the various farms and seek to give the producer every possible assistance in his work.

A trip through a bottling plant. In the bottling plant visited the manner in which the milk was handled was especially interesting. When the farmers brought it in it was emptied into the receiving tank and weighed. The weight was credited to the farmer and the milk passed on to the clarifier, which removed any foreign matter that may have gotten into it. Then if the milk was found satisfactory, it was passed on to the cleaner. From this machine it went to the uniforming tank where all the milk was mixed together. Then it passed to the pre-heater. There, by the aid of hot water coils, the milk was raised to 90 F. Next it went to the pasteurizer where it was raised. from 90 to 145, when it was forwarded into what is called the compartment holder. This is to keep the heat at a uniform temperature until the milk is thoroughly sterilized, and then gradually cool it. From the compartment holder the milk was fed into the cooler where it was reduced to about 45 F. Finally it was automatically put into sterilized bottles and sealed.

It was then cooled again and placed in refrigerator cars for shipment to the city.

When the milk reaches the city, the cars are distributed to the various branches about town where the delivery men assemble for their supplies. Within twenty-four hours after leaving the farm, milk is delivered to the consumer.

Certified milk. There is one grade of milk that sells for about twice as much as ordinary commercial milk. This product is known as certified milk.

Certified milk is produced on a farm approved by the milk commission of the medical society of the city in which it is to be distributed. It is put into special bottles and sealed with special caps, which are furnished to the farrier who has been given a permit to sell certified milk.

The certified milk permit is awarded a farmer only after a committee of the milk commission has visited and inspected his buildings, his cattle, his help, and his utensils. If the quality of the milk produced, the sanitation of the buildings, the methods used, and the health of the stock and employees are all satisfactory, the place is certified. The certified farm must be inspected at frequent intervals and the milk T constantly tested. The bacteria test for cleanliness is generally required.

The care necessary to keep cows, premises, and employees in a condition satisfactory to the inspectors involves a large amount of work and heavy expense. As a result of the exacting care given to the production of certified milk, it does not have to be pasteurized.

Cows for milk and butter. The Holstein is the favorite cow of the farmer selling milk for use in the natural state, since cows of this breed usually give the largest quantity of milk. A good Holstein cow will give about 8,000 pounds of milk a year, or 28 quarts a day during the best milking season. But Holstein milk is likely to yield only about 3.5 -per cent of butter fat, while 4.5 per cent is a fair percentage for Guernsey and Jersey milk.

Butter is the most important product obtained from milk. From 83 to 85 per cent of butter consists of butter fat, the remaining 17 to 15 per cent being moisture and salt, with a trace of proteins, milk sugar, mineral substances, and sometimes coloring. Now let us see by what methods it is made.

Butter making, ancient and modern. The use of butter dates back thousands of years to the time of the ancient Jews. The old-fashioned way of making it was to allow the milk to stand until the cream which came to the top was properly ripened. Then it was skimmed and churned. But to-day that method is not generally used. Suppose we follow a load of milk that a dairy farmer brings to the creamery. First the milk is sampled and, if found below requirements, is rejected. If accepted it is poured into a large weighing tank and weighed. The farmer is given a duplicate of the weight slip and at the end of the month or perhaps the fortnight a settlement will be made. Usually the price of milk is agreed upon for the whole month.

After this the milk is emptied from the weighing tank through a long pipe into a vat in the creamery.

From this vat it is put through the separators and the cream taken off and run into a pasteurizing machine and then into another vat. The skim milk is run into large cans and delivered back to the farmer.

The cream is ripened in what is known as a starting tank, where hot water coils aid the process. In order to bring about the necessary fermentation, a "starter" of curdled mnlk is added. Butter coloring is also added and when the cream is properly ripened it is turned into huge churns and churned at a temperature of about 60F.

The butter forms in little golden globules and the remaining liquid is called buttermilk. This is drawn off and put into tanks or pails, and if the creamery is located in a town, there is usually a ready sale for the buttermilk as a summer beverage. The butter is then washed with clean water and salt worked into it. The salt acts both as a means of making it more palatable and as a preservative, keeping the butter fresh for a considerable length of time. Butter made in this way is known as creamery butter.

Packing butter for market. The butter is put in-to tubs or boxes in which it is to go to the retailer. If it is to be sold in pound packages it is put into a large box having slits in the sides. Through these slits are slipped wires which cut the butter into pound bricks. The butter is then wrapped In specially prepared paper and shipped to market.

The world's greatest butter makers. The United States makes about 650,000,000 pounds of creamery butter a year. Of dairy butter, which is made on the farm and usually sold in bulk, the United States produces about 995,000,000 pounds a year. In one year the United States exported more than 6,000,000 pounds of butter to other countries. The greatest butter-making countries in the world are the United States, Canada, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, and Germany. The United States rivals Denmark in the quality of its butter.

Renovated butter. Perhaps you have heard of "renovated butter" or "processed butter." This is made by working over low-grade or slightly spoiled butter.

The processed or renovated butter is made from "packing stock," which is old butter gathered from various sources. The "packing stock" is melted down and the oil drawn or ladled out, the salt and foreign matter settling to the bottom of the tanks. This leaves pure butter oil. This oil is then aerated and sweetened by having fresh air blown through it. After this process it is again placed in a churn and some good cream or whole milk added to give it the desired flavor. Salt is then worked in and the finished product put into packages.

The manufacture of renovated butter is controlled by the internal revenue department of the United States government. The factories producing this product are given license numbers which must appear on their packages, which are sold under a revenue stamp.



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