Holy Cow! First Cheesemakers Date Back 7,500 Years

Holy Cow! First Cheesemakers Date Back 7,500 Years

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The first direct signs of cheesemaking now seen in potsherds from Poland may help reveal how animal milk dramatically shaped the genetics of Europe, scientists reported.

Although cheese may just seem to be a topping on pizza or a companion to wine, it may have shaped the evolution of Europeans, researchers say. Cheese evolved after the development of dairy farming, which helped people take advantage of animal milk, a highly nutritious food one can sustainably procure. Most of the world, including the ancestors of modern Europeans, is lactose intolerant, unable to digest the milk sugar lactose as adults. However, while cheese is a dairy product, it is relatively low in lactose.

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