Is milk a juice?

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Milk is a white-coloured liquid food made by mummy cows to feed their baby calves. It contains all the nutrients that a young calf needs to grow – and that makes it a good food for humans to drink too.

In our family, we drink a lot of milk – about 8 pints each week! We put milk in our tea, on our breakfast cereal and in our baking. And we eat other things that are made from milk, like butter and cheese and yogurt and ice cream.

But over breakfast the other morning my 5-year-old was thinking about the milk on her cornflakes and she wondered – is it a juice? So let’s find out…

Milk is produced inside the bodies of mummy cows (and by other mammal mummies – like humans and cats and goats) as a food for their babies to drink before they are able to eat other types of foods.

Milk is made up of water, carbohydrates, proteins, fats and minerals – everything that a baby mammal needs to grow. It is a good source of calcium and vitamin D, which help bones to grow and stay strong.

When a baby cow is hungry, it will suck on its mummy’s udders to make the milk come out. Dairy farmers use machines to squeeze the milk out of mummy cows’ udders and put it in bottles to sell it as a food for people.

But is milk a juice?

Well, when we talk about ‘juice’, we usually mean a liquid that can be squeezed out from a fruit or vegetable – like orange juice, lemon juice, cranberry juice or carrot juice – and it often tastes good to drink!

But a juice can also be a liquid made an animal’s body. For example, ‘gastric juice’ is the watery acid made by your stomach to help break down the foods that you eat.

Milk is a liquid made by an mammal, it comes out when a part of that mammal’s body is squeezed, and it tastes good to drink. So, yes, I think milk is a juice!

 

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