What Makes Milk White?

why is milk white why not clear or green

or as we saw in Star Wars Episode four a

new hope

why not blue you may have taken this

question for granted your whole life

bring X and never question why milk has

the color that it does but we've got

science on our side we're taking a look

at what makes milk its signature color

there's lots to cover today as we give

you a lesson on that delicious drink

that also doubles as a best friend to

your morning bowl of cereal known as

milk milk is quite the popular beverage

according to a study by the US

Department of Agriculture the average

person ingests about 18 gallons of milk

per year now that may seem like a lot

but this number is actually down from

years past the same study compared this

to the amount of milk people consumed in

the 1970s which was around 30 gallons

per year on average that's a lot of milk

so why the decline and was all this milk

drunk out of a glass well firstly no

milk comes in many forms and everyday

food items like cheese pudding sour

cream yogurt butter

cottage cheese non-dairy creamers and

more all contain milk as for the decline

this most likely comes from the

increased options for beverages with

calcium and to that the fact that more

and more people are now conscious of how

milk can make their tummies feel well

not so good and there's a scientific

reason why as infants we drink a lot of

milk milk gives us all the calcium

protein potassium vitamin D and many

other essential vitamins and minerals

that we need to grow it's not just

humans either all mammals drink milk

produced by their moms it's incredibly

healthy too

research shows that when it comes to

drinking formula milk or going the

all-natural route it's much better to go

with mother nature on this one some

studies show that babies who forego the

formula will be better educated and make

more money when they grow up

hey sometimes nature knows best but

here's the thing to be able to properly

digest the sugar lactose which is found

in milk

have to have a special enzyme called

lactase as you age specifically around

age five humans lose this enzyme this is

likely Nature's Way of naturally weaning

babies off of drinking their mother's

milk and moving on to eating other foods

if you're lactose intolerant you are

actually more in line with what nature

intended it may be a pain to deal with

the side effects which can include gas

and diarrhea but the truth is nature

never intended us to drink milk as

adults so why do we drink milk and eat

so much dairy if nature says it's a

no-no the leading theory says that about

7,500 years ago humans developed a

genetic mutation that allowed them to

process lactose well into adulthood and

since milk is a great healthy source of

protein and vitamins a lot of these now

lactose tolerant people were able to

live longer healthier lives while others

who retained the intolerance would

succumb to starvation due to lack of

healthy food options so those who were

able to pass on their genes to their

offspring kept passing on this mutated

gene that said we can drink milk to the

next generation and the next generation

and before long now large groups of the

population today can drink milk it's

still a small percentage of the world's

entire population but hey that's how we

got where we are today but what about

the color of milk it's rather unique I

mean why is it the color white anyways

well to answer that one we must first

understand the physics of why things

have color at all color occurs when

light is absorbed by an object or

substance if something is red that's

because the specific wave of light being

absorbed is in the red area of the light

spectrum in fact something that is black

is actually absorbing all the light that

is hitting it which brings us to why

something is white this happens because

none of the light is being absorbed it

is all reflected back to our eyes and

then we see the color white so what

about milk well when you break down the

components of that delicious ice-cold

glass of refreshing yumminess you'll

find that it consists of about 87

percent water about five percent lactose

and about 8 percent vitamins minerals


and proteins one protein in particular

called casein is rather abundant in our

favored bovine beverage this protein

reflects the light that it comes in

contact with add that to the fact that

there are a few other fats in milk that

also reflect light and there you go

that's what gives milk its white color

this fact is even more apparent if you

remove the fats for milk skim milk which

is the fat-free choice you can buy from

the store has an ever so slightly bluish

tint to it and that's because of the

lack of light reflecting fat's I guess

it's safe to say that uncle Owen and

aunt Beru were drinking skim milk on

Tatooine and that's the truth about

milks white color we say it's kind of a

refreshing look don't you think but if

you can't digest milk or are just trying

to live a dairy-free life don't fret

more options are becoming available and

it's easier and tastier than ever to

enjoy the foods you love without dairy

try almond milk or soy or the newest

rage oat milk it's all delicious and

nutritious and will give you the protein

you need to get big and strong we'll see

you next time