Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 80.djvu/72

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PSM V80 D072 Problem of city milk supply 3 1912.png
Photograph 3

the milker to the milk and epidemics of serious nature are thus started. Not least in importance is the universal presence of flies in cow barns. Flies may act as carriers of disease germs and should be kept out of barns as much as possible. It is true, that when entering barns the cows are bound to carry some flies with them, but by careful screening and by cleanliness of the floors and walls the number can be reduced to a minimum.

Such is the food we consume every day, such is the food which we depend upon for bringing up our babies, if the mother is unable or unwilling to nurse her offspring. A careful mother will clean the bottle, which serves to carry the food for the baby. The farmer thinks his duty is done if he washes the milk pails and other utensils with ordinary cold water. The water is sometimes obtained from wells situated in dangerous proximity to the outhouse, or from streams which carry sewage from neighboring farms or settlements. After washing the receiving pails in a careless manner there is enough milk left in them to cause disagreeable odors, but, nevertheless, the fresh milk is drawn into these vessels.

Milk is destined by nature to feed the young of mammals. They suck it directly from the teats and the danger of dirt being taken with the milk is comparatively small. But we take the milk from the cow under artificial conditions and have to use precautions and safeguards to prevent dirt from being mixed with the milk. The "cowey taste" sometimes innocently supposed to be characteristic of fresh milk, is due to nothing but cow manure, which has been suspended and become part of the milk during the process of milking. It has been estimated that the population of large cities consume hundreds of pounds of cow manure daily with milk.