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Milk and dairy products in human nutrition

Milk and dairy products in human nutrition

Edited by Ellen Muehlhoff, Anthony Bennett and Deirdre McMahon
Published by FAO
Website: www.fao.org
2013, ISBN 978-92-5107-863-1, free to download

While consumption of milk and dairy products is growing rapidly in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, dairy products are still too expensive for millions of the poorest families to buy. To improve nutrition and livelihoods, say the authors, governments should be investing heavily in programmes that help poor families keep small dairy livestock.

Milk and dairy products in human nutrition presents information on the nutritional value of milk and other dairy products from various species, and evaluates the benefits and risks of consumption. In South America, for example, llamas and alpacas, which have historically not been bred for dairy purposes, could provide a valuable nutritional and economic resource for people living in the region's mountainous areas. Another chapter looks at the opportunities for small and medium-scale dairy industries from the rapid growth in production and consumption of livestock products, and the risks to human and animal health.

"Adding nutrition objectives to dairy-industry development certainly introduces additional complications," the book concludes, "but it is not an impossible task; some 870 million people continue to be chronically undernourished and a further billion are eating unbalanced diets, with all of the associated financial costs and diminution of human well-being. It makes no sense to act as if agriculture and nutrition were separate and this means setting out to build programmes that explicitly link the two."

Date published: January 2014

 

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