How can milk be “racist”. Oxford experts will carry out research into the links between milk and colonialism

One project will research the links between milk and colonialism. Specifically, academics from the Oxford History of Science Museum will investigate the “political nature” of milk and its “colonial legacies”.

Milk, studied by the experts of the Oxford Science Museum PHOTO: Pixibay

The project is called “Milking it: colonialism, heritage and the everyday commitment to dairy products’ and received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

One of the experts involved previously claimed that milk is a “northern european obsession” which was imposed on other parts of the world, writes the dailymail publication.

Dr. Johanna Zetterstrom-Sharp argues that the assumption that milk is an essential part of the human diet “can be read as an assumption of white supremacy”as many populations outside of Europe and North America have high levels of lactose intolerance in adulthood.

“By focusing on communities where industry, aid and government regulation intersect, the project aims to focus on heritage as a vital framework for understanding how colonial legacies influence contemporary issues and affect people’s lives. Through milk diaries, archival research and participatory podcasting, the project will investigate historical commitment to milk, building networks with consumers and producers in the UK and Kenya. The project will discuss both the imagined and real aspects of milk, revealing the intimate and political nature of this everyday substance“, the Oxford History of Science Museum transmitted.

Dr Zetterstrom-Sharp took part in a talk entitled ‘Milk and Whiteness’ during a Wellcome Trust milk exhibition in 2022.

During the discussion, the stated specialist c“Northern European obsession with milk” led to the assumption that it was a vital part of any human diet and should be produced and supplied on a large scale.