The exhibition "No cheese without biodiversity" in the Mongolian steppe is about what intact biodiversity means for the good of humanity. The exhibition shows that milk and cheese are also the products of biodiversity.
10,000 years ago, the people in Europe began to milk domesticated goats and sheep. 1,500 years later, aurochs became part of the domesticated livestock. In the colonial era, Europeans conquered new continents, bringing dairy farming to North America, Australia and New Zealand. Nowadays the Swiss, together with the Germans, Italians, Swedes, Kazakhs, Australians and New Zealanders, are the people with the largest per capita dairy consumption.
Independent of the European dairy culture, the people in the North and West Africa as well as in the Middle East learned to milk dromedaries in addition to goats and sheep. Two-humped camels, yaks and horses have been milked in Central Asia for many thousand years. It seems somewhat exotic that zebus, Watusi cattle, water buffaloes, donkeys, alpacas and reindeer were also milked. The evidence of these traditional milk cultures is the dairy sugar tolerance in the population. In the Congo, where traditionally no animal milk was consumed, dairy tolerance stands at only one percent. In the African Tuareg, however, it is 87 per cent. Thanks to a particular enzyme in the small intestine, they can digest fresh milk without problems, just as 93 percent of the Swiss. An unmistakable sign of a traditionally high milk consumption.
Yoghurt and cheese are produced from milk. Not only it adds value to the milk by processing it, but also it provides an amazing advantage in storage: Aaruul, a type of curd made in Mongolia, acidified by bacteria and sun-dried, can be stored almost indefinitely. In addition to lactic acid bacteria, thousands of other forms of bacteria and moulds are used to produce more than 5,000 varieties of cheese worldwide. Various hoofed species and an army of bacteria and noble moulds make an invaluable contribution to the nutrition of mankind: No cheese without biodiversity.
Kamelreiten (ab 6 Jahren)
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