Keeping Milk Fresh — With Frogs

Before modern refrigeration, people dropped frogs in their milk to preserve it

By Jennifer Abbasi
Apr 9, 2014 12:00 AMMay 17, 2019 10:16 PM
Eric Isselee/Shutterstock


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Long before modern refrigeration, people in Russia and Finland reportedly placed living Russian brown frogs in milk to keep it fresh.

It turns out the curious practice has a basis in science: Recent research on the amphibians’ skin secretions led by Moscow State University organic chemist A.T. Lebedev shows they’re loaded with peptides, antimicrobial compounds as potent against Salmonella and Staphylococcus bacteria as prescription antibiotics.

To your health! 

[This article originally appeared in print as "Milking Frog Skin."]

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