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7,200 years: That’s how long humans have been making soft cheeses and yogurts, according to new excavations on the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia. These new findings push the earliest known evidence of cheese-making back by 4,000 years, researchers said. DNA evidence showed that people in the region consumed milk about 7,700 years ago, with evidence of fermented cheese and yogurts appearing in the DNA about 500 years later. According to Live Science, “dairying — and especially cheese and fermented milk products — may have opened northern European areas for farming because it reduced infant mortality and allowed for earlier weaning, decreasing the birth interval and potentially increasing population.”

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