People Used to Put Live Frogs in Their Milk to Keep It Fresh
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People Used to Put Live Frogs in Their Milk to Keep It Fresh

Yet another reason to be thankful for modern refrigeration
People Used to Put Live Frogs in Their Milk to Keep It Fresh
Shutterstock

What lengths would you go to keep your milk fresh? Would you go so far as to drop a frog in you milk? Ancient Russian folklore suggests that that is exactly what people used to do in the days before modern refrigeration.

If you have ever experienced a power outage or blackout, you probably know that the milk in your fridge is one of the first things to go — but does dropping in a frog really seem like an appropriate method for preventing milk from spoiling?

Though it seems totally bizarre, there is actually some scientific evidence to back up this practice. The first line of defense in all amphibians against bacteria and microorganisms is the secretion through their skin of antimicrobial substances called peptides.

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When the skin of the Russian brown frog (the species most commonly used in milk) was studied, scientists discovered 21 substances with antibiotic properties, some of which were as potent against salmonella and staph bacteria as prescription antibiotics.

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So there you have it: The scientific evidence seems to indicate that this seemingly folkloric procedure would actually work. But at the end of the day, would you drink froggy milk?