The Dutch are known as kaaskoppen (cheese heads) and are considered to be the tallest people in the world. That’s not a surprise, with women having an average height of 5 ft 7” and men 6 ft. Biologists believe that the protein-rich diet of the Dutch plays a big role. Where the French often drink wine at noon, many Dutch families and many canteens have milk on the table. The Dutch also consume that same milk in the form of cheese, yogurt and other dairy products. And that milk naturally contains growth hormones.
But why do the Dutch eat so many dairy products (235 lbs per person per year)? For some 3,000 years the Dutch already make cheese. How did that come about? Well, the Netherlands is largely below sea level and at high tide the sea water ran far into the country, what caused the many rivers of the Netherlands to flood often. The Netherlands was, for a large part, so wet that there couldn’t grow much more than grass. Grain for bread doesn’t grow well on wet soil. In the Middle Ages the country became even wetter and pieces of peat land were cut away (peat was used for firing a fire), as there was no central heating in the house.
The ultra-modern dry mills that were invented during the Golden Age as a solution for all the flooded areas in the Netherlands, pumped water out of the land. Because the land remained soggy, still nothing wanted to grow on it. But cows loved it. The Dutch were very happy with the milk the cows provided. Milk could be processed to butter and cheese and that has a long shelf life. In the winter the Dutch had good food too. During the Golden Age the Cutch took their cheese with them as a means of exchange. That’s how the Dutch became to be known as cheeseheads.