Cows, goats and sheep are most prominent producers

You pour it on cereal. You dunk your cookies in it. You mix chocolaty powder in it. It can be used to form fake mustaches. As a kid, you inserted a straw and blew bubbles in it, which annoyed your parents. It's milk.

The next time you're sitting around the breakfast table enjoying a delicious glass of milk, impress your breakfast companions with this milk information.

Definition. It is likely you've never bothered to look up the definition of milk. The Dairy Farmers of Washington have. They define milk as the "lacteal secretion obtained by the complete milking of one or more mammalian animals."

All those other terms on the milk container. Now that you know what milk is, here are some other handy milk terms that will wow your breakfast guests.

Pasteurization The milk you get at the grocery store has been pasteurized. Raw milk is pasteurized to destroy harmful bacteria and give it a longer "shelf life." The pasteurization process involves heating the milk to 145 degrees for 30 minutes and then rapidly cooling it to 38 degrees.
Homogenization Homogenization allows for a more even dispersal of milk fat. Homogenization produces a smooth, uniform texture. The process involves reducing the size of milk fat globules via a teeny-tiny strainer and an increase in temperature and pressure. Homogenized milk is easier to digest.
Fortified milk Milk does not naturally contain significant amounts of vitamin D. It does, however, contain, according to the Dairy Farmers of Washington, "the proportion of calcium and phosphorus required for proper binding to bones and teeth." Because of this proper proportion, most milk produced in the United States 98-percent is fortified with vitamin D.

Milk mammals. In the United States, most milk sold in grocery store comes from cows. Other common milk producing mammals include goats and sheep.

Milk varieties. When you visit the grocery store, milk is often categorized with the following designations:

Whole milk Whole milk is ideal for children 1 to 2 years old and for those who don't mind a few extra calories with their creamy white beverage.
Reduced fat milk This is also called 2 percent milk and makes sense for those trying to limit their fat intake.
Low-fat milk This is also called 1 percent milk and a good option for those who don't want as many fat calories in their diet.
Fat-free milk Those looking to seriously restrict their fat intake but can't go without milk should opt for fat-free or 0 percent milk.

What are you waiting for? Start dunking those cookies and showing off your milk knowledge.