What's It For? - Milk
It would seem that the kitchen, rather than genetic engineering, may hold the key to garden pest control in the future. According to a report in New Scientist (14th October 1999) Brazilian scientists have discovered that spraying plants with dilute cows' milk stops powdery mildew in its tracks. The disease is controlled conventionally by spraying with benomyl or other synthetic fungicides. Apparently, milkdiluted with nine parts of water is just as effective. So milk joins that other kitchen standby, bicarbonate of soda, as a safer alternative to chemical sprays. The only snag is that in Britain, because neither substance is approved as a pesticide, anyone tempted to try them in the garden risks prosecution!