When I was little, my uncle would tell me that the white dairy cows produced the white milk and the brown cows produced the best tasting chocolate milk (As I got older, I wondered which cows were responsible for creating strawberry milk.) When I found out that brown cows actually did not produce chocolate milk, I called him out on it.
According to the Innovation Center of U.S. Dairy, you may be surprised to learn that 7 percent of Americans (that's roughly 16 million Americans) believe that chocolate milk really does come from brown cows. 16 million is about the population of Pennsylvania (wow, are we misinformed).
Many dairy farmers laugh - they know that Americans like to eat; but we don't have a strong grasp of how our food gets from being in the ground to on our plate.
“At the end of the day, it’s an exposure issue,” said Cecily Upton, co-founder of the nonprofit FoodCorps, which brings agricultural and nutrition education into elementary schools. “Right now, we’re conditioned to think that if you need food, you go to the store. Nothing in our educational framework teaches kids where food comes from before that point.” (Washington Post)
We need to educate ourselves and our children about where our food actually comes from. Most kids don't know that potatoes make french fries and hamburgers come from beef. (I once dated a guy that had no clue about hamburgers - he had to go.)
This Dairy Month, let's be smarter about the types of food we put into our bellies and how we are feeding our youth. Starting an organic garden is a great method to eating healthier and educating ourselves about proper land care.