Silly Food Facts
How many glasses of milk can one cow produce per day? 30? 60? 90? That’s right … a cow can provide 90 glasses a day—200,000 glasses of milk over its lifetime! In the U.S. we all associate cows with milk, but in every other country, cows are not the primary milk-givers. Many other animals provide milk: camels, goats, donkeys, reindeer, sheep, and yaks.
Why Our Bodies Love It
We all know that milk is a great source of calcium. One 8-oz serving gives nearly 30% of our daily requirement and helps maintain strong bones and teeth. Most milk is fortified with vitamin D to promote the absorption of calcium. Milk also supplies protein, potassium, vitamin A, and riboflavin, which build muscle tissue and protect the immune system. Overall, milk contains more natural nutrients than any other beverage.
Care and Picking
The dairy section of your grocery store is filled with milk choices. Whole milk has at least 3.25% fat; the fat content then drops in containers of 2%, 1%, and all the way down to nonfat milk (fat less than 0.5%). Note that all these types of milk provide the same nutritional value. Chocolate milk, likewise, retains all nutrients, but cocoa and a sweetener have been added; yet it still is much healthier than sugary sodas. Then, there are other types of milk like rice milk, raw milk, and soy milk.
Tips and Warnings
When shopping, add milk to your cart last, and refrigerate as soon as possible. Ideally, store milk on your refrigerator shelves where it is colder, rather than in the door. Keep milk containers tightly closed so milk won’t pick up odors from other food in your refrigerator, and know that exposure to light can decrease milk’s nutritional content. Milk can be frozen—lower-fat varieties freeze best—but the texture is affected. After thawing, beating with a mixer or immersion blender can help.