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 of milk each day. That’s 200,000 glasses of milk over its lifetime! In the U.S. we usually associate cows with milk, but in many other countries, cows are not the primary milk-givers. Many other animals provide milk, too: camels, goats, donkeys, reindeer, sheep, and yaks.
Why Our Bodies Love It
You’ve probably heard about milk being a great source of calcium. It’s important because it keeps our bones and teeth strong! Most kids need between 1,000 and 1,300 mg of calcium per day. One 8 ounce glass of milk provides close to 1/3 of that! Most milk is fortified with vitamin D, which helps our bodies absorb the calcium we consume. Milk also supplies protein, potassium, vitamin A, and riboflavin, which help build muscle tissue and protect the immune system. Milk naturally contains more nutrients than almost any other beverage.
Care and Picking
The dairy section of your grocery store is filled with milk choices. There’s whole milk (which contains at least 3.25% fat), 2% milk, 1% milk, and skim milk (which contains no fat). Other than their differing fat contents and overall calories, all cow milk provides the same nutrients. Chocolate milk also retains all of the same nutrients listed above, but cocoa and sugar have been added. There are also non-dairy milk alternatives, like rice milk, oat milk, almond milk, cashew milk, and soy milk.
Tips and Warnings
When shopping, add milk to your cart last and refrigerate it 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. Remember that exposure to light can decrease milk’s nutritional content. If you don’t think you’ll be able to finish your milk carton before the expiration date, consider freezing it! Lower-fat varieties freeze best, but the texture is affected. When you’re ready to use it, safely thaw the frozen milk and beat with a mixer or immersion blender to regain the milky consistency.