Written by Andrew Sherman, Dairy Science Senior at California Polytechnic State University
Today, American consumers have a wide variety of beverage choices, everything from gut-rotting , energy drinks to all natural pomegranate juice. So why should they choose milk and how can we better encourage the selection of milk over other products?
The first answer lies in the nutritional value of milk. Other beverages may be high in sugar and caffeine, but hey fail to supply the number of vitamins and minerals milk provides. We are surrounded by pressure to create healthier eating habits and are encouraged to increase physical activity. This often directs attention to commonly known “sports drinks.” These products tend to be high in electrolytes and minerals, which may be beneficial, but lack the protein and fat content which milk can supply to the daily diet.
It is important to continue to find new ways to make milk appealing to Americans with things like flavor additives and convenient packaging. With increased options in sugar-free flavored milk products, schools and other organizations are beginning to realize the importance of milk and dairy products in a child’s diet. As we continue to strive for a healthier nation, it is important that cheaper alternatives to milk do not overpower the commercial beverage industry. The dairy industry is a major part of California agriculture and it is important to continue efforts to educate consumers on the health benefits of milk and ne environmentally safe dairy practices.