By Acting Agriculture Deputy Secretary Michael Scuse
Whether it’s cheese, milk, or yogurt, dairy products are a staple in the diets of Americans and people all over the world. June is National Dairy Month, a time when we honor our nation’s dairy producers and processors for making sure that we can enjoy quality dairy products.
Always true stewards of the land, the industry has made tremendous strides when it comes to sustainability. In the past 63 years, the industry reduced its carbon footprint by 63 percent. This amazing statistic is a testament to the integrity of the nation’s dairies, most of which are family-owned and well-connected to the communities around them.
Today, over 50 million Americans suffer from food insecurity, and more than one in six households does not have the money to buy food their families need. This reality is something food banks witness daily.
“People came to us once in a while for food,” said Ross Fraser of Feeding America in a recent article published on Slate. “Now we are a staple in many people’s lives.”
This startling increase has gotten the attention of many food banks and shelters who are whole-heartedly committed to not only provide food, but to also provide nutritious items like the low-fat or fat-free dairy or produce that many Americans lack in their diets.
From Florida to California, the ingredients found in a cow’s diet can not only vary by geography, but also by season.
With the help of professional nutritionists, it’s very common for dairy farmers across the country to routinely feed their cows byproducts from the processing of other foods and fibers. The use of these byproducts is endorsed by animal nutritionists who work with dairy farmers on creating optimal diets for cows.
For example, the cows at Matt Lussier’s Florida dairy farm have quite a taste for citrus pulp. In fact, this byproduct of Florida’s citrus industry is a cow feed staple on most of the state’s dairies.
We all know that dairy is part of a healthy diet, but it does so much more for us. From being a source of essential nutrients to helping your body recover after a grueling working, check out these 10 ways that dairy enriches our diets, communities and lives.
Crossing the finish line wasn’t be the only glory for race car driver Tony Kanaan this weekend at the Indy 500.
Kanaan carried on a tradition dating back to the late 1920s, when second-time race winner Lewis Meyer requested a refreshing glass of ice cold milk after his win. Since then, nearly 60 winners of the iconic race have been presented with a bottle of milk — now engraved with the phrase “Indianapolis 500 Winner” — after crossing the finish line.
The bottle of milk given to winners was ranked No. 1 among the sports world’s coolest prizes by Sports Illustrated.
Celebrate Memorial Day weekend with dairy. These easy to make dips are sure to be a crowd pleaser at any gathering this holiday weekend. Check out National Dairy Council’s recipe index for dozens of dairy-friendly recipes, as well as its Pinterest page for lactose intolerant-friendly recipes.
Many Americans are unsure of where their next meal is coming from. Additionally, many populations are overweight and undernourished due to availability of quality, nutritious food.
Several panels of speakers — from dairy producers to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack — gathered in Washington, D.C., at a Future of Food event sponsored by Washington Post Live and National Dairy Council to discuss how to continue feeding the world’s ever-growing population and dairy’s essential role in the cause.
Here’s a roundup of highlights, tweets, photos and stories — including photos of celebrity chef Victor Albisu, who was on hand to teach a group of Fuel Up to Play 60 students how to build healthier meals — from the event and the #thinkfood social conversation.
By Ethan A. Bergman, PhD, RDN, CD, FADA
President, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
For the second consecutive year, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics had the honor today of co-hosting the Washington Post’s “Future of Food” forum in Washington, D.C. We co-hosted this inspiring and important event with the National Dairy Council and I had the pleasure of making opening remarks at the conference. Discussions ranged from technological innovations to make food more affordable and nutritious, to private-public partnerships that are leading the sustainable food movement in our country.
Achieving food security is vital to improving the health of our nation. It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that access to food is a basic and fundamental human right; the Academy and our 75,000 members in the U.S. and abroad are working diligently to help people be food-secure.
One in five children and one in 12 older adults are at risk for hunger in the U.S. That is why, every day, registered dietitian nutritionists and dietetic technicians help individuals and families to make informed choices about accessing nourishing food and develop practical strategies to feed their families adequately.
Our current global food system leaves almost 870 million people hungry each day. That’s why America’s dairy farmers remain committed to helping solve not only our nation’s hunger issues, but those faced by people across the globe.
“It will be America’s farmers who will be responsible for feeding a growing population,” Tom Gallagher, CEO of National Dairy Council, said today at a Future of Food event in Washington, D.C. “America’s farmers are ready to meet the challenge, and we encourage the rest of the world to meet that challenge as well.”
In order to feed a growing population, global food production will need to increase by over 60 percent over the next 40 years, Gallagher said in a blog post published today on the Chicago Council of Global Affairs website.
As part of a campaign to give kids greater access to a healthy breakfast, the national “got milk?®” Campaign and Fuel Up to Play 60 recently awarded $250,000 in grants to schools nationwide as part of the Breakfast Blitz program.
From January 8 to February 17, parents, school administrators, teachers and community members across the nation made every milk purchase count by entering their UPC codes online and voting to direct a $1,000 grant to a local school.