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Why Do We Drink Cow’s Milk?

Every so often, the Dairy Good team is asked one question in a variety of ways, but the gist of it is: Why do people drink cow’s milk?

For several reasons actually. Here’s some food for thought:

  • We’ve enjoyed drinking cow’s milk for centuries: Archaeologists and anthropologists have found evidence of people drinking cow’s milk dating back several thousand years. Our colleague Greg Miller, PhD, FACN, says that “ milk drinking is not just a practice of Western culture, but a shared part of human existence around the world.”
  • It’s not just about taste: While milk tastes great, it’s also good for us—it packs a nutrient punch, and is readily available and versatile. Plus, milk contains nine essential nutrients to be enjoyed by children and adults alike.
  • Real enjoyment: Thanks to milk, we also can enjoy other dairy foods like cheese and yogurt. Dairy offers many delicious ways to get essential nutrients into our day-to-day meals and snacks—from enjoying a yogurt for breakfast to noshing on a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch.
  • Honor the harvest: Plus, cows help us by being natural recyclers: As Dr. Miller puts it, “Dairy cows have a unique, four-chambered stomach that allows them to eat parts of plants and foods that people can’t eat, such as almond hulls, wheat straw, etc. They then are able to unlock nutrition from these lower protein, plant-based foods people can’t (or won’t) eat and turn them into nutrient-rich milk with high-quality protein that can help nourish people.” It’s a simple way to turn things that we can’t eat into a nutritious food that we can!

If you checked your fridge and are out of milk, here are “4 Ways to Remember to Buy More.”