June is National Dairy Month, a time to raise awareness about the delicious, nutritious qualities of dairy products. Established in 1937 by a chain of grocery stores as a way to promote drinking milk at a time when dairy production was at a surplus, the annual commemoration now pays tribute to dairy producers and their products.
Did you know that an average dairy cow weighs over 1,200 pounds and can produce about eight gallons of milk every day? She needs to eat 90 pounds to 100 pounds of food and drink 35-50 gallons of water to produce that amount of milk. It takes about 10 pounds of milk to make just one pound of cheese, 12 pounds of milk to make a gallon of ice cream and almost 22 pounds to make a pound of butter.
Although nearly all households in the United States regularly purchase milk, along with dairy products like yogurt, cheese, butter, and ice cream, most Americans still do not get enough dairy in their diet. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services dietary guidelines reinforce the importance of adults including three cups of dairy in their daily food intake.
Rich in essential nutrients, dairy products are the best source for calcium, potassium, vitamin D and protein. A single 8-ounce serving of milk provides:
25 percent of the daily recommended amount of calcium. Calcium helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth.
16 percent of the daily recommended amount of protein. Protein in milk helps