Celebrate Dairy Month
with the Real Deal
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[June 03, 2014]
June Dairy Month is an
annual celebration that honors farmers for the delicious
dairy foods they produce. The designation also
highlights the important health benefits that milk,
cheese and yogurt deliver. Loaded with calcium,
potassium, protein and phosphorus, dairy foods
contribute significant nutrition to Americans’ diets.
Although today’s spotlight falls on a wide variety of nutritious
dairy foods, the very first celebration focused solely on milk. And
its purpose was practical. National Milk Month was created in 1937
to help distribute extra milk that cows typically produced during
With a nod to June Dairy month’s practical origins, St. Louis
District Dairy Council is encouraging consumers to “keep it real”
when choosing their milk in 2014. “The dairy aisle is literally
exploding with options---everything from new milk flavors to
lactose-free milks, and even alternative beverages disguised as
milk,” states nutrition educator/registered dietitian Monica Nyman.
These alternative beverages are often plant-based drinks or
solutions made from rice, soy, nut and hemp products. Though they
share shelf-space with milk, plant-based beverages do not share the
same nutrient package.
Some key differences:
- Milk contains naturally occurring calcium that easily
absorbed by our bodies. Most imitation dairy beverages are
fortified to match milk’s calcium content.
- Milk provides high-quality protein, with an average of 8
grams per cup. Many imitation dairy beverages have 1 gram of
protein or less per cup.
- Simple and natural, milk is void of added sugars, flavorings
or stabilizers, which are often found in the ingredient list of
many imitation dairy beverages.
- At less than 25 cents per cup, milk is a nutritious bargain.
Most imitation dairy beverages are twice the cost of milk.
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“It’s important for consumers to know that, when it comes to
nutrition, not all dairy aisle drinks are created equal,” notes
Nyman. We’ve launched an awareness campaign called milk: the
real deal to help spread the word. There is no substitute for
the high nutrition and economic value that milk offers. It’s the
To learn more about milk: the real deal, visit
[Text received; MONICA NYMAN, ST.
LOUID DISTRICT DAIRY COUNCIL]