While drinking a glass of milk might seem like the most natural thing to do, did you know that this small action supports the livelihoods of one-billion people worldwide?
Milk is enjoyed in all kinds of ways by various people who live all over the world! Some people choose to drink it with a meal while others choose to warm it up for a bedtime sleep aid. Any way you like it, 24 hours are dedicated to celebrating this venerable beverage on Milk Day!
Learn something new about milk
As a staple food available at practically any grocery store, milk is one of those foods we tend to take for granted. It’s always there on the shelf, cold and fresh and ready to come home with you. But how much do you really know about milk? On National Milk Day, you can read up on milk’s nutritional value or find out more about the new hormones detected in modern milks. You could learn about how cheese is made, or, if you’re more into history, learn about how milk pasteurisation literally changed the world!
Try a new milk product
The dairy food group is one of the most diverse, even though it is all derived from one basic food. It’s pretty likely there’s some kind of dairy that you just haven’t tried. Give yogurt a go, see if you like cottage cheese, or try out gelato (the Italian version of ice cream). If you’re already a dairy connoisseur, take it to the next level with a bite of stinky Limburger cheese or crumbly feta made from goat’s milk. Love traveling? Dare yourself to take a sip of fermented mare’s milk, Mongolia’s favourite drink.
WHY WE LOVE NATIONAL MILK DAY
It does a body good
Milk is packed with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients important for your health. It contains nine essential nutrients (calcium is just one) that your body needs to live, and it also delivers some non-essential nutrients like sugars and fats, which can provide your body with the energy it needs to function. And while cow milk differs from human milk in fat content and nutrient ratios, its basic components are close enough for us humans to benefit from the beverage.
We use it in all dairy foods
Milk is pretty great by itself, but this creamy white liquid is also the foundation of the entire dairy food group. We have whole milk, where none of the milk fat has been separated, as well as lower fat-content milks like 2%, blended, and skim milk. Then there are the creams, which are the higher fat-content milk products that we’ve removed from the skim milk. Like milks, creams vary in fat content depending on how we’ll use them — heavy creams are used to make butter and whipped cream, while lighter creams are used to produce dairy variants like yogurt, cheese, and ice cream.
It teaches kids about milk
Most kids like to drink milk, but National Milk Day is a great opportunity to get them interested in why they like to drink milk. Studies show that children are more proactive about their food choices when they understand how their decisions impact the way their bodies feel. National Milk Day empowers kids to learn about what milk brings to the table, and it also raises important questions about the differences between organic milk and other milk options, helping kids understand how certain chemicals given to the dairy cows can end up in their glass.
Whether you’re lactose-intolerant, vegan or just looking to switch up your milk routine, milk alternatives can offer good nutrition profiles and different flavours to keep things interesting. The grocery store shelves can get a little overwhelming with all the different choices. So how do you choose the right milk replacement for you? Check out the nutrition facts about these six common milk alternatives.
Soy milk has been the most popular non-dairy substitute for decades because its nutrition profile closely resembles that of cow’s milk. It’s the best high-protein milk alternative. Most, but not all, brands are fortified with calcium and vitamin D, so be sure to look at the nutrition label to find these nutrient values. Soy milk comes in flavoured varieties, such as vanilla, and also comes in lighter and lower-calorie versions.
Almond milk is a great dairy alternative when you are looking to cut calories. This nut milk is made from water and ground almonds. The bad news about almond milk is that it contains very little protein—just 1 gram per cup! Although most varieties of almond milk are fortified with vitamins and other nutrients, there are others that don’t contain vitamin D or calcium. Almond milk is creamier and thicker than other alternatives since its calories are coming from healthy, unsaturated fats.
Rice milk is a good option when you want something with a neutral flavour and a less creamy texture. When fortified, it usually does contain the same amount of calcium and vitamin D as cow’s milk. This milk substitute also lacks protein, containing only 1 gram per cup.
This is one of the newest non dairy milks out there. Coconut milk is a good choice when you want something creamy and sweet. Though this milk offers 30 percent of your daily value of vitamin D and 50 percent of your DV of vitamin B-12, it contains little calcium and just 1 gram of protein per cup. If you’re looking to reduce your saturated fat intake, keep in mind that coconut milk is the only milk alternative that contains as much saturated fat as whole cow’s milk.