Photo via National Dairy Council

Photo via National Dairy Council

 

Got Milk? If you want to find an excellent source of vitamins and nutrients, you should.

Milk and its by-products provide an impressive list of benefits. Calcium and Vitamin D from dairy consumption builds and maintains bone mass. Potassium helps with healthy blood pressure. Intake of dairy products can reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Protein, vitamins A, B12, C, D, E, and K all help the human body stay healthy and thrive.

However you accomplish it, the USDA recommends at least 3 servings of dairy per day. This will help you to get the proper intake of vitamins and nutrients that few food groups can provide on their own. The National Dairy Council has provided an info sheet titled 30 Days of Dairy, which will help you meet your serving needs with a wide variety of ways to incorporate dairy into your diet.

Thanks to its health benefits and varieties of consumption, the dairy industry has grown immensely. With over 51,000 dairy farms (97% family-owned) in the U.S., we are able to sufficiently supply our citizens and other countries with 196 billion pounds of milk (and cheese, yogurt, etc.) annually.

The dairy industry is a huge economic force. It is the number one agricultural business in several states, including California (which produces the most milk of any state – 21%), New York, Wisconsin, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Idaho, and Michigan just to name a few.

Estimates put the dairy industry’s total annual economic output at around $140 billion, and this provides 900,000+ jobs to hardworking Americans.

Few countries can appreciate dairy like the United States. From USDA.gov:

“Dairy has played an important role in America’s history since before the Revolutionary War, but it was not until the early 1900s that the U.S. dairy industry began to change dramatically. Many scientific advances and processes radically changed the industry, including pasteurization, the development of the centrifugal separator that removes milkfat and allows the manufacturing of more dairy products, and the Babcock test that determines milk fat content.  When it comes to dairy products, our country has a rich history.  The versatility of dairy products makes it easy to participate in this month-long celebration.”

The impact of dairy in the last 100 years and in the future definitely makes it an industry worth celebrating.

 

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