The Grapevine

America’s Spilled Milk: 43 Million Gallons Of Milk Was Wasted In 2016 - How Can We Add More Dairy Into Our Diets

There may be plenty of use in crying over the amount of spilt milk the United States has produced this year — a whopping 43 million gallons so far, according to data obtained from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and initially reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The extraordinary amount of milk waste, the Journal noted, would fill 66 Olympic-sized swimming pools and is the largest toll seen in the past 16 years. Much of the waste has been occurring in fields and manure lagoons, but also shows up as mysteriously disappeared or missing milk transported by trucks or held in factories.

"Everyone has dumped milk, from Minnesota to New England," Ken Nobis, a farmer and head of the Michigan Milk Producers Association, told the Journal.

Milk The United States is producing way more milk than it needs. Here's how to include it more often in your diet. Pixabay, Public Domain

The reasons for the spillage can be tied to various factors — from an increased demand of milk products by European countries to lowered prices that make transportation less affordable for farmers. In response, dairy lobbyists have compelled fast food chains to add more milk and cheese to their menu items, and the USDA has similarly stepped up its purchasing of cheese. Unfortunately, while cheese and other dairy products can be stored for much longer than milk, the cheese surplus has similarly become too big for our country.

From those of us determined to add a little more cow’s milk into our diets, though, here are some basic tips, courtesy of Dairy Goodness:

  • Make breakfast fruit smoothies with a dash of milk or yogurt

  • Replace your can of soda at lunch with a glass of fat free chocolate milk

  • Pepper your dinners with some grated cheese

  • For dessert, try out sliced cheese with fresh fruits

Although we should avoid stuffing ourselves with too much cheese, butter and other dairy products, since they come loaded with saturated fat and sodium, a moderate dose can certainly be healthy. Research has found even whole milk can help us maintain weight and lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and other studies have found that the antioxidants in milk can forestall the onset of dementia. Introducing milk to your children soon after they’ve been weaned off breastfeeding may also prevent the risk of later allergy. 

A word to the wise though: Avoid raw milk — it's likely to make you sick via nasty stomach bugs.

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