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Wake Up America! Benefits of Organic Milk Go Beyond Nutrition


Milk: Natural nutritional powerhouse

Perhaps as early as 6000 to 8000 BC, man has consumed milk from a variety of animals, including: cow, goat, buffalo, sheep and camel.  Regional climates influenced milk’s form -- liquid, fermented or made into cheese. But just about the world around, milk has been providing wholesome, near nutritionally complete nourishment to mankind throughout the ages.

Each one-cup, or 8-ounce serving of whole cow’s milk contains just under 150 calories, plus: 8 grams of protein, 8 grams of fat, and 12 grams of carbohydrate – all from naturally occurring milk sugar, or “lactose.” Each cup of milk also delivers close to 300 milligrams of calcium – making it our nation’s leading source of this critical bone-building mineral. Milk supplies additional essential nutrients, including: potassium, vitamins A, B-12, thiamin, and riboflavin. It is also typically fortified with vitamin D. Low-fat and skim milk contain all of the above nutrients, but with less or no fat, and therefore fewer calories.  

Talk about milk’s magic, lactose helps our bodies absorb calcium, and vitamin D helps our bodies utilize calcium. Organic milk delivers all of milk’s key nutrients, plus an extra ounce of safety and compassion. 

What’s Missing?

Vitamin C and iron are two key nutrients not present in any significant amount in milk. However, parents can easily provide nutritious food combinations which complement milk such as iron fortified cereal served with fresh berries or a glass of orange juice.

Calcium Crisis

Child nutrition experts agree milk should be the family’s primary mealtime beverage. Calcium and vitamin D are difficult to find as easily anywhere else in the diet, and both are essential in developing and protecting healthy teeth and strong bones, for life.  

However, since the mid-1970s, children’s milk consumption has fallen dramatically, due in large part to the promotion and easy-access of soft drinks and other nutrient-poor sweetened drinks in media and schools. For example, 30 years ago, adolescents aged 12 to 19 years drank 1.5 times as much milk as any other beverage. By the late 1990s, they consumed twice as much soda as milk; with only 12 percent of girls and 30 percent of boys meeting dietary calcium recommendations.

 

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How Much Milk Do We Need?

According to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, children between 2 to 8 years of age need two cups of milk or equivalent dairy products per day. Children 9 years and older, as well as adults, need three cups per day.  Women, 50 years and over should consume 1200 milligrams of calcium per day, or the equivalent of four cups of milk.

Super Fuel

Research from Indiana University proved chocolate milk’s performance as an ideal sports recovery drink. When consumed within one hour after exercise, organic chocolate milk’s natural protein, carbohydrate, vitamin and mineral mix refuels exhausted muscles – and may be just the ticket to help boost young athlete's intake.

 

Beyond the Plate
basic nutrition Melinda Hemmelgarn on nutrition.
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