I had the privilege of participating in a Dairy Symposium sponsored by the Midwest Dairy Association. This symposium brought together both dietitians and dairy farmers from the Midwest. We had great conversations! From the care of their animals to the high standards they keep, I truly was blown away by the commitment the dairy farmers had for their work and for providing us with the fresh, wholesome milk and other dairy products we enjoy everyday. I really never thought so much about cows before:
One farmer referred to her cows as ‘princesses’.
Another farmer and his wife shared that they are the fourth generation on their farm.
I learned that 97% of the US dairy farms are family owned and operated.
A new friend and farmer told me she takes care of all the new babies on her farm, that’s three a day from their milking herd of 600!
It takes less than 48 hours for fresh milk to get from the farm to the grocer’s dairy case (that’s farm to table!).
Now, Chocolate Monkeys…
This is the name of a popular smoothie at home and at a local high school. I had the opportunity to blend smoothie samples for over 120 high school students at the Glenbard North health fair. Chocolate Monkeys were a favorite. Did you know the 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommend 3 servings of fat-free or low-fat dairy daily? Unfortunately on average, Americans consume about 2 servings of dairy daily. Adding one extra serving every day can help us get the nutrition we need. A Chocolate Monkey could do it! Or simply grab a cheese stick, a glass of milk or a container of your favorite yogurt. Dairy can be a ‘grab and go’ food, and in our busy lives, that makes getting the nutrition we need super easy!
Chocolate Monkey (makes 20 ounces)
1/2 cup skim milk
1 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup ice
2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
Blend ingredients together for 1 minute. Enjoy!