This is the Dairy State, so make mine milk!
I’ll never forget going to a journalism convention on the East Coast years ago and sitting down for lunch with colleagues from across the country. A woman from a big city out east ordered tea. I asked for a glass of milk.
“You’re actually going to drink that?” she asked.
“Well, yes,” said. I was taken aback by the question. Drinking a glass of milk comes naturally to me; it’s the way I was raised here in the Dairy State.
It was disconcerting, then, to read a report last week that suggested milk is falling out of favor.
“Sales of milk as a beverage have dropped to the lowest level in nearly 30 years,” according to The Associated Press story. “Experts say consumer habits are shifting toward sports drinks, bottled water and bottled tea and away from milk. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says beverage milk sales were about 6 billion gallons in 2011, less than half the level from the early 1980s.”
Fear not, suggests the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. The board says sales of yogurt and other dairy products have offset the decline of beverage milk. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says cheese consumption is up, as well. That’s good to read because the land of cheeseheads has a 48 percent share of U.S. specialty cheese sales.
I saw pro golfer and Edgerton native Steve Stricker wearing a patch during a recent tournament that suggested he was endorsing one of those energy drinks. Oh no, I thought; he’s going to the dark side.
I can’t believe that the long-term regular consumption of energy drinks, typically loaded with caffeine, can be good, particularly for young people. You can find reports on the Internet suggesting as much. I still believe that drinking low-fat milk is the better way for children to grow up strong and healthy.
I’d be willing to drink skim milk. My wife prefers 2 percent. So we compromise at 1 percent.
What’s in your fridge? What are you most likely to reach for at the vending machine?