All Hail Chocolate Milk

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From Caitlin Dewey:

Seven percent of all American adults believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows, according to a nationally representative online survey commissioned by the National Dairy Council.

….For decades, observers in agriculture, nutrition and education have griped that many Americans are basically agriculturally illiterate. They don’t know where food is grown, how it gets to stores — or even, in the case of chocolate milk, what’s in it. One Department of Agriculture study, commissioned in the early ’90s, found that nearly 1 in 5 adults did not know that hamburgers are made from beef. Many more lacked familiarity with basic farming facts, like how big U.S. farms typically are and what food animals eat.

I think Dewey misses the real question here: Why did the National Dairy Council commission a survey about whether chocolate milk comes from brown cows? I don’t know, and I can find no trace of the NDC’s survey online. However, common sense suggests that it has something to do with the milk industry’s endless battle to convince the American public that chocolate milk is good for you.

I agree, of course, since I think that chocolate anything is good for you. But I’ll concede that Science™ doesn’t really have my back on this. In any case, who cares? I’m pretty sure that 7 percent of Americans believe the sky is blue because it’s surrounded by a giant ocean.

But I do wonder where these 7 percent think white milk comes from?

POSTSCRIPT: Yes, it’s kind of a slow news day. Why do you ask?

THE BIG PICTURE

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In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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