I was at a conference with a consumer panel, and I asked the question, "What kind of milk do you buy?" I was thinking they would talk about organic, almond, or regular.
I was completely wrong. They answered with what kind of milk they buy - whole, 2%, or skim. This made me happy. Today at the grocery store the cashier told me everyone knows the code for bananas, because everyone buys them. I said, "What else does everyone else buy?" She said, "Milk, eggs, bread." WE'RE STILL IN!
My friends have been asking me some specific questions about milk, so here are some answers!
Is there a difference in nutrients?
No. Whole, 2%, and skim have the same nutrients when it comes to the nine essentials - calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B12, riboflavin, and niacin.
Is there a difference in fat and calories?
Yes. There IS a difference in fat and calories. But! That doesn't mean you're getting different nutrients. When the fat is removed from the milk, it loses some of the vitamins, (like vitamin A binds to fat), so they are added back in. If you read the label, you'll see whole has a little bit less vitamin A (6% to the others' 10%). In the other two, vitamins A & D are added back in to reach the level of 2,000 International Units (IU) of vitamin A and 400 IU of vitamin D per 1 quart.
It says there is sugar in my milk. Is this added in?
No. Milk has a natural sugar called lactose. White sugar is not added. This is like fructose in fruit - it's what makes it naturally sweet.
What about sodium? Is that added?
No. Sodium occurs naturally in lots of foods, milk being one of them.
How do the milks compare?
What? You don't have all three in your fridge? We do because we have different likes among the five of us. (We all share, too, when we run out.)
For 8 ounces...
Whole milk: 150 calories. 8 grams of fat. Cholesterol: 35 mg
2% milk: 120 calories, 5 grams of fat. Cholesterol: 20 mg
Skim milk: 80 calories, 0 grams of fat. Cholesterol: <5 mg
What's the same? Protein, sugar, carbs, potassium, sodium, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin C.
What percentage fat is whole milk?
It has 3.25% fat.
This is interesting, because it actually means that it only has that much, and it's 96.75% fat free. Why aren't we marketing it that way ...
Cows aren't made all the same. Different breeds and different cows give milk that differs in the fat content. It differs based on what she's eating and how long ago she had a calf, too. Farmers pool that milk with other farms' milk, so when you get the milk it's not automatically going to be these percentages. That's why we take milk to a processing plant to homogenize it.
What is homogenization, anyway?
Homogenization breaks down the fat molecules in milk so they stay integrated instead of separating as cream. Nothing is added to the milk.
Does it bother you when kids you live with call skim milk 'blue milk' or say 'it tastes like water?'
Why yes, it does! I love skim milk the most. There is zero water added to it. And they're not doing the grocery shopping anyway.
What else is milk made up of?
Ready for this! WATER! Milk is about 87% water!! It differs from cow to cow and among breeds, but that's a lot of water. And vitamins. The original vitamin water. It wasn't added though - it's all-natural. (Even skim, you kids.)
How much protein does milk have?
A lot! Just 8 ounces of milk has 8 grams of protein. Chug away.
Is my milk from around here?
Most likely, yes! Milk is perishable, so it's a lot easier to sell it near where you live. If you don't know, you can check the label. Each container of milk is identified by a 2-digit state code followed by a 3-digit processing plant code. It's local! Michigan is 26.
If you don't live in Michigan, you can check exactly where your milk comes from by typing in the code at this site: whereismymilkfrom.
Thank you for your questions, and please let me know if you have any more. I'm off to chug some milk now, but not from the jug. Well, not while anyone is looking. Cheers!
Want to know more about the farm? I post a lot of pictures on Facebook. Come on over.