This June, celebrate National Dairy Month with your favorite dairy treat. Originally established as a grocery/milk promotion in 1937, National Dairy Month now acts as a reminder of the health benefits that dairy products provide. They contain essential nutrients — including calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein. They also reduce the risk of high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and certain cancers, while helping us to better manage our weight. Kick start each day with nutrient-rich dairy products and start your summer on a healthy note.
National Dairy Month - History
Milkmaid folklore led to smallpox vaccine
Legend has it that milkmaids seemed to be immune from the smallpox plagues as they swept through Europe. English physician Edward Jenner developed a vaccine for smallpox based upon this folk knowledge.
Cattle came to the Americas
The first cattle to arrive in the New World landed in Vera Cruz, Mexico. Soon afterward, some made their way across the Rio Grande to proliferate in the wild, and they became known as Texas Cattle.
The first evidence of milking cows discovered
Through analyzing degraded fats on unearthed potshards, scientists have discovered that Neolithic farmers in Britain and Northern Europe may have been among the first to begin milking cattle for human consumption.
Cows were domesticated
Aurochs, the wild ancestors of modern cows, were first domesticated 8,000 to 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent area of the Near East.
How to Observe National Dairy Month
1. Have an ice cream sundae party
Invite some friends over for a summer treat as you add some potassium, calcium, and yes, some sugar, to your diet.
2. Visit a local dairy farm
Find out where it all comes from. Go to a nearby dairy farm to learn how the process works from the start.
3. Drink milk to rehydrate
Studies show that milk is superior to water and sports drinks after a workout. Milk is rich in sodium and potassium — both of which help to retain fluids and cause your body to sweat less. In addition, milk contains protein to help your muscles recover quickly.
4 Dairy Delicious Facts About Milk
1. Got milk?
Milk is the only food that you can survive on alone. It has every nutrient you need.
2. The world loves milk
The world's population consumes over 2.1 billion liters every day. That’s enough to fill up 813 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
3. Cows have friends
Dairy cows are social animals. Like people, they will make friends and bond with some, while avoiding others.
4. Cows can produce a ton of milk
A cow turns grass into milk within two to three days. Depending on the breed, a cow can make between 25 and 40 liters of milk per day.
Why National Dairy Month is Important
A. Dairy is good for your bones
Calcium is crucial to the growth and strengthening of bones. A simple glass of milk, some yogurt, or a piece of cheese helps to fight off brittle bones and osteoporosis.
B. Dairy reduces blood pressure
Diets rich in potassium help maintain healthy blood pressure. Dairy products — especially yogurt, fluid milk, and soy milk — provide potassium, and can greatly reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes.
C. Milk is good for your teeth
Your teeth get stronger and healthier when you drink milk. Calcium helps protect your teeth against gum disease and keeps your jawbone strong and healthy. In addition, the protein helps to neutralize acids in the mouth.