You know what makes me crazy?

Three things. 

OK -- that's a lie. A LOT of things make me crazy. Far more than three, because I'm cranky in real life.

In this particular case, we'll narrow it down to three.

1) Attending dairy meetings at which no milk is served.

This makes me nuts! We hold a meeting and invite fellow dairy producers then serve the competition? We put margarine on the table? Who does that? Why does it make sense? I always make a scene, which is usually wholly unappreciated.

2) Attending a meal hosted by an organization to which we've either donated money or they've asked for a stack of money and then they serve me margarine and pop. Really? You want me to donate to your organization but you cannot manage to put butter on the table? Here's the thing: I would have donated butter -- any other dairy product to your group for this dinner and you didn't ask for that. You asked me for a donation and then you want me to consume my competitors’ products?  Ummmm…. hello?! This has happened to me twice in the last month. When I asked about the margarine, I was told it was cheaper.
"Let me get this straight," I said. "I offered to donate all the butter you needed -- at no cost to you -- and yet, you're serving me margarine -- moments after this DAIRY made a donation to your organization?"

Go ahead. I dare you to ask me again. 

Am I being unreasonable here? I mean, if you asked a group of beef producers for a donation would you serve them a soy burger?

Here's my third pet peeve for the day and one in which I'd like your help.

When my kids compete in sporting events, I often bring chocolate milk for a post-game treat. The 6th grade football team LOVED it, but when I offer the milk to my girls’ teammates, I'm turned down.

"It will make me fat."

Are you kidding me? 

My kids think this is great because all the left over chocolate milk comes home. 

But really? As dairy producers, we pay millions of dollars for advertising, promoting milk as a great option for recovery after a work out. Yet, I have dozens of young girls tell me drinking milk will make them fat. 

Now, I have major issues with body-weight-shame, but I'll save that for a forthcoming rant.

I am always stunned.

So the other day, I emailed my pals at the Idaho Dairy Council. The world's greatest dairy council. No, really. Don't even argue with me. I love these people. I asked Pohley Richey, a dietician on the staff and health and wellness manager, if I was hallucinating. She said no.

"Compared to other drinks, milk provides unparalleled nutrition as well as hydration for growing bodies. Chocolate milk plays an important role in the nutrition of our students and athletes. Vitamin D, calcium and potassium are three key nutrients the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) have identified as lacking in the diets of children and adults. Milk and milk products are the number one food source of vitamin D, calcium and potassium. Low-fat chocolate (or other flavored) milk provides the same nine essential nutrients that are equally as important to good health as white milk."

Ha! Vindication is mine! 

But how do I explain that to the 15-year-old kid who has body image issues and has been told somewhere down the line that drinking a cup of chocolate milk will make you fat? And how can milk compete when the kids can grab a sports drink and stick in their gym bag with no fear it will get too warm to drink by the end of the day? And you know they'd rather do that before they go through the bother of finding an insulated cooler for the milk.

I'm wondering what you do to promote milk consumption by friends and family? How do you educate the kids in your life about dairy facts rather than dairy rumors? How can we, as dairy families, better communicate dairy nutrition to those around us?

I think it would be fun to brainstorm about these issues and work together to find solutions. Let me know what you think.

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Comment by Karma Metzler Fitzgerald on March 11, 2014 at 9:51am

Excellent question, Joanmarie -- I have to think about that for a bit…. anybody else want to wade in…. 

Comment by Joanmarie Weiss on March 7, 2014 at 3:34pm

Kudos to Old Country Buffet for making white and chocolate milk available.  Theirs is packaged in five gallon bags, I think, same as at the college I attended in the early '80's.  DMI should work with more restaurants and banquet venues to learn how milk needs to be packaged so it can find a place on their menus and in their kitchens.  Our milk cooperative will not book a place unless chocolate and white milk are served and butter is used at the meal.  Great for us, but does our insistence signal to the proprietor that dairy should be a choice for all customers?

Comment by Betsy Fleury on February 15, 2014 at 2:09pm

Thanks, Karma, for bringing up some really valid points. I certainly agree with all of your comments, although I haven't had the experiences you describe in your second and third points. However, I have often been at dairy meeting where no milk is served. And when I ask for milk, they often say that it isn't available. I just can't understand why dairy meeting sponsors don't make sure that there is milk on every table! Who do they think buy their products, services, or belong to their organizations? The soda companies sure don't! And that is who they are promoting and benefiting by not serving milk.

Comment by Christina Winch on February 11, 2014 at 8:36am

Thanks for sharing your rant with you.  The things you describe happen here in the Dairy State as well.


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