Nine facts about Michigan milk

Learn more about milk and the Michigan dairy industry.

Most of us know that milk is a good thing. It contains all kinds of vitamins and minerals that we need for good health. Michigan State University Extension encourages people to learn more about what they are eating and drinking. Following are some fabulous facts about Michigan milk:

  1. Michigan milk is local milk, from over 413,000 of its dairy cows. Michigan has some 1,880 dairy farms that produce more than enough milk to supply the entire state. Surplus milk is exported to help meet demand in other states.
  2. 97 percent of Michigan dairy farms are family owned, many by multiple generations of the same family.
  3. Michigan ranks 7th in milk production in the U.S. In 2015, dairy cows in Michigan produced approximately 10.3 billion pounds of milk.
  4. Milk makes it from the cow to the store in a matter of days.
  5. To find out where your milk is bottled look for a code on the container. Every container of milk has a five digit code. The code includes a two digit state code followed by a three digit processing plant code. Michigan’s code is 26. Look for it!
  6. Chocolate and flavored milk contain the same nine essential nutrients as unflavored milk. They are calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, vitamin A, D, B12, riboflavin and niacin. 
  7. There are no sugars added to fat-free, low-fat, reduced-fat or whole milk. Natural sugars (primarily lactose) are found in milk.
  8. Milk is one of the best sources of calcium available. To get the amount of calcium in one cup of milk, 300 mg, you would have to eat five oranges or six slices of whole wheat bread.
  9. All milk sold in stores is tested for antibiotics. Any milk that would test positive for antibiotics has to be disposed of – that is a federal law.

Milk is highly regulated and is one of the safest foods available. Make milk a part of your meals and snacks. The amount of milk we need each day depends on age. The United States Department of Agriculture recommends young children need at least two cups each day while older children and adults need a minimum of three cups. 

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