No, this isn’t some kind of joke: an online survey from the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy found that 7% of American adults believe chocolate milk comes from brown cows.
As reported by The Washington Post, the survey’s results are the equivalent of roughly 16.4 million people taking the survey. The test was conducted by Edelman Intelligence on behalf of the Innovation Center.
Oh, and if you’re one of the 7% reading this – POTUS, we’re looking at you – chocolate milk is in fact made up of milk, cocoa, and sugar.
This funny yet somewhat sad survey highlights a bigger problem in America today: most people have very little knowledge of our food ecosystem. Ironically, Americans drink dairy products heavily – 43% of Americans begin the day with a dairy beverage, with 9 out of 10 people consuming dairy at least once a week.
“At the end of the day, it’s an exposure issue,” Cecily Upton, co-founder of the nonprofit FoodCorps, told The Washington Post.
“Right now, we’re conditioned to think that if you need food, you go to the store. Nothing in our educational framework teaches kids where food comes from before that point.”
So how can people get educated on food systems?
For kids, the National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization has a very simple dairy lesson on their website, promoting this month’s National Dairy Month. Adults can turn to Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma“, which details the U.S.A.’s food problems, like GMO labeling restrictions and rules.
“We still get kids who are surprised that a french fry comes from a potato, or that a pickle is a cucumber,” Upton continued. “… Knowledge is power. Without it, we can’t make informed decisions.”
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