Millions of Americans Think Chocolate Milk Comes from Brown Cows

There is an interesting belief that the dark chocolate milk comes from brown cows. Namely, the most frequently asked question in the Innovation Center for US Dairy’s website is: “Does chocolate milk come from brown cows?”

This question has been asked by 7% of Americans, or 16.4 million people, believing that the chocolate milk comes directly out of a brown cow. Moreover, 48% of respondents said that they were not sure where the chocolate milk comes from, and that makes around 154,272,000 potential believers of the existence of chocolate milk coming from the brown cow.

However, the answer of this question is polite and very clear explaining that the chocolate milk is white cow’s milk with added flavoring and sweeteners.

Another study carried out by the Innovation Center for US Dairy has revealed that 37% of the people secretly drink the milk directly from the container in the fridge having bad milk/fridge etiquette, and another 29% that like chocolate milk use their children as an excuse to buy it.

This only shows that many American citizens are badly informed about the origin of the food that they consume every day. The observers in nutrition, agriculture, and education warned that many Americans are agriculturally illiterate saying that they are not even aware of the ways how food is being grown and stored.

As per a performed study by the Department of Agriculture in the early ’90s of the last century revealed that 1 in 5 adults had no idea that the hamburgers are made out of beef. Experts still believe that this is the same situation nowadays.

The children are also not aware from where the food comes that has been proven by conducted study on fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders at an urban California school. The results showed that over half of them did not know that the lettuce and onions were plants, and that the pickles were cucumbers. Three children out of ten did not know that cheese is made from milk, and 4 in 10 did not know that the hamburgers came from cows.

Still, they knew that the foods were grown on farms and in gardens, and all of them could recall the names of common foods in raw form. However, they did not know or understand any of the post-production activities or the agricultural crop origin of common foods.

The reason for this according to Cecily Upton, the co-founder of the nonprofit Food Corps, which brings agricultural and nutrition education into elementary schools, is the exposure issue acquiring the food from the nearby store and the children see only this fact not wondering where it really comes from.

The writer and historian Ann Vileis reflects on this perception of food origin and its production as a norm of urban culture. In the past the food was picked up directly from the garden, and now travels thousands of miles to be on the shelves of the stores.