Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thirsty Thursday: Are you lactose intolerant?

If I'm Lactose Intolerant, Should I Avoid Milk?

Not necessarily. Many individuals who have difficulty digesting lactose (milk's sugar) can consume a glass or two of milk a day with meals with few, if any, symptoms. Smaller portions of milk (4 oz) consumed more often may be better tolerated. Lactose-reduced or lactose-free milks are also an option. Lactose-reduced milk contains about 70% less lactose than regular milk. Lactose-free milk is 100% lactose reduced.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thirsty Thursday: The Buzz on Chocolate Milk

What's the buzz on flavored milk? Research from the University of Vermont published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association confirms that flavored milk is a healthy beverage choice for kids and adults. The study evaluated data from USDA's Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals to determine the typical beverage intake of nearly 4,000 children and adolescents, ages 5-17. Here's what it found:
  • Results showed that children who drink flavored milk consume fewer nutrient-void soft drinks and fruit drinks (those containing less than 10 percent fruit juice) than children who don't drink flavored milk.
  • The study also found that children who consume chocolate or other flavored milk have higher calcium intakes in comparison with children who do not consume flavored milk.
  • Children who consume flavored milk did not have higher intakes of added sugars or total fat in their overall diet in comparison with children who do not consume flavored milk.
  • Children who consume flavored milk had higher total milk intakes when compared to non-consumers of flavored milk.
  • Previous research indicates that children and adolescents who are high consumers of soft drinks have lower intakes of riboflavin, folate, vitamins A and C, calcium and phosphorous.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thirsty Thursday: How should milk be stored?

Source: USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.

Storing and Handling

Milk is perishable. To preserve its safety and quality, the following tips are recommended:
  • Refrigerate milk at 40ºF or less as soon as possible after purchase and store in the original container.
  • Return milk to the refrigerator immediately after pouring out the amount needed. Never return unused milk to the original container.
  • Keep milk containers closed to prevent the absorption of other flavors. An absorbed flavor changes the taste, but the milk is still safe.
  • Protect milk from exposure to strong light since light can reduce its riboflavin content and cause off-flavors.
  • Look for the "sell by" or "pull" dates on milk cartons. If properly cared for, milk generally stays fresh for 2 to 3 days after this date. Some dairy processors guarantee their products for a specific time after this date. Ask your grocer for more details.
  • Keep canned milks like evaporated and sweetened condensed milks in a cool dry place and invert the cans every 2 months. These milks generally keep for about a year at room temperature. Once opened, canned milks should be poured into an opaque covered container, refrigerated and used within a few days.
  • Store dry milks in a cool, dry place and keep in an airtight container after opening. Once reconstituted, dry milk should be refrigerated and handled like other fluid milks.
  • Freezing of milk is not recom-mended. It causes undesirable changes in milk's texture and appearance.
  • Microwaving milk is not recommended to extend milk's shelf life or as a means of pasteurization.

Friday, October 7, 2011

What Makes a Cow Happy? My 4 Rules.

So what makes a cow happy?  Do you wonder that?  I am sure that you have seen the campaign ad that says  "Happy Cows Come from California" but what does that mean? 

Not only do happy cows come from California, but happy cows come from every state!  Minnesota, Iowa, Florida, Idaho.. you name it.  There are some happy cows there.

How do you define: "happy"?  For me, when I am laughing, I am pretty happy.  How about you?  How do you define happy for yourself?  Does money make you happy?  Do friends make you happy?  Do hobbies make you happy?  Happiness can be defined so many different ways for so many different people and animals.

In the dairy industry, we define a "happy cow" as a healthy, comfortable cow.  Many years of research by dairy scientists have helped dairy farmers around the world help make our cows more comfortable and healthy.  The research is still continuing and new management techniques and tools are developed yearly.

One thing that we as an industry has done is place a number of initiatives that demonstrate our commitment to animal well-being. In 2009, we launched the National Dairy FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) program:, a nationwide, verifiable animal well-being program that demonstrates U.S. milk producers are committed to the highest quality standards.

So what is a healthy, comfortable cow and how do dairy producers do this?   Here are the top 5 rules:

#1:  Healthy Diets
  • Today's dairy cows are under the supervision of the dairy nutritionist.  This person comes to the dairy, evaluates the feed, and formulates a scientific, balanced and nutritious diet for the cows.  Diets can contain a variety of feedstuffs including hay, corn silage, grains, protein sources and vitamins and minerals.  I would love my own nutritionist... maybe I wouldnt eat so many cookies! :)
  • Dairy farmers work hard throughout the year to harvest the feed for the cows.  It is very important that feed is harvesting in a timely manner to ensure freshness and quality.
  • Here is a video of a dairy harvesting haylage:
  • Another important part of a cow's diet is WATER.  Cows should have access to feed and fresh, clean water 24 hours a day.  A cow drinks a BATHTUB of water a day!  Water is a very important part of her diet.
#2:  Comfortable Housing
  • There are many types of "houses" for cows you may see driving in rural America. 

#3:  Routine Medical Care:
  • Dairy cows are under the direct supervision of a herd veterinarian.  This individual is in charge of periodic check-ups, preventative vaccines and prompt treatment of illness.  The veterinarian is a very important person on a dairy farm.
  • Cows recieve routine "pedicures" by a professional hooftrimmer.  A cow will normally receive a pedicure once or twice a year to attend to the extra hoof growth.  Can you imagine if you didnt clip your toenails?  Cows need toenail clipping too!
    • Want to see a cow pedicure?  Watch a video about Olive getting a pedi.  Unfortunately she did not get a design on her toe like I do! haha :)
#4:  Cow Care and Monitoring
  • The most important job of a dairy farmer it to daily monitor their cows.  Cows are observed daily.  You may wonder... what are they looking for?  Here are some of the things we monitor:
    • cud chewing
    • laying time
    • Fresh cows - It is very important to monitor these ladies very closely.  Just like a woman in the hospital after giving birth, cows are in a hospital pen where they are checked multiple times a day to ensure that no complications arise.
      • Here is a video about a cow that gets "milk fever."  Milk fever usually happens a few hours after she has her calf and her body is low in calcium. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

If your house runs out of milk you need to try this free ap for droid devices!

There is nothing worse then being in the middle of a cookie and milk craving only to walk to the fridge and find the horrific surprise THAT YOU ARE OUT OF MILK!!!!!  Now you will never run short of Milk or eggs or any other grocery for that matter with the new FREE Out of Milk Ap for those Fancy "droid phones". 

Grab your FREE Out of Milk Ap for Android devices & you will never leave home without your grocery list!
Use the Out Of Milk App to:
  • Create multiple shopping and to-do Lists
  • Scan or manually enter items in your Shopping Lists
  • Add items to your list vocally or from your list history
  • Keep an inventory of anything so you always know what’s in your pantry
  • Share lists with your friends via the social networking apps on your phone

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The tale of the new cow "tails" lady!

This blog is most definitely a team effort made up of a group of folks very excited about dairy cows and committed to the dairy industry!  As you follow our blog you will not only learn about cows, farms, dairy productions, dairy and dairy products facts, but also about the authors or the "cow girls" who make this blog go!  Today you get to meet me - Sarah!

"Addy the Cow" from Sheboygan and I at the Brown County Fair 2011

Original Hometown:  Door County, WI
Current Hometown:  Luxemburg, WI
Current Relation to the Dairy Industry: Dairy Sales in NE Wisconsin & promoting our great industry!

Why cows?
They are amazing!  Not only do they provide us a great source of nutrition they also provide enrichment of many different kinds!  In my case, cows are what helped to grow and create my leadership skills, my work ethic and my lifestyle as cows are my career!  Without the farm and cows coming into my life, who know where I would be today!  Now I have the pleasure of working with tons of great dairy producers, and tons and tons of cows on a yearly basis (and they even pay me to have all that fun!)

What to expect!
I am out and about in North Eastern Wisconsin on a daily basis and I a now carry my camera every where I go to document those "cool cow" moments!  Follow along with the blog to see some of these unique moments as captured on film - and soon to be video (I am still trying to master that skill!).  From time to time I have other "cow crazy friends" who will be joining the blog to share some of their stories!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thirsty Thursday: What's up with flavored milk?

Is flavored milk as nutritious as white milk?
Yes, flavored milk contains the same nine essential nutrients as white milk. Flavored milk provides calcium, protein, vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin B12, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin and niacin. In comparison, beverages like soda and fruit drinks provide little more than calories and sugar.

Is flavored milk packed with sugar, which is associated with hyperactivity?
A soda or fruit drink contain nearly twice as much sugar as flavored milk. Furthermore, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Food and Drug Administration have found no link between sugar and behavioral problems in children.

Is flavored milk high in fat and calories?
Flavored milk comes in many varieties, including reduced fat, lowfat and fat free. For example, a 1 cup serving of lowfat flavored milk has only 2.5 grams of fat per serving, the exact amount as in white milk.

Does flavored milk cause cavities?
The ingredients in chocolate milk are much less likely to cause cavities than soft drinks and sticky snack foods. Liquids such as flavored milk clear the mouth faster. Some studies suggest that the cocoa in chocolate milk may actually protect against cavities.

Is chocolate milk high in caffeine?
No. The amount of caffeine in chocolate milk is similar to the amount found in decaffeinated drinks. An 8-ounce serving of chocolate milk contains between 2 mg and 7 mg of caffeine. Cola, on the other hand, may contain up to 10 times more caffeine than chocolate milk. According to recent evidence, the amount of caffeine in chocolate milk is too small to have a detrimental effect on a child's behavior.

Isn't flavored milk just for kids?
Absolutely not! Flavored milk is a great way to satisfy that sweet tooth while increasing your intake of calcium and eight other essential nutrients.