Undeniably Dairy

If you haven't heard, the dairy industry is having a pretty tough time right now. Milk prices that hung right around the $16 mark for the good part of last year all the sudden tanked around the first of 2018. During almost the entire month of February, the price of milk was at or below $13.50. That is a 14% decrease from the 2017 average. Currently, milk prices are around $14.

Dairy farmers get paid per hundred pounds of milk produced. Currently there is a huge supply of milk which is driving prices down. Many farms are struggling to make ends meet and some co-ops that purchase milk are sending letters with suicide hotline numbers along with the checks they are writing to their producers. You may have even heard of the contract cuts by Dean Foods. They ended partnerships with over 100 dairy farms (read: family farms) who now have until May 31st to figure out what to do with their milk or face going out of business. You can't just turn off milk production in a dairy cow. They keep producing and you keep milking, even if you have nowhere to send it.

That being said, there are ways to help support the dairy industry...

Put another gallon of milk in your cart. If you have the resources, consider purchasing more dairy products. If you don't finish it, pour it down the drain.

Consider switching to real dairy products if you are able. If you are drinking almond, soy, or other beverages (legally, they cannot be called 'milk!'), switch to the real thing! Dairy products are much more nutrient dense.

If you don't drink dairy (or even if you do), purchase some to donate to a food bank. Milk is often one of the most demanded items by food banks (because it is so nutritious!). Ask if your local food bank will take donations of milk, and if they do, purchase extra and drop it by. If you don't want to deal with all of those extra stops, you can donate online to The Great American Milk Drive.

Cook with butter. Who wants margarine, anyway!?

Go out for ice cream and drink chocolate milk. They are easily the best dairy products out there. Buy a gallon or a tub this week, or stop by your local ice cream shop or creamery for a treat!

Ask your local school district to bring back milk. Milk has disappeared from the lunch line at many schools. Bringing it back will restart that market!

And most importantly... do your research. If you see a shocking video or a scary statement, research all sides of it. Don't believe what PETA or other animal rights organizations have to say- they have an agenda. Don't believe what the misinformed people on Facebook have to say about what's really in your milk. Go to the source. Learn the processes. Incorrect information spread by fearful people will drag an industry down. Don't spread lies. Ask questions and learn.

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