June Dairy Month: Dare to compare

As June Dairy Month is celebrated across the country, one goal is to educate consumers about the nutrition and consistency of milk and dairy products.

Amanda Marsh, a nutritionist with the St. Louis District Dairy Council, says people often don’t understand what’s in so-called “milks” that are plant-based.

“About 50% of consumers believe that the main ingredient in a plant-based beverage is often the plant itself but it’s really just flavored water.”

She says many consumers think plant-based drinks, which often have 10 or more ingredients, are superior to milk.

“You’re talking sugar and salt and stabilizers and food additives. Thickening agents and even emulsifiers. And then those are fortified with vitamins and minerals to kind of make them taste, look and have the nutritional components of cow’s milk.”

Marsh urges consumers to compare the ingredient list on plant drinks to milk which only has three ingredients…

“It’s milk. It’s vitamin A. And, it’s vitamin D. That’s it.”

She says nutrients in plant-based beverages can settle to the bottom whereas milk and dairy are consistent every single time.

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