Is Milk Really So Expensive?
When I ask people why they don’t drink very much milk, I often get a similar response – “Milk is just too expensive.” A lot of people say they drink more soda because it’s a much cheaper beverage. Milk is just too expensive for them to be regular dairy purchasers. I am always frustrated when people tell me this because many people don’t actually do a real comparison of the beverage choices they have. You have to remember that, you get what you pay for.
Milk is one of the most nutrient dense products you can buy at the store today. Milk is really a value buy at the store full of vitamins and nutrients, with a perfect balance of fat, carbohydrates, and protein. The protein in the milk alone makes it a great nutritional drink. You can get about 9 or 10 grams of protein per serving of milk. Many people forget about this though, I think because it’s just a point that the dairy industry hasn’t marketed enough. Sometimes people need to be reminded.
**Which is cheaper, consider the nutrient value**
Do Some Fun Research
If you want to do some fun research about your beverage choices, go to the Why Milk website and compare milk to other beverage choices out there. I was pretty surprised by some of the results. They have some pretty nifty tools that you can play around with.
**Milk has 9 nutrients while soda has zero! – Source: Why Milk**
**Milk nutrients vs. Soda nutrients – Source: Why Milk**
I went to the beverage analyzer tool and calculated the difference between milk and soda. I drink about 3 glasses of whole milk every day so I compared it to drinking a 32 oz. soda. The results were pretty interesting. The amount of calories between milk and soda was about the same. The real difference was that by drinking milk you can actually get a significant portion of the essential nutrients you need.
Drinking 3 glasses of milk per day, I got nearly half of the daily amount of protein I need! That means I don’t need to consume as much meat or other protein sources to fulfill my daily protein requirements. I also get over 80% of my daily calcium needs from milk. Milk is also low in sugar and carbohydrates because lactose is a natural low calorie sweetener.
**The nutritional value of 3 glasses of whole milk – Source: Why Milk**
Cut the Soda
If I drink a 32 oz. soda though, I consume a similar amount of calories as milk, except they are empty calories without any nutritional significance. Drinking soda, the only significant nutrition I get is a bunch sugar and carbohydrates.
One of the tools on the Why Milk web site showed the difference in the amount of nutrients in various beverages. When I compared milk to soda it showed that milk had 9 nutrients and soda had zero. So if you get 0 nutrients from soda, you have to make them up in other foods. So you have to spend money on other foods to get the same nutrition, you need more of other foods and spend more on other foods. So even though soda may seem cheaper on the shelf, it actually may be a more expensive beverage since it doesn’t contribute anything nutritionally to your diet.
**The nutritional value of a 32 oz. soda – Source: Why Milk**
Milk is a Nutrient Bargain Bin
Another tool showed that a glass of fat free milk is an extremely cheap source of nutrients costing $.25 in 2008. To get the same nutrition from other sources, you have to drink 1 glass of orange juice, 1 glass of vitamin water, a swig of an energy drink, ½ scoop of protein, and 6 glasses of soda. Adding these other sources together, you have a cost of $3.11!!
I think in earlier America, this was recognized far more than it is today. I think the proliferation of advertisements from other beverage companies have probably blocked some people from realizing this astounding truth. I found an interesting Journal article about the nutritional value of milk to society if you want to do some reading about this topic.
**The value of nutrients in a glass of milk – Source: Why Milk**
I want to challenge everyone to truly consider their beverage choices and how it affects their nutrition. Call it the Dairy Moos challenge. I think a lot of people would feel much healthier if they consumed less soda, and drank more milk. Instead of chugging loads of sugar, try drinking more milk and actually drink something that can provide some nutritional value. Milk is a nutrient dense product so when you are purchasing food remember that. Once you consider the nutrient value of milk, you will see that it’s actually a much better deal!
**Ever wonder why Santa is fat, hint its not the milk and cookies..**