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Delicious Ways to Mark National Dairy Month

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Julie Landry Laviolette

Say cheese! Or ice cream. Or yogurt. Or milk. It's National Dairy Month and we're looking at all of the yummy ways dairy products cool us off, satisfy our taste buds and kick off the summer. Here’s some info from the National Dairy Council and the American Dairy Association:

It’s healthy

First let’s talk about how good dairy is for you. About 73% of the calcium in what we eat or drink is provided by milk and milk products. Milk is packed with essential nutrients like protein, calcium and vitamin D. In fact, to get the same amount of calcium provided by one eight-ounce glass of milk, you would have to eat more than four servings of broccoli, nearly six servings of whole wheat bread or a whopping 16 servings of spinach.

It’s fresh

Milk arrives at your local grocery store within 48 hours of leaving the farm. When you think of the farm-to-table movement that's popular in bringing fresh foods to local eateries and home kitchens, you have to think about dairy. Here’s a side benefit: teaching kids about where their food comes from is a fundamental step in developing healthy eating habits.

It’s cheesy

About 300 varieties of cheese are sold in the United States. Cheddar is the most popular natural cheese in the U.S., and the most popular recipe in America using cheese is good old macaroni and cheese.

It refuels

Chocolate milk may be every kid’s dream drink, but you don’t have to pitch the treat when you’ve outgrown your teddy bear. Lowfat chocolate milk is a super post-workout drink. Its combination of fluids, carbs and protein help rehydrate and fuel exhausted muscles after a good sweat.

It’s cool

Who doesn’t want to scream for ice cream? The refreshing summer favorite is a popular dessert or anytime sweet treat. With so many flavors to choose from, it’s somehow comforting to know that America's favorite flavor is none other than humble vanilla. Did you know that in the U.S., we enjoy an average of 48 points of ice cream per person per year -- more than in any other country.

It’s abundant

The average cow produces eight gallons of milk per day -- that's over 100 glasses of milk. And it’s a good thing. It takes 12 pounds of whole milk to make one gallon of ice cream, 21 pounds of whole milk to make one pound of butter, and 10 pounds of milk to make one pound of cheese, according to the American Dairy Association.

It’s important

All 50 states have dairy farms and 95% of U.S. dairy farms are family owned and operated. Georgia has 124 dairy farms and is home to more than 82,000 dairy cows. Florida has about 125,000 dairy cows and South Carolina has more than 50,000. North Carolina produces nearly one billion pounds of milk each year. That means when you dunk your cookies into an ice cold glass of milk, you're supporting families of farmers.

Have an agribusiness that brings food to tables? Farming is the backbone of the American economy. Ameris Bank supports that with banking services and lending solutions for livestock, farming equipment, infrastructure and farmland.


Julie Landry Laviolette is a freelance writer who specializes in personal finance, health and living well. Find her on Twitter at @JulieLavio.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Ameris Bank is not affiliated with nor endorses any of the companies featured in this article.