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Arts & Life

Despite What Some May Say, Chocolate Milk Does Not Come From Brown Cows


If only cows could help set the record straight about this next story.


CORNISH: Since they can't, we will.


A recent survey looked into Americans' beliefs about chocolate milk.

JEAN RAGALIE-CARR: When we asked them, where does chocolate milk come from, they indicated that they thought it came from brown cows.

SHAPIRO: Seven percent of Americans thought that.

CORNISH: Jean Ragalie-Carr is president of the National Dairy Council, which commissioned the survey. She says they put that question to a thousand people and gave them several options for how to answer.

RAGALIE-CARR: Well, there was brown cows or black-and-white cows, or they didn't know.

SHAPIRO: When Ragalie-Carr and her team got the results...

RAGALIE-CARR: (Laughter) I have to say, there were probably a few chuckles in the room as we learned this, you know? But it did make me wonder what they thought about strawberry milk. Did they think there were some pink cows out there?

SHAPIRO: Jokes aside, she says it shows how disconnected we are from where our food comes from.

RAGALIE-CARR: Less than 2 percent of people in America live on a farm now. So people out there have a very high level of interest but a very low level of understanding.

CORNISH: Registered dietitian Lisa Cimperman says while she thinks some people were having a little fun with their answer, she's also not surprised that some might think chocolate milk comes from a brown cow.

LISA CIMPERMAN: More and more individuals are living in suburbs or cities. And we go to this giant grocery store. We see everything all packaged and placed nicely on the shelves, and we don't really understand what it takes to get it there.

CORNISH: And she leaves us with this fun fact. With chickens and eggs, the animal's coloring does matter.

CIMPERMAN: White eggs simply come from chickens with white earlobes and generally white feathers. And brown eggs generally come from chickens with red or brownish feathers and red earlobes.

SHAPIRO: Yeah, but this is a story about cows. So again, for the record, chocolate milk is white milk mixed with chocolate.

(SOUNDBITE OF GLASS ANIMALS SONG, "CANE SHUGA") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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