Last week we posted in celebration of June National Dairy Month. This week, we thought it would be fun to share some facts about dairy you might not know. Bonus: use these facts and quiz your family at the dinner table tonight. HISTORICALLY SPEAKING…
- The modern cow is descended from a now-extinct, large-horned, long-haired animal called the aurochs.
- Human beings have been consuming cows’ milk since they domesticated the aurochs about 10,000 years ago.
ALL ABOUT COWS
- A typical adult Holstein cow weighs about 1,500 pounds. Bulls can weigh more than 2,000 pounds.
- In 2008, the average Washington cow produced 14.5% more milk than the average U.S. cow.
- Most Washington dairies milk their cows twice per day, usually about 12 hours apart.
- Cows have no upper teeth. They curl their tongues around grasses and pull them off, swallowing them unchewed. Digestion takes place in their four stomachs.
- The pattern of a Holstein’s black spots are unique — no two animals are the same.
- Dairies can be found in 27 Washington counties. 68% are in western Washington, 32% in eastern Washington.
- Yakima County is the 11th largest dairy-producing county in the U.S.
- In 2009, Washington ranked 2nd in milk production per cow among the 50 United States.
- Whatcom County is home to the largest number of dairy farms in Washington (131 in 2008).
- Dairy processing plants first began to use glass bottles to package milk in 1884.
- Dairy processing plants first began to use paper cartons to package milk in 1906.
- Dairy processing plants first began to use aseptic containers to package milk in 1981.
- U.S. dairy farms produce roughly 21 billion gallons of milk annually.
- Dairy processing plants first began to use plastic jugs to package milk in 1964.
- The U.S. produced 1.55 billion gallons of ice cream in 2007.
- Vanilla is the most popular flavor of ice cream (30%), followed by chocolate (8%), butter-pecan (4%), strawberry (3.7%) and chocolate chip mint (3.2%)
- The average American consumes 21 pounds of ice cream per year.
- The ice cream cone was invented at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis.
- The average American consumed almost 33 pounds of cheese in 2007. In 1910, the average was just 5 pounds.
- High blood pressure (hypertension) can be reduced by consuming low-fat dairy products.
- There is no scientific evidence that chocolate milk makes kids hyperactive.
- Milk is the most closely monitored and most heavily regulated food in the grocery store.