Real Milk’s Role in a Sustainable Farm-to-Table Diet

A dairy cow in a pasture can feel like a long way from the milk in refrigerators and at family tables. However, the distance between the farm and your family may be shorter and more sustainable than you think. Dairy farmers are committed to sharing milk’s vital nutrients in more environmentally conscious ways, and they’re making strides today and with each generation.

Sometimes it might feel difficult to balance your family’s nutritional needs with what’s best for the planet, but dairy milk production uses fewer resources than before while providing a unique nutrient package that nourishes your family.

Farmers, who work the land and care for the animals that help nourish families, understand that resources are finite and must be handled wisely. From using sustainable cow feed to reusing water and repurposing manure for fertilizer, farmers improve their operating practices, reduce waste and contribute to a better environment today and for the future.

In fact, today’s milk is made with 65 percent less water, 90 percent less land and 76 percent less manure, resulting in a 63 percent smaller footprint compared to 75 years ago, according to research published in the “Journal of Animal Science.”

When you buy a gallon of milk, you’re supporting farmers committed to continuous improvement while also incorporating one of the most nourishing foods available into your diet.

Dairy milk is a natural source of high-quality protein and is the top food source for calcium and vitamin D, which diets often lack, especially for children. In all, milk provides nine essential nutrients and is one of the original farm-to-table foods, meaning you’re making smart decisions about nutrition while providing your family with an increasingly sustainable food.

Across many aspects of life, balance is key. That is especially true in how and what people eat, and a truly sustainable diet involves more than its impact on physical surroundings. It must also be nutrient-rich, practical and affordable. The right amount of animal and plant foods can help create more sustainable diets for both people and the planet.

Learn more about how dairy farmers are stewards of the environment at

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

MilkPEP, Family Features

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