Milk sales have declined sharply, perhaps because we aren’t all babies
No one drinks milk anymore! The Wall Street Journal:
Per-capita U.S. milk consumption, which peaked around World War II, has fallen almost 30% since 1975, even as sales of yogurt, cheese and other dairy products have risen, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics. The reasons include the rise in popularity of bottled waters and the concern of some consumers that milk is high in calories.
Here are other reasons, probably:
Milk is kind of gross. When you hear something described as “milky,” do you think: Hey, yum, that sounds good? No, you think: Gross. That sounds gross.
Milk is what cows feed their babies, in theory. If you’re anything like me, it’s been years since you’ve suckled on your mother’s breast. And even when you used to do that, if you did, I bet you never found yourself faced with the dilemma of whether you would rather drink milk from your mother or from a cow. Even if you grew up on a farm, even if you were breast-feeding in the barn, and even if you were old enough to make rational decisions (which I hope you weren’t), I doubt you thought, maybe that nipple dragging around in that hay is better! When you drink milk, you are basically wrapping your lips around a cow body part that is like two feet from its anus, but with some intermediary sanitation.
I say “in theory” above because the way we get cow milk now is bananas. Seriously. It’s weird. Here’s everything Grist has written about milk. I’m not going to get into it right now, but let’s just say that forced pregnancy and hormones and giant milk vacuums all play a role in industrial milk production. Makes direct suckling seem like a decent option.
People naturally become lactose intolerant. Your body isn’t stupid. It gets what milk is for. When you’re a baby, milk is like 5 Hour Energy and Powerade and probably Axe Body Spray rolled into one: a quality product. Then your body is like, welp, all grown up now, time for beer, and your stomach starts doing that little dance it does when you drink milk and are lactose intolerant. Most of the population becomes lactose intolerant at some point, which is your body’s way of saying, hey, idiot, stop drinking milk. If coffee gave you a stomach ache and diarrhea every time you drank it, would you drink it? I mean decaf coffee, of course; you’d obviously still drink regular coffee.
Those “Got milk?” ads are super played-out. And how gross were they? What the hell was wrong with America in the ’80s and ’90s that we’d see random silver-medal-winning Olympians in full-page ads in George and think, yeah, that guy’s cream-coated lip sure is making me thirsty? How many times did you head down to the local diner, slap your magazine on the counter, point at Bo Jackson’s photo and say, gimme one of those! Zero. No one ever did this.
Rest assured, the milk industry has all sorts of new ideas for how to get you to drink more milk. Well, I have an idea, too, milk industry: Take all of your containers of milk and empty out the milk and put beer in them and sell beer.
You are welcome.
Philip Bump writes about the news for Gristmill. He also uses Twitter a whole lot.
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