I don’t drink nearly as much milk as I did when I was a child, but, then again, I am an adult and adults tend not to order milk with a meal. But my child really doesn’t like milk, and when I look around, none of his friends drink all that much milk (at least electively). So as these indicators might predict, milk consumption in the good old US of A is down, way down. It seems Americans are drinking less and less milk over time and the USDA, along with the dairy industry, really want to know the reason why.
A recent USDA study shows that there has been a steady declining consumption of milk since the 1970s and more recent generations of Americans show greater decreases in consumption frequency, holding constant other factors such as education and race. What does this mean you may ask? Well it is not about lactose intolerance, as some might suspect. Believe it or not, a lot of it has to do with race, according to this study. The declining majority of white people has something to do with it as well as the multivariate analysis that shows that being black or Latino is indeed negatively correlated with milk consumption.
The study, as is the nature of most of these studies, goes to great lengths to identify the reason why fewer people are drinking milk but doesn’t provide a satisfying conclusion other than young people are just not super jazzed about having milk as a regular part of their drinking regimen. Maybe it has something to do with the rise of lactose intolerance, or maybe we have been spooked by heath scares, or have just found better modes of calcium delivery?
Are you still an avid milk drinker or has your consumption waned greatly? Have you noticed a falling off of milk’s popularity? If so, what is your theory?