I know what you're thinking. At least I know what most of you are thinking: "That's an idiotic question! Chocolate milk is made from milk, which comes from a cow, mixed with cocoa and sugar."

Of course it is. That is common knowledge, correct?

Not so fast wise one!

A new online survey by the Innovation Center of U.S. Dairy (a sister organization to the National Dairy Council) found that "7% of all American adults believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows."

A Washington Post writer did the math and that comes out to 16.4 million people who have no idea where chocolate milk comes from, other than the grocery store. But the truly mind-bending part of this story is that the numbers could potentially be much higher. This online survey only polled 1,000 people and the belief is in a wider survey the number of people considered to be agriculturally illiterate could be much higher.

The interesting thing is that agricultural experts aren't all that surprised. Prior surveys from decades ago showed very similar results in regard to hamburgers, with participants not knowing that burgers were beef.

This disconnect does seem to follow logical paths however. People in agricultural communities know more about farm-to-table food than do people in strictly urban settings. And higher education levels and household incomes also seem to dictate more knowledge about basic food facts.

Suffice it to say that groups like the National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization, the American Farm Bureau Foundation and the USDA Farm to School Program are working diligently to expand American's understanding of agriculture.

So hopefully, very soon, everyone will know that french fries come from potatoes, milk and hamburger comes from cows, lettuce is a plant, and . . .well, you can see where this is going.

Sources: The Washington Post, Dairy Good, Today


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