With aromatic coffees, sweet juices, and heavily advertised sports and energy drinks competing a place by a college student’s plate, plain milk gets shoved to side-lines. It’s not as if the dairy industry hasn’t made an enormous effort. “Got Milk?” and images of celebrities sporting milk mustaches aren’t far from our minds but these ads, at least from my observations, seem most heavily targeted towards an age group below the university crowd. Milk can be an incredibly valuable contributor to daily protein, calcium, and vitamin D intake.
Most of us don’t actively think about building bone density right now, but, in fact, our early 20s may be our last chance to build the bones that we will depend on for the rest of our lives. Meeting daily calcium and vitamin D (which aids in calcium utilization) needs now can spell the difference between future years of glorious independent living or years of fragility and suffering that could have easily been prevented. How much calcium do you need? The RDA for calcium is between 1000 and 1200mg/day. These needs can be met by consuming a variety of calcium-rich foods, but an easy way to help meet your needs is to consume 3 cups of milk/day (one with each meal). For more on Vitamin D, read on here. If you can’t drink milk, I have a post coming up for you soon that compares the nutritional properties of several milk alternatives that are fortified with the calcium and vitamin D you need (there are some great ones on the market!)
Which brings me to a “thank you” to Hodgdon. A few weeks ago, my suite-mate Erin ran out of milk and ran to Hodgdon (Tufts Dining to-go eatery) to restock for the week. Erin, being a health-conscious eater, prefers skim milk because she knows that even 1 cup of 2% milk contains 5g fat, 3g of which comes from the not-so-heart-healthy saturated form. Hodgdon, however, has never to my knowledge stocked the anything but the individual cartons of skim milk. She wanted a more substantial half gallon and was thus faced with the choice of either 2% or whole milk. Having heard echos of her complaint from several friends over the years, I asked Julie Lampie, Tufts Dining Dietitian, about the omission. She agreed that I should ask Hodgdon’s manager whether he would be willing to give skim milk half gallons a try.
I was extremely impressed with Hodgdon manager’s responsiveness to the suggestion. Julie and I stopped by Hodgdon on our way to lunch and were excited to see the skim milk half gallons on the refrigerated shelves. When we asked whether the new product had seen any initial success, we were told that new milk option has been very popular with students.
Thanks for the skim milk Hodgdon!