Good afternoon! Today I had a blast presenting a National Ag in the Classroom (NAITC) lesson called Stacking up Milk and Milk Substitutes to a class of junior high students at Prairie Point. I was familiar with most of the milk substitutes available to us but I was unfamiliar with the taste of coconut and rice milk. I enjoyed walking around and hearing what the students had to say about the look, taste and smell of each milk.
To begin, we asked the following questions; where does milk come from, what is the definition of milk, what products are made with milk, and what kinds of milk can we buy from the grocery store? Students then had the opportunity to compare and contrast five samples of milk (whole, rice, almond, coconut, and soy milk) based on taste, nutritional value and route from farm-to-plate. Students discovered that there are many milk substitutes for those who have a milk allergy, don’t like the taste or choose not to consume dairy products but they also learned that the nutrition value varies from milk to milk meaning they can’t be 100% interchangeable.
Consumer trends show increased sales of plant-based milk substitutes between 2009 and 2015. Students discussed the possible reasons for the increase. We wrapped up the lesson with a question to ponder; does the word milk, a white fluid rich in fat and protein secreted by female mammals, mislead consumers if labeled on a plant-based substitute? And would we view the drink differently if it was labeled juice or beverage? #FoodForThought!
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