The Milk Producers’ Organisation in South Africa is preparing to join nearly 80 countries worldwide in drinking a toast to milk and milk products when World Milk Day 2018 is celebrated on June 1.
Since the first World Milk Day which was celebrated in 2001, this event has developed into one of the highlights on the dairy calendars of 77 countries. Last year, #Worldmilkday was celebrated over a time span of 72 hours in 77 countries at 583 different events to pay tribute to a product that is so much more than the sum of its many nutrients – milk!
The value of milk and milk products in a healthy lifestyle was celebrated through activities such as:
- special meals with only dairy products on the menu;
- school visits to dairy farms;
- photo contests such as one to select the most photogenic dairy cow;
- donations of dairy products to welfare organisations;
- communication by nutritionists to share the important nutritional facts about milk and dairy products;
- videos with dairy farmers working on a development project; and
- physical fitness events fuelled by dairy.
Modern consumers no longer consider dairy only as an important nutrient in their daily diet but see it as a necessity in maintaining a healthy lifestyle in a fast-paced society. Dairy is served in convenient single serving packaging which makes it ideal for a healthy, nutritious on-the-go meal or snack – from yogurt for breakfast in the car on the way to work to flavoured milk in a school lunchbox or sports bag.
Sportsmen and -women around the globe are increasingly using milk and dairy products as fuel, for faster recovery from injuries, to help with muscle building and as a recovery drink after intensive training sessions. According to Team USA who participated in the 2018 Winter Olympics, a great deal of their success can be attributed to the fact that milk is part of their training programme. Furthermore, the powerhouse nutrient is served daily to athletes at American Olympic training centres.
A large number of international peer review papers clearly illustrate that the nutrient composition of milk and milk products helps to lower the risk of hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
The calcium in dairy products plays an important role in regulating body weight, which is why even high-fat dairy products are increasingly being included in the menus of weight loss programmes.
The calcium in dairy products is highly bio-available and makes a significant contribution to bone density. The role of dairy products in a healthy ageing process and the prevention of osteoporosis is acknowledged globally.
The value of dairy products in a healthy lifestyle will be celebrated this year by the MPO through the following activities:
- A media campaign to create awareness of the versatility of dairy.
- Promoting milk as a sports drink in collaboration with Milk SA’s Consumer Education Project at Crossfit Radium in Centurion and distributing milk sponsored by Clover.
- Two school visits in KwaZulu-Natal by dairy farmers to emphasise the importance of dairy for healthy, active and smart children and distribute UHT milk sachets sponsored by Orange Grove Dairy to each pupil.
Join the MPO in raising a glass to milk on 1 June!