June 16th, 2017

How now brown cow

Seven percent of American adults believe chocolate milk comes from brown cows, according to an online survey commissioned by the Innovation Center of U.S. Dairy.

I’m not sure whether I’m more surprised that the number is so low, that it is so high, or that there’s something called “the Innovation Center of US Dairy.”

Then again, that 7% may just be people funnin’ with the pollsters. However, surveys of almost anything always seem to uncover a certain percentage of abysmally ignorant people, so none of this is any surprise:

When one team of researchers interviewed fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders at an urban California school, they found that more than half of them didn’t know pickles were cucumbers, or that onions and lettuce were plants. Four in 10 didn’t know that hamburgers came from cows. And 3 in 10 didn’t know that cheese is made from milk.

Even as a kid, I knew full well that chocolate milk came from adding chocolate to milk, because we made it regularly by adding Hershey’s syrup to milk and stirring. There was no ready-made chocolate milk when I was young; we had to work hard for our chocolate milk!

Actually, I stopped drinking milk altogether when I was very very young. Nasty stuff.

10 Responses to “How now brown cow”

  1. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Somebody suggested that, you ask a dumb question, you get a dumb answer. Point is, who’s screwing with whom?

  2. y81 Says:

    I’m not totally surprised that fourth graders might not know that pickles are cucumbers. They don’t taste much alike, and if you are totally divorced from food preparation, as many fourth graders are, you might not connect the two.

  3. expat Says:

    I’m so glad I had lots of relatives who lived in the country. Mom’s oldest sister had cows, made her own butter, and in summer made ice cream for us all (the boys did the churning). Our Thanksgiving Day was butchering day at Mom’s father’s place, By the time I was seven, I knew how lard and sausage were made and knew what sausage casings were. I had also gathered eggs and seen a few chickens running around with their heads cut off. We also canned fruits and vegies, made apple butter and jams, and yes, made pickles. My generation didn’t produce many vegans.

  4. TommyJay Says:

    Some of my earliest memories were of kicking around the farm yard near my grandparent’s cattle, chickens and hogs.

    But when I was a freshman a Brown U. at a dorm suite party, several (from N. Jersey I think) claimed to have not known that milk came from cows until their Junior High class went to a farm animal zoo. And my dorm-mate told me that he told his high school friend that he was attending Brown, in Rhode Island. She replied, “Ooooh, I’ve never been on an island.”

  5. Jamie Says:

    My grandfather had a small herd of beef cattle in Wisconsin; he used to name calves after his grandchildren, to our dismay, because he’d continue to refer to them by those names when they were slaughtered and butchered. It was all in fun to him… He also taught us “Mr. Johnny Verbeck,” which we all understood to be “Mr. Johnny Go-Back”:

    Oh, Mr. Johnny Verbeck, how could you be so mean?
    I told you you’d be sorry for inventin’ that machine!
    Now all the neighbors cats and dogs will nevermore be seen;
    They’ll all be ground to sausages in Johnny Verbeck’s machine.

    One night the machine was busted – the deuce of a thing wouldn’t go,
    So Johnny Verbeck, he crawled inside to see what made it so.
    Along came his wife in a nightmare, a-walkin’ in her sleep;
    She gave the crank a deuce of a yank and Johnny Verbeck was meat!

    My grandfather was… kind of a weird dude.

  6. Frog Says:

    Not the first time Neo has written about milk and how she came to dislike this wonderful nurturing fluid when she was very, very young.

    I love milk, especially milk along with Oreos, especially the newer flavors, like lemon. Heavenly.

  7. neo-neocon Says:


    Lemon milk? 🙂

  8. Julie near Chicago Says:

    I ‘spose the next thing you’ll be trying to tell us is that our eggs don’t come from the Easter Bunny.

  9. charles Says:

    “that 7% may just be people funnin’ with the pollsters”

    True – remember Boaty McBoatface?

    More seriously though, as a kid who grew up in the country, I laugh every time I hear a college-educated adult who thinks you need a rooster in order for a hen to lay eggs.

    And, I’d bet that the number who believe so is much greater than 7% – and they aren’t funning with anyone; they truly do believe you need a rooster before a hen can lay an egg.

  10. LAG Says:

    I wonder what the demographic split is. How many of the choco-believers are from Dem strongholds on the urban coasts, and how many are from the stupid rural flyover areas?

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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