Milk – make sure it’s in the shopping trolley

On World Milk Day the Dairy Council for Northern Ireland has urged consumers to recognise the value of including local milk in their shop as it provides both nutritional value and remains value for money despite rising costs.

“With the cost of living already hitting hard and stark warnings coming from the Bank of England and others on further expected rises in food inflation, consumers need to consider products that are nutritious and versatile and therefore represent good value,” said Dr Mike Johnston, Chief Executive of the Dairy Council. “Milk is both, providing strong justification for ensuring it remains high on the food shopping list.”

Long considered a staple in a balanced diet, consumers are generally well aware that milk is rich in calcium. However, Dairy Council nutritionist, Dr Carole Lowis says there is much more to the nutrition milk provides than just calcium. “Many people will associate milk with calcium and make the link between that and strong healthy bones, with those of a certain vintage even recalling the iconic ‘Them Bones, Them Bones need calcium’ milk advertisement of three decades ago! However, milk contains many more nutrients than calcium, also providing protein, phosphorus, iodine and potassium along with vitamins B2 and B12. And its role in supporting our bones also goes beyond calcium too; its value, we have discovered through ongoing research, is even more than the sum of the essential nutrients it provides.”

Dr Lowis went on to explain: “We are learning how the various nutrients and components present in milk work together to produce an overall health effect. We call this the ‘milk matrix effect’ and we are understanding better all the time how the matrix of nutrients in milk contribute to the normal functioning of many processes in our bodies, for bones and beyond, to support health.”

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Getting the benefits from milk is made easier by its versatility and convenience says Dr Lowis: “Milk is the ultimate convenience food, it doesn’t require any form of cooking to be enjoyed. A glass of milk is perfect on its own, but it is also extremely versatile and so incredibly simple to include in a balanced diet. From a cappuccino to cauliflower cheese and soup to smoothies, milk can easily be incorporated into all manner of drinks and dishes.

“This combination of nutritional value and versatility makes milk a hero in the shopping trolley and a smart choice for savvy shoppers who want to maximise value and convenience.”