Study finds 16.4 million Americans think chocolate milk comes out of the cow like that

Woman milking a cow.
(Image credit: SERGEI GAPON/AFP/Getty Images)

Sorry, everyone: Chocolate milk does not come from brown cows. Are you rolling your eyes? Well, hold onto your horses — a new study by the Innovation Center of U.S. Dairy found that 7 percent of American adults, or approximately 16.4 million people, think chocolate milk comes out of the cow like that.

"The most surprising thing about this figure may actually be that it isn't higher," The Washington Post boldly estimates. The Post adds that "Americans are basically agriculturally illiterate," citing a Department of Agriculture study from the early 1990s that found "nearly 1 in 5 adults did not know that hamburgers are made from beef."

To be fair, Americans aren't typically taught, in any formal sense, where their food comes from. A study of fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-graders in one California school found that "more than half of them didn't know pickles were cucumbers, or that onions and lettuce were plants," the Post writes. "Four in 10 didn't know that hamburgers came from cows. And 3 in 10 didn't know that cheese is made from milk."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

"Right now, we're conditioned to think that if you need food, you go to the store," explained FoodCorps co-founder Cecily Upton. "Nothing in our educational framework teaches kids where food comes from before that point."

To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us