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."
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"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."
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