Rising Dairy Prices

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"I hate to see it going to the consumer where they're gonna have to pay more, but I am glad to see where the dairy farmer is going to get an increase in price."

Carl Chaney has run the family business, Chaney's Dairy Barn, for 15 years, and he says that it will be a great help to dairy farmers.

Chaney says, "It's great for dairy farmers throughout the state, throughout the US cause like I said, the last two years it's probably been the toughest."

Tightening of milk supply in recent months, along with a steady demand for many dairy products, and government regulation are causing dairy prices to reach record high levels.

And that's not all. Chaney says the price you pay for dairy is also affecting the price you pay for ice cream.

Chaney says, "Six months ago when we bought our first load of mix, that we're making the ice cream out of, we paid about $14.25 for a two and a half gallon bag of mix. If I buy mix this month, it's gonna cost me almost $18."

For parents trying to keep their kids away from sugary soda they are willing to pay more.

Marcello Simmons is a concerned parent willing to pay more for milk. Simmons says, "I've always loved milk. So I teach my son how it's just like exercise its good for his bones. So we love milk."

And he says paying more is part of life. "Cost of living goes up all the time. And if it's something we've got to have then we're gonna pay for it."

In addition to milk and ice cream the price of other dairy products like cheese and whipped cream are on the rise.

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Question: What benefits do dairy foods, such as milk, cheese and yogurt provide, other than helping to build and strengthen bones?

Answer: Good health starts with dairy. Recent research has shown that eating lowfat dairy foods has many health benefits including helping to reduce your risk of high blood pressure, osteoporosis and certain cancers, better manage your weight, and improve nutritional status.

Question: At what age is it important to drink milk and consume cheese and yogurt?

Answer: Starting at age one, dairy matters at every age for everyone. From fat free to lactose-free, it's easy to get the amount of dairy foods you need to meet your calcium needs. The National Academy of Sciences recommends the following calcium intake levels for various age groups:

  • Adults ages 19-50 need 1,000 mg of calcium a day, the equivalent of drinking at least three 8-oz. glasses of milk.
  • Adults over the age of 50 need 1,200 mg of calcium a day, the equivalent of drinking four 8-oz. glasses of milk.
  • Teens ages 9-18 need 1,300 mg of calcium a day, or about four 8-oz. glasses of milk.
  • Kids ages 4-8 need 800 mg of calcium a day, or about three 8-oz. glasses of milk.
  • Kids ages 1-3 need 500 mg of calcium a day, the equivalent of about two 8-oz. glasses of milk.

Question: What additional nutrients does milk provide besides calcium?

Answer: Milk provides a powerful nutrient package of calcium plus eight key nutrients which fuel your body, not just your bones. Milk is one of the best sources of calcium because it also provides vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium. Milk is an excellent source of calcium, vitamin D, riboflavin, and phosphorus and a good source of potassium, vitamin A, vitamin B12, niacin and muscle-building protein.

Question: Why aren't people drinking enough milk?
Answer: Calcium deficiency is a serious nutritional problem in this country. Many people are opting for soft drinks and other beverages that don't have the vitamins and minerals that milk provides for helping to build strong bones. Also, many adults erroneously think they don't need to drink milk anymore. However, bones continue to grow in density until the mid-30s, and after that, the calcium in milk is important to help prevent bone loss.

Source: www.nationaldailrycouncil.org (National Dairy Council Web site) contributed to this report.