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Fluid milk consumption declining at fastest rate in 70 years

An extension educator says the rate of declining fluid milk consumption is concerning.

Jim Salfer with the University of Minnesota says a recent USDA Economic Research Service study found fluid cows milk consumption was nearly cut in half from 2003 to 2018.

“What’s a little scaring to me is the rate of decrease,” he says.  “Before 2010, the drop in fluid consumption was about one percent per year and now it’s about 2.6 percent.”

The USDA says fluid milk consumption has been steadily declining for the past 70 years, but over the past decade, that rate has fallen faster than previous decades.

“Back in 2003/2004, on average we drank about six-tenths of a cup of milk per day, that was down to about .33 cups in 2017/2018—so just about in half,” he explains.

Consumption is also down as less fluid milk is used on cereal.

USDA reports 90 percent of Americans do not consume enough dairy to meet the Federal Dietary Guidelines recommendations.

While fluid milk consumption also maintained a downward trend through 2020, total dairy product consumption hit a new record last year with increases in ice cream, yogurt, and butter.

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