How are dairy products part of everyday life?

How can Canadian milk be identified?


Read and discuss DAIRY PATTERNS to find out more about the dairy products Canadians consume.

Complete the activities in ANALYZE NUMBERS AND PATTERNS.


dairy choices

Dairy products play an important role in the daily choices that many Canadians make. According to the latest Statistics Canada Canadian Community Health Survey, nearly 94 percent of Canadians chose dairy on the day they were surveyed.

Milk is one of the choices in the protein category of Canada’s Food Guide. Scientific studies support the nutritional benefits of milk.

Milk products are a key source of 6 out of the 8 nutrients that most Canadians already do not get enough of. These nutrients are found in milk and are: calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin D, and potassium.

Milk products are a good source of calcium. Although other foods may contain calcium, milk products generally contain a higher amount.

Organic and conventional milk products are nutritionally the same.

Most milk in Canada is homogenized milk. Homogenization ensures that the butterfat in the cream does not separate. Homogenization makes sure that the taste and texture of the milk is the same with every glass.

Why do you think milk and other dairy products are protein choices for many Canadians?


Infographic from Statistics Canada: Protein Sources in the Canadian Diet (2015) 

where all dairy products start

All dairy products start on the farm. Raw milk from the cows is sold to the processor. Alberta Milk transport trucks go to each farm in the province at least every other day and pick up the milk.

Nothing is done to the milk other than it is tested before it’s picked up to make sure it meets strict milk quality standards. At that point, the fat quantity of the raw milk is whatever those cows produce on that farm. This fat content is usually about 3.5 to 4 percent.

From there, the processors separate all the fat out of the milk. They then add it back in to create milk that has different percentages of fat. The processor then packages the milk and distributes it to stores.