Chocolate milk is, by all accounts, delicious.
It’s also an incredibly simple concoction: just milk, made chocolatey. As the name would suggest.
And yet, it turns out many people do not understand how chocolate milk is made: some genuinely believe chocolate milk is milk from brown cows.
Whether those brown cows are also thought to produce cocoa and sugar is not clear.
In a study by the Innovation Center of US Dairy, it was found that seven per cent of Americans believe chocolate milk comes from brown cows.
These weren’t children either – the research was conducted on 1,000 people over the age of 18.
A whopping 48 per cent of people said they didn’t know where chocolate milk came from.
That’s about 16.4 million people, which is more than the population of Ohio.
So beloved is chocolate milk that 29 per cent of people use their children as an excuse to buy the drink for themselves.
Chocolate milk is popular the world over, so much so that many people put sports drink lids onto large bottles of the stuff to allow them to drink vast quantities straight from the container.
This isn’t the first study to reach a worrying conclusion though – previous research has found that nearly one in five Americans do not know that hamburgers are made from beef.
“At the end of the day, it’s an exposure issue,” said Cecily Upton, co-founder of the nonprofit FoodCorps, which brings agricultural and nutrition education into elementary schools.
“Right now, we’re conditioned to think that if you need food, you go to the store. Nothing in our educational framework teaches kids where food comes from before that point.”
And apparently some people don’t feel any huge need to find out either.
“We still get kids who are surprised that a French fry comes from a potato, or that a pickle is a cucumber,” Upton said.
“Knowledge is power. Without it, we can’t make informed decisions.”