Episode 14 – Do the Dietary Guidelines Help or Hurt Dairy? You May Be Surprised.

Listen in with our dairy farmer hosts, New York’s Audrey Donahoe and Georgia’s Jennifer Glover, as they talk with registered dietitians Katie Brown, Senior Vice President at National Dairy Council, and Abigail Copenhaver of Farmstead Nutrition & Consulting about what the dietary guidelines are, how they evolve, who follows them and how that affects dairy.

To learn more about the national dairy checkoff and your local dairy checkoffs, please visit www.usdairy.com.

Dairy Farmer Hosts:

Farmer Host – Audrey Donahoe – New York Dairy Farmer

Farmer Host – Jennifer Glover – Georgia Dairy Farmer

Industry Experts:

Guest – Katie Brown – Senior Vice President, National Dairy Council

Guest – Abigail Copenhaver – Farmstead Nutrition & Consulting

Transcript (please ignore typos – machine-generated)

Katie Brown 0:00
I think it’s important for the dairy farmers to know their checkoff investment and research to discover the nutritional and wellness benefits of dairy has added such significant value to public health in our country and around the world. And because of that evidence, dairy has been included in every edition of the US Dietary Guidelines for the past 40 years and has been represented as a unique and distinct food group. Your listeners should know that dairy is foundational in federal nutrition security programs, it’s integral to school meals to WIC and to snap and those federal feeding programs receive $114 billion annually supporting access to nutritious food and meals including dairy that reach 80 million children and adults and that equates to about 12 billion pounds of dairy supplied by us dairy farmers.

Jennifer Glover 0:53
Hello, everyone and welcome to another episode of your Dairy Checkoff Podcast. I’m Jennifer Glover, a dairy farmer from Georgia. And I’m joined by Audrey Donna who, a dairy farmer from New York. We will be your host for today’s discussion on the dietary guidelines. We’ll be talking to registered dieticians, Katie Brown, Senior Vice President at the National Dairy Council, and Abigail Copenhaver with farmstead nutrition and consulting about what the dietary guidelines are and how they were formed. So let’s get started. Katie, can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

Katie Brown 1:29
Sure. Hello, I’m Katie Brown. I’m a Senior Vice President of Scientific Affairs and nutrition affairs at National Dairy Council. One of the reasons I love my job is that as a nutrition practitioner and voice for the wellness benefits of dairy I get to get up every day and contribute to improving public health by connecting Agriculture, Food and Nutrition in ways that are relevant and meaningful and actionable for consumers in my role for Dairy Checkoff. I manage strategic partner engagement and thought leader outreach with the scientific and health professional communities, engaging them about the benefits of dairy consumption at every age and stage of life. I’m a registered dietitian. I have bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nutrition and a doctorate degree in education. I’m really pleased to be here today. Thanks.

Audrey Donahoe 2:16
Thank you, Katie. And thank you for your great work. And Abby, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Abbey Copenhaver 2:22
Yeah, thanks for having me on. I’m Abby Copenhaver. And I have dairy farming in my blood. I’m from multiple generations of dairy farming, but also a first generation farmer because my husband along with three other couples have started two different dairy farms, that together, we milk over 1500 cows in the Finger Lakes, New York, and then I’m also a registered dieticians. But as my role as a dietitian, I do a lot of community nutrition. And then I found over the years that my expertise between my college education and background and current involvement in the dairy industry is filling a gap about food and consumers where food comes from nutrition and a lot of just food questions that consumers have whether it’s registered dieticians having questions about farming, or consumers having questions about farming, and how food gets to their table.

Jennifer Glover 3:24
Well, that sounds great. I’m super excited about today because as a first generation dairy farmer, when my husband and I started our farm 22 years ago, I had lots of questions about the dietary guidelines. So can someone tell me what are the Dietary Guidelines for Americans? And why are they so important for society?

Katie Brown 3:43
I can start on that one. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are DGA. They’re designed to promote health and prevent disease. So it’s the nation’s eating advice, and it’s based on science. It’s brought forward from the US Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services. They work together to update and release new guidance every five years. So each edition of the dietary guidelines reflects the current body of research and nutrition science. And while they’re population based, the guidelines are meant to be customizable, so you could tailor them for choices that meet individual cultural and traditional preferences. It matches up very nicely with National Dairy Council and the dairy community’s commitment to public health as well. All of us who work for dairy farmers are proud of dairies, wellness, legacy and our reputation. I think it’s important for the dairy farmers to know their checkoff investment in research to discover the nutritional and wellness benefits of dairy has added such significant value to public health in our country and around the world. And because of that evidence, dairy has been included in every edition of the US Dietary Guidelines for the past 40 years, and has been represented as a unique and distinct food group. Your listeners should Now that dairy is foundational in federal nutrition security programs, it’s integral to school meals, to WIC and to snap. And those federal feeding programs receive $114 billion annually, supporting access to nutritious food and meals, including dairy, that reach 80 million children and adults. And that equates to about 12 billion pounds of dairy supply by us dairy farmers. So they should be very proud of that.

Audrey Donahoe 5:26
That’s great, Katie. And, you know, being a dairy farmer on the checkoff board for more than 20 years, I see your hard work, and it’s definitely worth our investment into that. So tell us how does the dairy Dietary Guidelines for Americans work? And how are they created changed influence? You know, just a little bit more detail on exactly how the dietary guidelines work?

Katie Brown 5:52
Sure, I’ll start and I’d love for Abby to contribute as well. But it’s a very timely question. While the next set of guidelines will come out in 2025. Three years from now, the cycle has started. It’s a multi year multi step process in April, the agencies took the very first step in developing the next set of guidelines that will go from 2025 to 2030. And they released a list of proposed scientific questions, and they asked for input from the public about those questions. So dairy farmers should be aware that NDC has been very active here and has submitted several sets of comments. as input into those questions. There are several proposed questions that they put forward. They focus on diet and health outcomes across all stages of life. They noted that all questions will be reviewed with a health equity lens to make sure that the guidelines that are coming forward are relevant to people with diverse racial, ethnic, socio economic, cultural backgrounds. After the questions, the next step is to appoint a scientific advisory committee, and that’s made up of nationally recognized scientific experts in nutrition and medicine, who are then tasked with reviewing the evidence on each of the questions. And based on the timing from the past DGA cycles, we would expect that the call for nominations to the scientific committee will happen this year. And the committee might be announced that the end of this year or perhaps next year, and then the scientific evidence review takes place. So the Committee’s review of the research and science is summarized in a report. And that would be expected to be released sometime in 2025. And then USDA and HHS rely on that scientific report to inform the recommendations that are released in the official policy document that would be expected to come out by the end of 2025.

Abbey Copenhaver 7:38
I was gonna say, you know, Katie keeps mentioning based off of our new cycle and our current cycle. So for those of you who are not familiar with the dietary guidelines, it is every five, you know, based off those five year cycles, so Well, it’s somewhat overwhelming, because once they come out, you’re almost getting ready for it to start all over again. The other great thing is like Katie said, because we do it every five years, we’re able to kind of go back and look at research that’s been conducted, and it’s coming out. And we’re able to really hone in and tailor our research and our recommendations to the most current science. So as Katie mentioned, it’s actually really exciting for the dairy industry that hopefully with all this research that’s being done on our growing market of whole milk, that we can really be able to use that science positively in the next cycle.

Jennifer Glover 8:32
I think we kind of answered this question a little bit, but what role does the National Dairy Council play and how are we promoting dairy and ensuring that it continues to be included in the DGA? Yeah,

Katie Brown 8:43
the release of the scientific questions in April that I mentioned, is the first of several opportunities for public input in the dietary guidelines process. As again, we submitted several sets of comments we’ve provided suggested changes to the proposed questions based on science. The public can nominate people for membership to the committee and give written and oral testimony all along the way. So the dairy farmer should be aware that ndc is actively involved in all of these opportunities to participate. But to be clear, while we cannot influence government policy, we can provide science and evidence through these opportunities in the DGA public process. We should note though that an integral component to checkoff efforts are engagement and education with authoritative voices that consumers turn to for eating guidance. It’s our job as Dairy Checkoff staff of health professionals to understand the public health landscape, changing consumer interests and thought leader perceptions and these things inform our research, our health, professional and consumer outreach, and even the types of products that are needed in the marketplace to keep dairy relevant for consumption, and the wellness benefits for today and tomorrow’s consumers. And

Jennifer Glover 9:55
now the question that every dairy farmer in America wants to know, why can’t we end What’s the guidelines

Katie Brown 10:01
NDC National Dairy Council cannot influence but we can inform the dietary guidelines process because ndc is a Checkoff Program. We operate under the statutes of the dairy Stabilization Act and the dairy order and are not allowed to lobby. We can’t influence the government to make changes to its nutrition policy. But as a leader in science based nutrition information, National Dairy Council is permitted to participate in the request for comments to share factual information with the committee. And again, one of the many benefits of the dairy community is that throughout our network, there are organizations with deep expertise in certain areas for NDC. Its science and its education and its engagement with the scientific and health professional communities. Our colleagues at National Milk Producers Federation are the voice of dairy farmers in our nation’s capital. And MPF was established to participate in our public policy discussions and, and the International dairy foods Association who represents the dairy manufacturing and marketing industry also has a focus on advocacy. So we share responsibility, you know, lean on NBC as science and education and outreach. And we have other partners across the dairy community that are heavily focused on the policy and advocacy realm.

Audrey Donahoe 11:18
So National Dairy Council funds, hundreds of dairy research studies, how long typically do studies take? And how many studies do we need to show dairies importance in the eyes of the DGA?

Katie Brown 11:30
Such a good question, thank you for asking that. It depends on the type of study and the publication and the timeline. Some studies like a simple peer reviewed paper can take less than a year there are clinical trials and more detailed studies that can take longer years to finish. But it’s our responsibility again as Dairy Checkoff to be aware of the pipeline of research on dairy, whether it’s funded by NDC, or not, to understand it, to amplify it to educate and engage our key audiences about it. And so, translating that science into meaningful messages helps to inspire people to choose dairy every day. Maybe a simpler answer is it’s not a number and exact number per se, but it’s about growing an overall body of evidence on a topic, one study isn’t going to be sufficient to tip the scale one way or another. And actually, that’s a very good thing. The Dietary Guidelines process is the most rigorous and science based process of any country in the world. The recommendations are informed by the strength of the evidence on any topic and that takes into consideration the amount of research on a topic over many years and among diverse segments of the population.

Jennifer Glover 12:40
What are the recommendations for dairy foods in the DGA?

Katie Brown 12:43
The current edition of the dietary guidelines came out in 2020. Once again, dairy fared very well, I’ll highlight four wins for dairy and the latest dietary guidelines and that will remain in effect, you know through 2025. So first, dairy remains its own food group. dairies nutrient package is powerful. Once again, the science demonstrated that dairy along with fruits and vegetables, whole grains and proteins makes up the core, those core food groups of healthy eating patterns and those are associated with health promotion and disease prevention. Second, the healthy eating patterns that are recommended in the dietary guidelines, they’re linked to positive health all across the lifespan. This is why the dairy farmer investment and nutrition research, outreach and engagement is so critical. Third, the DGA makes it clear that all milks are not equal. Dairy stands alone as a food group, because it’s tough to match its nutrient package elsewhere. Now fortified soy is the only other option included in the dairy group and going back as far as the 2010 dietary guidelines they noted that other products sold as milks but made from plants may contain calcium, but they are not included as part of the dairy group because their overall nutrient package is not similar to dairy milk, and fortified soy beverages. And then the last one I would highlight is for the first time ever recommendations for the birth to two years of age time period were included in the dietary guidelines. That was good news, because yogurt and cheese are recommended options for infants starting at around six months of age. Why do the guidelines

Audrey Donahoe 14:17
specify fat free or low fat milk instead of just milk

Katie Brown 14:24
while low fat and fat free dairy continue to be recommended for people to choose most often, the dietary guidelines recommends people choose the lower calorie options to help with overall calorie intake we have to take into consideration that close to three fourths of Americans are overweight or obese and so the calorie consideration comes into play there. The current version of the DGA did maintain the previous recommendation of 10% or less of calories from saturated fat. That means there is some flexibility if people want to include some fuller fat dairy options.

Abbey Copenhaver 14:56
Yeah, and I also will add to that as well. The great thing about dairy is that no matter what fat percentage you are consuming, those other nutrients are also the same. So we talk about one of the other really great things about the dietary guidelines, especially with the newest version is how milk which once was all about the nine essential nutrients has actually been bumped up to the 13 essential nutrients. And those are all still there, no matter what percentage you get the dietary guidelines does a great job taking past data of consumption to influence our current and future consumption. So some of the information that they include there is only 6% of our fat, saturated fat in tickets coming from people’s dairy consumption. So as Katie mentioned, there’s definitely space for dairy to be whatever you prefer. And we always like to say in the dietetic community that you want to choose the nutrients by the company that it keeps. So I would always definitely recommend someone to be consuming saturated fat from something like milk or even meat products versus your you know, sweets, your cookies, your candies, and all that. So definitely feel comfortable with exploring those options. Depending on what stage of life you’re in, how old you are, the recommendations are definitely based off with the caloric

Jennifer Glover 16:19
content bank savvy. So this question really means a lot to me and as a mom, as a local school district employee in my hometown, and also as a dairy farmer, I’m curious about what the guidelines mean for whole milk. And what can we do at a local level to make a change happen in our school district, if so, desired for whole milk,

Katie Brown 16:42
the recommendation for full fat dairy again stayed the same and this edition of the dietary guidelines, the upcoming DGA cycle is focusing on saturated fat. They’re putting a special emphasis on saturated fat, it gives us an opportunity to amplify that science, about the wellness benefits of dairy at all fat levels. So that’s going to be an important opportunity for us listeners should be aware that we’re continuing to invest in science on dairy fat at all fat levels that will contribute to the growing evidence on this topic. For example, there’s an interesting study on whole fat milk in schools that’s been done in California, where kids are receiving either whole milk or nonfat milk to assess their milk preferences, and how that impacts their overall diet quality and health outcomes. Another really interesting study called strong kids is a multi year research study supported by National Dairy Council. It’s one of the first studies to look at habits, including milk and dairy consumption of kids from birth through age five, and it aims to understand important factors predicting healthy eating patterns and weight. So these are just a couple of examples of ways your investment and research is helping to build that evidence. And we need to inform public health and eating guidance. And particular in those spaces on full fat dairy flexibility. I’m sure the farmers listening to this are well aware that the enjoyment of whole fat milk and dairy foods are reflected by consumer shopping trends. We’re seeing whole milk as the greatest growth of any milk fat level and 2020. It’s a great reinforcement that the tide is turning in this area. So again, your investment in science and education with the scientific and health professional community allows us and the states and regional teams to work with a laser focus to raise awareness of that growing evidence on the health and wellness benefits of milk and dairy foods and inspire those authoritative and trusted voices to recommend dairy at all fat levels, specifically to whole milk in schools, you know, to be candid, the federal guidelines mandate that the nutrition standards in schools align with the dietary guidelines and those current guidelines again, recommend low fat and fat free dairy options. So that’s that’s where we stand on that today.

Jennifer Glover 18:53
And then I know with the current situation that we’re in with supply and demand, is there an opportunity for schools to be able to get waivers if they’re having a product shortage in their area?

Katie Brown 19:05
Such a timely question though the waivers for whole milk are not standard. They’re not granted under normal circumstances. Milk is a fundamental and required option of school meals. It has been going back as long as the school meal inception and 1946 and federal guidelines mandate that national school meal programs align with the nation’s nutrition policy which is the dietary guidelines the DGA recommends a low fat and fat free so that’s what served however, the COVID pandemic led us to some unforeseen supply chain disruptions that are affecting schools and USDA provided a number of flexibilities including waiving the requirements to serve meals that meet specific meal pattern requirements during a public health emergency that we’ve just been going through so schools could apply for a waiver. If emergency conditions prevented a school that normally had a supply of low fat In fact, free from obtaining delivery of that milk. So in this case, a school could request a higher fat level, but the State agency would have to approve that meal pattern waiver, they were allowing that flexibility, being very receptive to an understanding of some of those supply chain issues that you were just talking about.

Jennifer Glover 20:16
I know that that’s going to be an issue for us in the southeast, because we have several processing plants that are closing. And I’m really worried about that for the number of schoolchildren that we have just in my state alone and how we’re going to be able to to meet the demand of that.

Katie Brown 20:32
Right. It’s an it is an issue, and we were just in a briefing with USDA about that. I know all stakeholders are coming to the table to try and solve this issue. It’s multi sector, you know, it’s there’s multipronged influences of that. And we’re all coming to the table to be solutions oriented, how we can make sure that we’re providing that nutritious milk that’s so as central to the school meal program to the children that need it. So

Audrey Donahoe 20:57
why is fortified soy milk included in the dairy group?

Katie Brown 21:02
The Dietary Guidelines makes it very clear that all milks are not equal dairy stands alone because of it’s tough to match nutrient package in the past editions of the DGA. The only dairy alternative recognized by the DGA is soy beverages. None of the other plant milk alternatives are included in the dairy group because their overall nutritional content doesn’t stack up to dairy milk and fortified soy soy is has been included in the in the last few dietary guidelines cycles. Because in a fortified version, it does match as closely to dairy milk as any other because of its it does have a protein quality that’s close not exactly but close to dairy milk, and then it’s fortified to match some of the similar nutrient values of dairy milk. That’s but again, it’s the only one that’s allowed. Interestingly, the next DGA cycle we’ll be taking a closer look at this this very issue that you’re talking about and they’re going to be looking at beverage consumption more broadly, they’re going to take a closer look at Dairy Milk, but also other beverages like other milk alternatives 100% for fruit juice, sugar sweetened beverages, and their impact on things like growth and risk for overweight and obesity and risk for type two diabetes. Now thanks to the legacy of checkoff, investment and science. We know the evidence for dairy is very strong in that public health space. The same cannot be said for the dairy alternatives other than soy, the reality is that the evidence is slim. When it comes to alternative beverages and health outcomes. We feel like dairy is in a good position. Looking at that comparison of the science.

Abbey Copenhaver 22:37
I feel like this is actually another great opportunity for health professionals and for dairy farmers when it comes to informing the public, right? Because a lot of the reasons people are even asking the question, why don’t we see other forms of alternatives in the USDA dietary guidelines beyond soy is because marketing has done such a thorough job in convincing people that it is a one for one substitute. And even soy isn’t a one for one substitute. So I think we should really utilize this opportunity when people ask this question to inform them that the nutritionally it’s not because unfortunately, they’re not using it’s all about the wording right. So if you’re seeing the word milk on something that’s not no people are gonna think it smells. So really making sure you know, you dissect that with people and have that conversation, because people are trying to purchase what they think is best for their family. And it really is misinformation if you know, your mom or the main purchaser of the household think you’re doing what’s best nutritionally. And you’re really, you know, being blindsided by that that marketing aspect.

Jennifer Glover 23:42
For the first time recommendations were added regarding dairy for ages birth to 23 months. Can you tell us about this, and how the recommendations came to be?

Katie Brown 23:52
Oh, I’m so glad you asked that question because it was very exciting news for the dietary guidelines and for public health. For the first time ever recommendations for pregnancy. And the earliest years of life birth to two years old was included. This was great news for dairy as yogurt and cheese are now recommended options for infants starting as early as six months of age. So now when moms are associating this critical time in life for their optimal growth and development of their children, their optimal brain development, they’ll be thinking of the nutrients found in dairy foods as a way to enhance that and promote that. So we’ve recently completed some focus groups and interviews with pediatricians and with parents in this time space and we confirm that choosing foods that will promote infant brain development and cognition are topics that pediatricians and parents are really interested in learning about they’re really interested in talking about so among dairies rich nutrient package are those critical nutrients for brain development, iodine, choline, vitamin B 12. We’re fondly referring to these as the critical cognitive bundle and we’re launching a pilot At this summer with pediatricians to raise awareness about dairies important role here in these early early years, as well as its role in immunity and bone growth and overall healthy start to a lifetime of wellness for kids.

Abbey Copenhaver 25:14
Yeah, and I’ll just add to that, really, if you look at the dietary guidelines, it’s really big on promoting and stages of life where you’re at. Also, with this big movement we see of people being true to themselves, it offers the flexibility of creating a meal pattern for you, that works for your lifestyle. And I think it also does a great job recognizing that there are certain lifestyle stages where it is very critical that you’re getting those adequate nutrients, and being pregnant. Breastfeeding, and those rapid growth windows for infants, toddlers, and children are included in that crucial stage of life. And it really goes back to just looking at milk having those 13 essential nutrients, right, and how if we can get those nutrients in that growth window, we’re looking at that optimal growth and development. And overall, we’ve talked about how the guidelines are really for promoting health and preventing disease. And also, from a mom perspective, it’s just so versatile, that it works. Well. So many people are like, well, you know, if you want calcium, you can eat this much spinach this with broccoli, it’s like, well, have you seen a toddler eat and try to eat either one of those things versus giving them like drinkable yogurt, or a cheese stick? You know what I mean? So, even from a practicality standpoint, dairy wins all the way around. So it’s just so funny to me, when people bring up those examples, because when they say that they’re going to, you know, replace these nutrients. It’s like, well, you know, good luck, because with the convenience that families need, and just the affordability, and the variety in products, dairy, you just can’t beat it.

Audrey Donahoe 26:53
That’s great Abby, you know, as a mother of six and grandmother of nine, you know, as dairy farmers, we already knew that. So to see that be part of the recommendations. It made me very proud as a dairy farmer. So I want to talk a little bit more about outside of the United States. So here in the United States, we have three servings recommendation, you know, and when you think outside of our country, what are theirs? How do they compare? And how do they treat dairy in other countries versus in the United States?

Katie Brown 27:24
We were asking ourselves the same question. And so to really understand that our team completed a deep dive to look at dietary guidelines in every country in the world that has them we wanted to understand how is dairy communicated? is its own food group in other countries? How many servings are recommended? How do they develop their guidelines compared to us? How do they educate the public if environmental sustainability is included, we now have an incredible repository of information for all countries who have or are moving toward developing guidelines. And we’re continuing to keep that updated as countries make shifts in their guidelines or establish guidelines. So based on our analysis, we found that dietary guidelines can be found in 97 countries around the world, dairy is well represented its nutritional attributes that we recognize, recognize here are very well recognized in other countries. It’s a high quality protein, it adds calcium among other nutrients, it’s acknowledged, and therefore, it’s recognized as its own food group and about 70% of countries that have guidelines. And it’s recommended at at least some level in virtually all guidelines. Every single country starting in 2019, the United Nations recommended including considerations for social and cultural and economic and environmental aspects of sustainable and healthy diets. So nutrition guidance is broadening in scope. And our evaluation, we saw that about half of the country’s with dietary guidelines and environmental aspects were included. This could vary from recommendations to reduce food waste to choosing local foods to as far as reducing consumption of animal source foods. So we’re very interested in watching that and the next few years, at least 27 countries will release new dietary guidance. And so that process for establishing guidelines here in the US really sets the bar for rigorous scientific review. It’s important that we’re aware of what’s happening in other countries and the potential impact that that could have there. We’ve seen shifts for dairy in other countries, and we want to make sure that we’re very aware and on top of them and helping countries as well with our guidance, our process and how we’re promoting dairy in our country.

Abbey Copenhaver 29:45
I do have to say as a dairy farmer, even though we have our own difficulties farming here in the United States, we’re very blessed that as a consumer as a dairy farmer, we do have such a strong, proud industry with a supply I that really, I would say personally, I mean dominate and a lot of sustainability efforts and able to produce food for our country compared to other countries. I was kind of naive to it until I got into college and started traveling and just making connections globally. But there’s a lot of countries that look to the US dairy industry for their progressive technology efforts and sustainability, and cow care, even just employee infrastructure as

Jennifer Glover 30:30
well. In my home state of Georgia, we recently passed a law allowing raw milk sells. So I’m wondering how does that fit into the DGA,

Katie Brown 30:42
the CDC and the FDA recommend against raw milk consumption. And so we stand firmly behind those authoritative bodies in those recommendations. So we do not promote raw milk consumption for food safety considerations really stems from

Abbey Copenhaver 30:57
is it kind of goes back to that misinformation, a lot of people want to go back to what they perceive as nature’s pure form when it comes to food production. So they gravitate towards this concept of raw milk. But what people need to remember is that milk is very nutrient dense, right? That’s why it’s so great for us, but it’s also a liquid, and it’s the perfect pH for if it is introduced with any bacteria, it’s going to be the perfect environment for it. So the risk for foodborne illness should be taken very seriously. And it’s really a no brainer, because with the science and technology of pasteurization, it doesn’t compromise the nutrients at all. So I from the perspective of a farmer and a dietitian, it’s really a no brainer, to be able to utilize that technology to still provide nutrition to people in the safest way possible.

Audrey Donahoe 31:50
I just wondered why why don’t I hear more about the dietary guidelines and other healthy organizations? You know, like I said, as a mom of six and grandmother of nine, well, the pediatricians office, the doctor’s office, you know, any other kind of organizations that I’m a affiliated with? Why don’t I hear so much about the guidelines from them?

Katie Brown 32:10
Yeah, it’s a good question. You may not hear the term US Dietary Guidelines for Americans as the reference, but it does inform the guidance that comes from those authoritative voices that you turn to for credible advice. So, you know, the guidelines inform the underpinning for eating guidance for health professionals, for medical professionals for policymakers. And it informs the nutrition programs like we talked about and informs the school meal programs WIC and snap, and others. Those in the in the marketing space, food and beverage companies, they often look to the dietary guidelines as they’re doing product reformulations to meet the guidelines. So it may be a little overt or not overt is how you’re seeing this play out in the marketplace. Many public health organizations like the American Heart Association, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, American Academy of Pediatrics, even Feeding America and others, they consider the dietary guidelines as their trusted and foundational advice. And so they look to those recommendations. But again, what you hear in your doctor’s office should be based from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, although they may not reference that in their, in their education to you.

Abbey Copenhaver 33:30
Yeah, and to build on that the dietary guidelines is 164 page document, right? So you’d ever see people walking around with that in their pocket using that to educate people you’re seeing it, but you’re probably don’t know that you’re seeing it. Just because the general consumer, even though the they publish a beautiful 160 page report with lots of colors and infographics, it’s still a very science, dense document. So you’re not going to see a lot of consumers go directly to the guidelines. Although FYI, it is accessible to everybody. If you just did a search for the you know, the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, it will come right up. But to be able to digest that it’s a lot of content, you’re seeing it but you probably don’t know you’re seeing it because people are taking bits and pieces of it that are relevant to that person individually or that food that’s you know, they’re developing and researching, and then just focusing and honing in on that.

Audrey Donahoe 34:22
Thank you so much, both of you today for joining us. Is there anything else that you Abby or you Katie would like to share with the dairy farmers

Katie Brown 34:31
the benefits of dairy are vast and robust and your checkoff team is working hard every day to amplify those inspire people to choose dairy and continue to discover more and more of those benefits. So we’re excited about all bringing all of the wellness attributes of dairy to life and we’re not resting on our past on the past benefits of dairy but really looking towards the future and the discovery Hurry in. And that inspiration to improve public health through this beautiful product that our dairy farmers work so hard to produce. We really thank you for that. What I

Abbey Copenhaver 35:10
would like to say is a point of view to keep in mind for farmers is we rely a lot on checkoff, to get out there and tell our story about dairy. But what farmers need to realize is we don’t have the luxury of assuming people think and know that we’re doing what is right. So really, farmers need to get out there. And and I joke because my husband is in farming, because he doesn’t enjoy being around people. So he’s like, Well, the reason I spend time with cows is because then I don’t have to talk to consumers. So I laugh at that because I’m I say to farmers, I’m like, well, we don’t have that luxury anymore. In order for people want to know where their food comes from. And they want to be connected directly to the source. They want to cut out as much middleman as possible. So sometimes as farmers we get frustrated because we’re like, oh, checkoff is coming to us and wanting us to do, you know, whether it’s podcasts or tours or taking them into the city. And that’s because we have consumer research showing that that’s what people want to see. That’s when people want to talk to they want to talk to farmers, they want to see what they’re doing. And I think having that connection to the public going forward is extremely important. Because as we’re looking at research on dairy products, and as we’re looking at research on different ways to produce dairy products, we need to make sure our consumers are on the same page as our farmers so they know what technology is safe, and okay and good for the environment. So that is not taken away as a production option for farmers. I know it’s putting more on farmers plates, but really for the future of our industry. It’s very important that we get out there and talk about what we do and share our passion and help people you know fill in that gap about where their food comes from.

Audrey Donahoe 36:59
Thank you Katie and Abby for this discussion today. It’s been interesting to hear about the dietary guidelines and their purpose. In closing, this is Audrey Donahoe and Jennifer Glover hosting your Dairy Checkoff podcast. Thanks for joining us today. If you want to hear more about various issues affecting the dairy community, subscribe to this podcast on your favorite podcast platforms including Stitcher, Spotify and iTunes or you can check out our website Dairy Checkoff. podcast.com for future episodes. Until next time, have a great day.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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