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From Caitlin Dewey:

Seven percent of all American adults believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows, according to a nationally representative online survey commissioned by the National Dairy Council.

….For decades, observers in agriculture, nutrition and education have griped that many Americans are basically agriculturally illiterate. They don’t know where food is grown, how it gets to stores — or even, in the case of chocolate milk, what’s in it. One Department of Agriculture study, commissioned in the early ’90s, found that nearly 1 in 5 adults did not know that hamburgers are made from beef. Many more lacked familiarity with basic farming facts, like how big U.S. farms typically are and what food animals eat.

I think Dewey misses the real question here: Why did the National Dairy Council commission a survey about whether chocolate milk comes from brown cows? I don’t know, and I can find no trace of the NDC’s survey online. However, common sense suggests that it has something to do with the milk industry’s endless battle to convince the American public that chocolate milk is good for you.

I agree, of course, since I think that chocolate anything is good for you. But I’ll concede that Science™ doesn’t really have my back on this. In any case, who cares? I’m pretty sure that 7 percent of Americans believe the sky is blue because it’s surrounded by a giant ocean.

But I do wonder where these 7 percent think white milk comes from?

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We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

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