About seven percent of all American adults hold a view that chocolate milk originates from brown cows, as per the nationally representative online survey commissioned by the Innovation Center of U.S. Dairy.

If we calculate approximately ut rounds of 16.4 million hold misconception, milk-drinking people. This is equal to the population of Pennsylvania and few are unaware that chocolate milk is milk, cocoa and sugar.

Although the survey has garnered snorts and jeers from few corners — “um, guys, [milk] comes from cows — and not just the brown kind,” snarked Food & Wine — the most shocking thing about this number may, in reality, be that it isn’t higher.

For about decades, practitioners in agriculture, nutrition and education have formulated a viewpoint that many Americans are kind of agriculturally illiterate. They are unaware of where food is grown, how it is warehoused — or for that matter chocolate milk, what’s in it.

“At the end of the day, it’s an exposure issue,” according to Cecily Upton, co-founder of the nonprofit FoodCorps, which incorporates agricultural and nutrition education as a part of 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.”

There is a debate regarding basic food facts that can skew pretty high. When one group of researchers interviewed fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders at an urban California school, they discovered that about half of them were unaware that pickles were cucumbers, or onions and onions and lettuce were planted. Four in 10 are unaware that hamburgers came from cows. Additionally, 3 in 10 have no clue that cheese is made from milk.

For National Dairy Month, which is in June, NACO has been incorporating a kindergarten-level lesson on dairy. Including its main takeaways: milk — plain, unflavored, bland white milk — comes from cows, not the grocery case.

brown cow

Nutritionists and food-system reformers hold a view that basic lessons are important to raising kids who are aware of how to eat healthfully — a significant aid to overcoming heart disease and obesity. At the same time, farm groups believe the absence of basic food knowledge can result in bad policy decisions.