In 2001, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) designated June 1 as the World Milk Day as most countries were already celebrating a milk day around the period.
This decision by FAO was predicated on the data that showed that more than one billion people’s livelihoods are being supported by the diary sector and that diary is consumed by more than 6 billion people globally.
Since then, the day has continued to be observed as a day to focus attention on milk and raise awareness on dairy’s part in healthy diets, responsible food production and supporting livelihoods and communities
For instance, the past five years have witnessed a lot of improvement as the number of countries participating in the celebration has increased while the different activities lined up have become extensive.
In 2016, over 24 countries participated in activities that included marathons and family runs, milking demonstrations and farm visits, school based activities, concerts, conferences and seminars, competitions and a range of events focusing on promoting the value of milk and illustrating the important role played by the diary industry in the national economy.
2017 came and 588 events took place in 80 countries reaching 402 million impressions on social media for #WorldMilkDay. Events included open houses at dairy farms, milk donations to schools, contributions to food banks, photo contests, sports competitions, fairs, dance shows, parties, nutrition conferences, tastings, exhibitions, food carts, and milk bars.
In 2018, World Milk Day was celebrated with 586 events in 72 countries. Farmers, staff, families, politicians, chefs, nutritionists, doctors, academics and athletes raised their glasses of milk and shared information about the benefits of milk and dairy products in their lives. #WorldMilkDay achieved 868 million impressions (for May 1 to June 2) with over 80,000 posts from May 1 to June 2. The global campaign (including #WorldMilkDay, #RaiseAGlass and 19 translations and local hashtags) received over 1.1 billion impressions and 291 million in reach on social media.
2019 saw the celebration witnessed in more than 68 countries with the theme“Drink Milk: Today and Every day.” As a global event, there were more than 400 milk day campaigns and events across the globe where volunteers were aware people about the importance of milk for the overall health of a person. Varieties of promotional activities describing the importance of milk as a healthy and balanced diet were launched by the International Dairy Federation on its website online. Various health organization members took part in the celebration to work together to distribute the message of milk importance to the common public through promotional activities all through the day. Activities included milking demonstrations and visits to farms, games, contests, conferences and information sharing, and many more. They were all meant to be shared information on the value of milk and an explanation of the important role played by the dairy sector cultural aspects of the community, the national economy, and society
But while the celebration went on, there was however a controversy in 2017 as there were arguments that milk doesn’t only come from animals but also from plants as well;the latter fast becoming popular as a healthier option. Such plant milks include almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk, and soy milk.
So, after the founding by Robbie Locker, cofounder of Plant Based News in 2017 and established as a partnership with Proveg in 2018, August 22 was marked as the World Plant Milk Day as a parallel celebration to the World Milk Day which had earlier been marked for June 1.
The campaign has grown and gained the attention of millions of people around the world, accelerating the transition from dairy milk to plant-based alternatives.
As per worldplantmilkday.com, a plant-based diet that includes plant milk is good for health as it can help prevent diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, obesity and certain kinds of cancer. Opting for it will also make you feel more energetic, less bloated, clear your skin, improve your digestion, and other health benefits.
There are a variety of plants from which we can extract what is known as plant milk and they are grains, pseudocereals, nuts, seeds, legumes, coconut, potato, etc. A few of them are used as a substitute for dairy milk, like cooking various dishes, making yogurt, vegan cream, and vegan cheese.