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Why we’re in the dark when it comes to milk

June 3, 2019

As parents, milk is a big deal. The amount of milk we go through as a family on a weekly basis is astonishing but, when you consider that it’s one of the easiest ways to get protein and essential nutrients into ourselves and our kids, it’s probably not surprising.

Essential nutrients are compounds that the body can’t make and so must be obtained from the diet. Milk is a great source of these nutrients (aside from protein, the most important nutrients found in milk are calcium, riboflavin, and vitamin A and B12) but what if you knew that most milk packaging in the UK doesn’t protect these nutrients from indoor light damage?

Indoor light damage is a real thing and it means that by the time our milk lands in our fridges, much of its nutritional value has been destroyed. Artificial lights such as LEDs or fluorescents, and even the lights in your fridge have a detrimental effect on the nutritional value of all food, but as parents, when we’re relying on milk to deliver much of our kids’ nutritional needs, it’s kind of a big deal.

In the same way that clothing fades in the sun, or skin is burned, food and drinks can also be affected by exposure to light. This could impact taste, smell, quality or efficacy by degrading what’s good in our products.

Divya Chopra, CEO of light protection specialists Noluma International, notes,

“Despite dairy farmers being aware that light causes damage to their milk, consumers just don’t have the same level of knowledge. When they do however, they want to do something about it. We want to encourage the entire dairy supply chain – from distributors to supermarkets – to take action on light protected packaging, ensuring that the milk UK dairy farmers are so proud to produce reaches consumers with the nutrients that they expect.”


This is a guest post in conjunction with Cat Sims, who writes at Not So Smug Now