Israeli cows outperform their foreign counterparts
Israeli dairy cows produce more milk than their counterparts in other countries, data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics on Monday show.
The study was published ahead of Wednesday’s Shavuot holiday, in which Jews traditionally eat dairy foods.
Local cows produced an average of 10,208 kilograms (around 10,000 liters) of dairy in 2009, the data showed, outperforming cows in the US (9,331 kg. per cow), Japan (7,497), the European Union (6,139) and Australia (5,601).
A total of 1,304 million liters of milk was produced by Israeli cows in 2010, a slight increase on the previous year.
On the consumption side, dairy and honey purchases accounted for 2.2 percent of average Israeli household expenses in 2009. Each month Israeli households spent NIS 52 on milk, NIS 35 on cheese and dairy delicacies such as yogurt, NIS 37 on yellow cheese, NIS 53 on white cheese and NIS 6 on honey.
Notably, the price of milk actually dropped by 0.9% in 2010, the bureau said, even though the consumer price index rose by 2.7% in the same 12-month period.
Dairy consumption was expected to rise in the days leading up to Shavuot, the Israel Dairy Board said, predicting a 25% increase in the purchase of dairy products with an emphasis on white cheese spreads.
The board, which regulates the dairy industry in Israel, said white cheese spreads were currently the most popular type of cheese in the country, with local consumers buying 52,000 tons of the product per year. Fruit and cream yogurts have also been growing in popularity, it said.
“Israel is a power in the field of dairy products. A short visit to any supermarket in the country reveals a wide variety of wonderful products that make a meaningful contribution to our daily menu. In addition to the developing dairy industry, special boutique dairy production plants have arisen, which manufacture excellent cheeses,” Dairy Board CEO Shayke Drori said.
Health ministries around the world generally recommend consuming three servings of dairy each day, the board said, adding that today it is recognized that in addition to containing calcium, dairy includes other nutritional components such as vitamin A, vitamin B12, potassium and magnesium.
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