Studies

Chocolate milk is too confusing for nearly half of American adults, survey finds

If a new survey is to be believed, half of you don't know how chocolate milk came to be.

If a new survey is to be believed, half of you don't know how chocolate milk came to be.  (iStock)

Today in mind-blowing statistics: A full 7 percent of American adults think chocolate milk comes from brown cows, Food & Wine reports. That figure comes from an Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy survey of more than 1,000 people conducted in April.

When extrapolated, it means approximately 16.4 million Americans — or roughly the population of Pennsylvania — are hopelessly misinformed about chocolate milk, according to the The Washington Post.

Overall, the survey found 48 percent of US adults aren't sure where chocolate milk comes from (though 29 percent use their kids as cover to buy it for themselves).

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Today helpfully explains that chocolate milk is defined by the Center for U.S. Dairy as "cow's milk with added flavoring and sweeteners."

While nearly half of Americans not being clear where chocolate milk comes from may seem shocking, agriculture and nutrition experts likely aren't surprised — they've been complaining for decades that Americans are woefully ignorant about what they eat.

“We still get kids who are surprised that a french fry comes from a potato," says the co-founder of nonprofit FoodCorps.

A study conducted by the Department of Agriculture two decades ago found nearly one in five adults didn't know hamburgers are made from beef. Another study of fourth, fifth, and sixth-graders in urban California found more than half didn't know pickles are cucumbers or onions and lettuce are plants; nearly a third didn't know cheese is made from milk.

(It probably doesn't help that dark chocolate, too, is often not what it seems.)

This article originally appeared on Newser: "48 Percent of US Adults Aren't Sure Where Chocolate Milk Comes From."