JEFF TIEDEMAN: Got Milk?Dairy products offer more than nutrition during the summer.
A lot has been made by fans, sportswriters and television broadcasters about the mustache that Minnesota Twins’ right-hander Carl Pavano has been sporting the past several weeks.
Several of my co-workers have expressed opinions about the Twins’ hottest starting pitcher, including one who attributes the 34-year-old’s recent success to the “stache.” (On Saturday, Pavano threw a three-hit, complete game shutout against the New York Mets — a 6-0 win — to increase his record to 9-6 with a 3.33 earned run average.)
Hardly a game goes by without Twins TV announcers Dick Bremer and Bert Blyleven making some mention about Pavano’s newly grown facial hair. During one home game, the cameras scanned the Target Field crowd pointing out people with mustaches while Dick and Bert commented on some potential mustaches for Twins players on a computer-generated stache cam.
And Dave Deland of the St. Cloud (Minn.) Times even went so far as to suggest Pavano drew his mustache on with a Sharpie, not unlike the greasepaint one comedian Groucho Marx used to slather on for his motion pictures.
I’ve been fairly amused by the entire hubbub that’s surrounded Pavano’s stache. Maybe that’s because I’ve had one since my college days, albeit then it was skimpy at best.
But the whole mustache thing took on new meaning for me last week. That’s when I participated in a “Got Milk” mustache contest at the Valley Dairy store on South Washington Street. (I also was able to renew acquaintances with an old Crookstonite, Jerry Stadstad, district sales manager for Cass Clay Creamery.)
I was just one of several “celebrities” who took part in the event, including Grand Forks Mayor Mike Brown. (If you want to view some of the others, go to the website www.valleydairy.com and click on the Specials/Promotions tab on the left side.)
Sponsored by Valley Dairy and Cass Clay, winners were named in four milk mustache categories — boys, girls, men and women. Each winner received a new bike, while others could register for a $100 Valley Dairy gift card and/or one-half gallon of Cass Clay ice cream a week for an entire year. There also were free samples, including chocolate milk, among other things. The purpose of the contest was to promote dairy nutrition.
Did you know that it takes 3 cups of broccoli to equal the calcium in 1 cup of milk? Or that an 8-ounce serving of low-fat yogurt contains 490 milligrams of potassium — about the same as a banana? And that 1 ounce of hard cheese contains 8 grams of protein? (One egg has 6 grams.)
Of course, milk and other dairy products have nutrition benefits beyond calcium. Dairy foods help to build and maintain strong bones, control blood pressure and maintain a healthy weight.
Recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPyramid are for three servings of dairy each day. But research shows that most people are eating only half of that.
If you’re one of those people who’s not getting enough dairy in your diet, summer is the perfect time to increase your consumption with drinks and desserts that will cool you off when temperatures soar.
I made some watermelon smoothies with ice cream this past weekend. Yogurt would have been a little healthier, but I went with what I had, and the result was delicious.
The smoothies were so good that I just might have to suggest them to Twins’ management.
Maybe a smoothie milk mustache is what the team’s other starting pitchers need to snap out of their funk.
Tiedeman is food editor at the Herald. Reach him at 780-1136 or toll-free at (800) 477-6572, or e-mail at email@example.com.