For dairy nutritionist Rosemarie Burgos milk isn’t just a part of her family—it’s a family legacy. As a third-generation dairy farmer and second-generation dairy nutritionist, Rosemarie is the person making sure that dairy cows receive the best nutrition by meticulously testing and evaluating everything cows eat so that they produce the very best milk. It’s a job that requires long hours and lots of travel but it’s her passion, and it takes her all over the US and even overseas. The youngest of 5, Rosemarie was Daddy’s little girl, but she quickly realized that her dad had a busy schedule and in order to spend time with him she’d have to go to work with him. She learned so much from her father that by the time she graduated from high school she was ready to follow in his footsteps. She got her BS in Dairy Science as well as a Master’s and PhD in Animal Science and Nutrition. She’s been running a dairy with her Dad and doing nutrition work ever since.
Rosemarie joined the Leche, amor por lo verdadero campaign, so she could speak frankly about her love for the real things that matter to her: her cows, the farm, her family, and the pride of nourishing families in the community. Because with the amount of science that goes into keeping cows in a state of optimal health, it’s surprising that so much misinformation about milk exists. Rosemarie says that it stems from the opinions of people who don’t have any understanding of what is done on a dairy. As a scientist, as a dairy expert, and as a mother, Rosemarie loves when people ask her questions so she can explain from her firsthand experience what they do in the farm every single day. Here are a few of the myths she thinks should be put to rest:
Myth: “There are antibiotics in milk”
Rosemarie Fact: “The number one myth is that there are antibiotics in milk and that is absolutely false. Every tank that leaves the dairy is tested for antibiotics and it’s a pass-or-fail thing. If there is any sign of antibiotics, the milk gets dumped and the dairyman gets fined. There’s zero tolerance for antibiotics in your milk. It’s not even an option.”
Myth: “Milk is bad for you”
Rosemarie Fact: “Milk provides 9 essential nutrients, 8g of high-quality protein in every 8 oz serving. It’s the top food source for calcium, potassium and vitamin D, critical nutrients for kids’ growth. Milk is a wholesome food and delicious by nature. What else can I say?”
Myth: “Dairy cows are abused”
Rosemarie Fact: “It doesn't make sense that people don’t think we care for our cows. I mean even from a business standpoint it doesn't make sense to have animals you don’t care for because then they wouldn’t be happy or produce milk. We love and care for our animals, we want happy cows*.”
*She calls the cows her “girls” which is so cute.
Myth: “Dairy cows are unhealthy”
Rosemarie Fact: “I think if humans were fed like cows we wouldn’t have an obesity problem. We literally go out and test every feed and seed on the dairy. We know how much fiber, protein, vitamins & minerals they’re getting. A dairy can have anywhere from 3 to 20 diets based on how their cows are grouped, the ages they have, and where they’re at in life. It’s really well managed.”
Since milk is a staple in the all of the Super Mamá kitchens, we think it’s amazing that someone like Rosemarie is out there personally making sure it meets all of the nutrition standards as well as the mom standard of deliciousness. Wondering how to incorporate more milk into your cooking? We’ve got the right mama for the job! Check out Chef Claudette Zepeda’s enfrijoladas recipe at fuertesconleche.com and you can tune into her conversation with Paulina and Bricia on Episode 177. You can also stop by her Restaurant El Jardín if you’re in San Diego!