SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- How many different ways can you say "milk"?
According to the California Milk Advisory Board here, in Asian-American communities throughout the state there are at least five, in addition to English.
But apparently few in those communities have been saying the word "milk" at all.
That is because recent immigrants from Asian countries are unfamiliar with milk and other dairy products -- milk wasn't a part of their diets.
To create more awareness of dairy products among Asian-Americans, the milk advisory board issued two new nutrition education pamphlets last month to introduce and explain milk and its by-products to some immigrant groups.
"Many recent Asian-American immigrants are unfamiliar with milk and other dairy products. There is a lack of native-language nutrition education materials currently available for this group, which further compounds the problem," said Adri G. Boudewyn, director of communications services for the California Milk Advisory Board. "We produced these pamphlets to help fill that gap."
The brochures are available in Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Japanese and Korean, with English on the reverse side of each.
One of the pamphlets focuses on milk itself and describes the different varieties, including whole milk, low-fat milk and lactose-reduced milk, among others. It also offers daily recommended servings, and buying and storing tips.
The other looks at products made from milk, including cheese, ice cream, yogurt, butter and cream. And it offers suggestions for usage along with proper handling and storage information.
The text in both brochures tells readers that milk and milk-related products are "natural, nutritious and popular in America."
The pamphlets are being distributed through health care professionals and supermarkets in Asian-American communities in the state.