Of Milk and Other Exploits

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With the successful competition organised by Peak Milk, a leading diary brand from the stable of Friesland Campina WAMCO, to test the culinary dexterity of Nigerians students through the ‘Art of Milk Quest’, Raheem Akingbolu discovers the versatility of milk as a product

Beyond drinking raw or use to make tea or coffee, new findings have revealed that Milk can offer consumers more than just drinking. In a research conducted by Baba-Mail, an online portal, 13 examples of things one can do with Milk besides drinking it, were identified. The brand promise of the online portal is to bring the best information and entertainment from around the web straight to readers’ mailbox. The report emphasised the fact that Milk is a basic ingredient in any household, but quickly added that it’s a waste to use it just for drinking, when it can be put it into many more uses that would make consumer’s life easier while also saving his or her money.

Among others, the report stated that milk can be used to improve the taste of fish by making the frozen fish much yummier. To achieve this, fish will be soaked in a bowl of milk until it is completely thawed, only then it can be cooked. For people who are concerned about their skin, it was also stated that milk can soften their skins. “Prepare a bath, and then fill half of it with milk. Sounds very bizarre, but if you soak in it for about 30 minutes, your skin will be as smooth as a baby’s bottom!” the report said. Other things pointed out are; relieve bug bites, remove ink stains, to make personal yogurt, relieve sun burns and improve the taste of corn.

Art of milk competition

In an attempt to prove to Nigerian consumers that Peak can do more, the brand recently organised what was tagged ‘Art of Milk Quest’ to test the culinary dexterity of Nigerian students. Through the competition, it was demonstrated to patrons of Peak Milk that the product can do more than just drinking. The competition was organised for selected primary and secondary school pupils to mark the 2016 World Milk Day.
According to investigation, the initiative was introduced to create an opportunity for students in Lagos State to test their culinary skills as well as showcase and demonstrate the different ways in which milk could be used as part of regular daily meals.

The event was part of the Art of Milk campaign, executed under ‘Plan A Day Meal With Milk (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) and it was opened to all secondary school students in Lagos State. It entailed students preparing three square meals for a day using milk and the best meal was chosen by a panel of judges which was led by a celebrity chef.
It was also found out that ‘Plan A Day’ Meal With Milk (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)’ was a school teaching resource designed around favorite milk recipes that taught a range of delicious milk based meals and teach life-long cooking skills.
It was creativity galore when the brand team visited Cayley College, Agidingbi and Wellsprings College, Omole Phase II. Students of both schools showed amazing talents as they gave their presentations of prepared meals of breakfast, lunch and dinner – using milk as the main food item.

Besides the Brand Team, also present at the event were star actress, Mrs. Sola Sobowale and head chef / MD, We are Food Limited, Mr. Adeniyi Williams. Both were members of the panel of judges. Another panel member was Dr. Elo Ukatu, a Public Health Physician at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja Lagos. For the organisers, the idea was to showcase ingenuity using milk in unconventional cooking practices.

How winners emerged

After a rigorous screening process, only 10 schools made it into the final of the competition. The ten schools were later invited for a face-off between May 9 and 27 while the final of the event took place on June 1st.

According to the judges, the criteria used in selecting the winning recipes include personal appearance, sanitary mannerism, creative use of milk, understanding meal planning, nutrition knowledge and team work. This, the winning school, was said to have met. Meanwhile, all participating schools and supporting teachers were rewarded with surprised gifts for exhibiting great creativity with milk.

The climax of the event was the final day when pupils from Yaba College of Technology Secondary School won and went home with the star prize of N500, 000, a branded LED screen, air conditioning units for six class rooms and three classrooms in different orders. The day turned out to be a day of fun and party for school children in Lagos, as sounds of Naija music blared through the deafening hung speakers inside the De Blue Roof Hall of Lagos Television (LTV 8) premises as the competition rekindled the art of cooking in schools in Lagos. The final contest in Lagos attracted over 5000 pupils and the company has promised that the event would replicated in other states.

With MC KennyBlag as host, who wowed the audience with his unique voice and quality compere, the atmosphere was ecstatic as students of the competing schools wriggle their body on their seats and sometimes stand to dance to the Naija stars tune whilst they watch their representatives prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner for a day using milk as the main food item.

According to the Marketing Manager Peak, Dolapo Otegabyi, during the occasion held at LTV 8 Ikeja Lagos blue roof, the initiative is one of the remarkable ways in which the dairy brand has chosen to mark the 2016 ‘World Milk Day’. She said, “The idea tagged: ‘Plan a Day’s Meal with Milk (breakfast, lunch and dinner)’ is a cooking contest. What we required from the selected schools in Lagos State was to plan (and prepare) breakfast, lunch and dinner for a day using milk as the main food item.”

The initiative is meant to promote a culinary culture of cooking with milk in Nigerian homes since milk is an important agricultural product. Milk contains various vitamins and minerals which are essential for the human body. Hence, on the occasion of the ‘World Milk Day’, it is important to create awareness on the immense health benefits of milk on not just children, but adults also. This knowledge would help curb malnutrition in children and youth who are the bulk of the Nigerian population,” she added.

Other consumption ways

According to the Baba Mail report, milk can relieve bug bites by preparing a solution of milk, water and salt (no more than 2 spoons of salt) and smear on the place of the bite. It was stated that it will sting at first and then stop stinging all together. To remove ink stains, consumers are advised to scrub the stain on the cloths with a mixture of milk and lemon juice and then leave overnight before put ting in the wash. For preparation of yogurt, one glass of milk will be mixed with one table spoon of white vinegar or lemon juice. Another way to use milk according to the report is to use it to relieve sun burns. To achieve this, consumers are urged to mix milk with a bit of water and smear on the painful area. For burns that cover large areas, what is prescribed was to soak clothes in the mixture and wear them for ongoing relief. Through this, it was stated that it will faster healing of the skin.