Global expansion of the middle class has created an explosion in demand for cow's milk:
It turns out that, along with zippy cars and flat-panel TVs, milk is the mark of new money, a significant source of protein that factors into much of any affluent person’s diet. Milk goes into infant formulas, chocolate, ice cream and cheese. Most baked goods contain butter, and coffee chains like Starbucks sell more milk than coffee.
That's a surprise, but the best part of this NYT article is the timing of its more pedestrian observations. After noting that the expansion in demand "will require the addition each year of the equivalent of New Zealand’s entire annual milk output," Wayne Arnold deadpans, "That is a lot of milk." Also: "This is not good if you are in the market for milk." Both of those sentences begin paragraphs. Genius.