Dairy processors do not have a problem on the order of pink slime, but they still have to vigorously defend the nutritional value of their products.

One man’s “lean finely textured beef” is another man’s “pink slime,” the pejorative term given to the ground beef that has been sold safely in supermarkets since the 1990s. Suddenly in 2012, pink slime bubbles up into the public’s consciousness. Crisis-management experts have a textbook case in front of them about how activists can define or re-define a food.

Dairy has a great story to tell. Isn’t it amazing that a beverage with protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals has its detractors?

Many dairy processors tout that their milk is free of artificial-growth hormones. They have removed high-fructose corn syrup, a sweetener that has been demonized. You also have to play offense and talk about what milk products do offer. See a door cling in the article on Weigel's convenience stores touting fat-free milk as a “natural energy drink.”

No one looks at ice cream as anything but a treat. Cheese takes its lumps for its fat and sodium content. Milk and yogurt, though, enjoy a healthy halo. Don’t let anyone tarnished it.

On a personal note

Executive editor Marina Mayer moves on this month, having been promoted to editor-in-chief of Refrigerated & Frozen Foods (like Dairy Foods, a magazine published by BNP Media). If you know where to look, you’ll find Marina’s fingerprints all over Dairy Foodsand the website. Best wishes Marina, in the next step of your career.