The Milk Bewilderment

ID-100201373Confusion, confusion. And bewilderment. And all over some milk.

As an Aussie, buying milk in ‘Merica was somewhat of a baffling saga when we first arrived fresh off the plane.

What was this stuff called 2% milk? And 1% milk? Why the hell would you buy something that is only 1% milk?

And for the love of god, what is half and half? Half what + half what?

Alas, a quick conversation with the friendly fridge guy at Whole Foods shed much light, particularly after we explained where we were from, and how the milk system worked there.

So, we pleasantly discovered that: 2% and 1% refer to fat content, despite the fact that the huge label on the bottle simply reads “1% milk.”

Which makes these variations similar to Lite White, I guess.

Whole Milk is essentially Full Cream (which was pretty obvious). And skim or fat free is, well, Skim.

Half and half is half milk, half something else we couldn’t be bothered to remember (cream?) – but it’s basically what you put in that watery instant (drip) coffee they drink here.

We like Lite White, so we opted for 2% milk. Which is a little nicer than 1% and even Whole Milk, but which (for some reason) just lacks that creamy milky taste.

But, to our dismay, the confusion didn’t end there.

After a good month or so of blindly drinking 2%, it suddenly occurred to us that the milk we were buying didn’t seem to expire any… time… soon…

The expiry date was a good month or two away. As opposed to back home, when milk expires in roughly a week and a bit, if you’re lucky.

Which meant… how many preservatives exactly were in this milk we were drinking? Was it really bad for us?

Reading the label a little more carefully, we realised that the manufacturers were pasteurising the f*** out of this milk (who knows why), and that we were basically drinking the equivalent of long life milk. Ew.

Back to the supermarket. In the end, we couldn’t find anything that didn’t have a super-long period until expiry, and the best we ended up with was a bottle of 2% that lasted around 2 weeks.

Still not great, but at least we’re no longer drinking what we now refer to as “2 month milk.” Ahhhh US of A. I’ve seen your cows around. So where is your fresh milk?!

And that about sums up the crazy Milk Debacle.

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(Thanks to Naypong @ for the pic). 


6 thoughts on “The Milk Bewilderment

  1. Have you seen any organic milk around? Or maybe there are companies that deliver fresh milk ? Yes the milk conundrum is confusing.


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