There’s something that’s been taking up more of my mind-time lately, something I’ve never worried about previously. Since I came of age, or least of an age where I began purchasing my own milk, I’ve been a 1-litrer. I’d get through it with time to spare, and have a new one ready to go. But lately, after a sudden influx of cereal came into my life, I’ve upped my game to the 2L bottle. Then I started getting into milk-based beverages. I now also put the cow milk in my coffee and tea, and I’ve started making dairy smoothies. So I use an average of three litres of milk per expiration cycle (MEC; generally 10 days). But as you well know, milk doesn’t come in 3L containers. Now I can’t stand when my fridge runs dry of the milky goodness, so I’ve actually done it. I’ve upped my carton volume to a 4L cycle. A 2L is $3.29, while the 4L is $4.49. If I buy only 4L cartons and continue to consume exactly 3L, I save $0.45 per cycle, and I never run out. Ideal, I know. But the 3L is an average. There are times when I barely make it through 1L, depending on my schedule and diet over that period. So I lose $2.20 compared to if I’d bought a $2.29 1L. It’s not only a financial wish. I despise food waste, and I don’t want to supplement the 1.3 billion tonnes of food that gets thrown out worldwide each year. I can no longer go on vacation, for fear that the milk pile-up in the fridge will lead to spoilage this world has never known. Or at least I need to plan my milk buying accordingly. But I do most of my grocery shopping online now. When I’m able to physically choose the item from the fridge, I inevitably reach my hand in past the sooner-expiring first row of milks, to the latest expiration date there is. But the grocer, the item retriever doesn’t do this. I put my lactic fate in his hands, and his hands take the path of least resistance. Anyway, expiration dates are mostly inaccurate. A report was done by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic which said people are prematurely throwing out food, largely because of confusion over what expiration dates actually mean. So I’m constantly monitoring my milk consumption, watching the levels and determining how much I’m saving or wasting with each carton and jug. Of course, it’s a good idea to check my milk consumption before I wreck my milk consumption. What am I even doing drinking milk to begin with. I blame Big Milk. We’ve been pranked by the dairy farmers into thinking that cow’s milk is healthy and must be ingested by humans well into adulthood so that they don’t develop osteoporosis. There is no evidence to suggest that, past the age of 6, milk consumption has any positive impact on bone-brittleness, teeth-strengthening or your overall health. We’ve bought into their lies, perpetuated with commercials of fields and sunshine, and I fear it’s too late for me to go back.
February 17 – Jason Ritter gets a household milk consumption analysis