The Pros and Cons of Raw Milk in Plastic Jugs
Love raw milk, but hate the plastic containers it often comes in? Jamie Huizenga discusses the balance between small, raw milk dairies and the cost-benefit of plastic containers over glass.
I don’t know what it is about the idea of plastic adulterating raw milk. “The horror! You know what? Just the thought of it infuriates me to the point of… well… not buying raw milk, on principle! Ok, I’m going to just go back to factory milk, or just stop drinking milk all together! Oh wait. That means being a part of “the system” again, condoning and supporting confinement dairies, unnatural & GMO cattle feed, pasteurization to kill pathogens like e coli 0157:h7 which are created in CAFO grain-fed cows, and the untold suffering of these dairy cattle and their calves, organic or not. Give up cream, ice-cream, kefir, butter, cheese… all the delicious things I make with raw milk? Maybe I better calm down and think this through.”
Whew, that’s better.
Be honest. Do you feel this way, or have you come to this plastic crossroads in your raw milk experience? I have and I understand the passion. Glass Mason jars are cool. They make you feel superior in a true foodie sort of way. Friends look in your refrigerator and pantry and see that you make your own stuff, and you secretly beam. Well, it is something to be proud of and to strive for: making and giving your family the finest real-food and health. Raw milk and what it produces is the Queen of Real Food, in my opinion. It is the watershed revolution that leads people down the path to understanding and savoring what is real, and what brings life and restores health. Once you have researched, tasted and experienced the raw milk life, there is no turning back.
But wait a minute. I hate plastic! I hate what it does to the environment, I hate the hormone disruptors and all of the poisons, I hate the trash, and what about the cool factor of my raw milk in Mason jars? I also have to be honest that transitioning away from all plastics is not an easy one. Do you purchase anything in plastic? What about coconut oil, organic apple juice, salad dressings, ziplock bags…? I bet if you look in your cabinet and refrigerator right now, there will be something in a plastic container.
“Yes, but NOT raw milk!”
Let’s step back and examine the raw milk container options. First and foremost, the harsh reality is that the number one labor expense and headache raw milk dairy farmers have, is washing and sterilizing glass jars. Mind you the labor expense is not just pure cash flow, it is valuable time, and lots of it, to perform this task, to the detriment of the dairy. There are only so many hours in the day. Many shareholders do not realize this fact and bring their jars back unwashed, crusted with spoiled milk, without a lid, or worse, do not bring back the jars at all. This creates an added huge expense of having to purchase more jars throughout the season, and let’s face it, there is little cash flow in a raw dairy to begin with. Do you know that a good Jersey cow is between $1500 and $2500, not to mention the cost of pasture, feeding hay and alfalfa, equipment, employees…
This article originally appeared on grassfood. It is partially posted here with permission from the author.
Photo Credit: etsy
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