Saturday, April 12, 2008
The Shelf Life of Milk
As I read the expiration date on a gallon of milk....two weeks from today, I couldn't help but think: this just isn't right.
What is going into my body that I don't want there? Of course, I decided to do some online investigating. In 1987 it was a big deal when the New York City Board of Health extended the shelf life of milk from 96 hours to 9 days (source: New York Times, April 13 2008/July 27, 1987) following pasteurization. An array of issues from sanitation, processing and storage came into play and the Department of Health got involved. According to the NY Times, a statement from the National Dairy Council claimed that fresh fluid milk kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit has an approximate storage life of up to 20 days. In Brazil the milk lasted two days. Every two days I would go to market and purchase two quarts of milk. Two quarts of delicious milk that hasn't been chemically altered to last longer. Okay, it wasn't straight from the cow, but, it was fresh, tasty, pure milk! I miss that taste! I understand it's similar in Europe, though I don't know the exact shelf life. I'd purchase a package of cheese, containing only 5 to 6 slices every couple of days. Yogurt, slightly different than yogurt in the U.S. and oh so tasty. Why can't we have options like this in the U.S.? I want the choice of not dumping chemicals, preservatives and additives into my body. And I should have that choice at a price I can still afford. I remember when I lived in San Francisco I did get some milk as a special treat once in a while from....oh what was that store...on Nob Hill... anyhow, it was like $5.00 for two quarts. Yikes!
If you are interesting in the process of extending milk's shelf life, you can check www.extraordinarydairy.com, or do a search for more information.