I ran into a gas station food mart deep in Chicago’s south suburbs recently to get a gallon of whole milk for the kids. Elsie was right there where I’d expected her to be, but as I pulled the jug from the case, a couple of facings of the Quaker Chillers caught my eye.
There are a few questions about milk that we can probably stop asking.
I ran into a gas station food mart deep in Chicago’s south suburbs recently to get a gallon of whole milk for the kids. Elsie was right there where I’d expected her to be, but as I pulled the jug from the case, a couple of facings of the Quaker Chillers caught my eye. Right next to those were the Mars and Three Musketeers milkshakes from Bravo! Brands. Before I knew it, I was taking inventory: Ben & Jerry’s shakes (have you seen the beautiful packaging?!), Starbuck’s Frappuccino-both in glass bottles-were also part of the mix. Is milk a beverage yet? I think we can now stop asking that one.
More and more dairy processors now offer a line of milk from cows not treated with rBST. This practice has emerged quickly, but already there is a question surrounding it that’s already been answered. Many of you are wondering whether or not a new tier of milk is being created somewhere between conventional and organic in terms of both perceived benefits and price. Go to your local Whole Foods and you can stop asking, at least for now.
Adjacent to the national organic brands and Whole Foods 365 brand organic milk you might find Whole Foods 365 from cows not treated with rBST. In Chicago the organic milk sells for about $3.50 for half gallon gabletops, and about $6 for a gallon jug. The no-rBST goes for $4 a gallon. The next question is whether or not this part of the tier will disappear if rBST use falls by the wayside entirely.
Maybe it’s time to stop asking processors of organic dairy to explain how organic products differ from conventional counterparts. It’s certainly time to stop asking if what they are doing casts a shadow over conventional products. Seems to me that most of the industry is now engaged in offering customers options along these lines. That’s what the organic folks have been asking us to believe they were doing all along.
Milk is still the largest segment of the dairy industry, so we’ll most likely keep asking questions about it forever. For some more answers about what’s happening with milk, see this month’s special feature on page 20.