Thursday, January 06, 2011

Milk Bottles

We bought organic, raw milk from a nearby farm for a year or so, then could no longer afford the wonderful stuff. We went back to milk from Kwik Trip (a local chain of gas stations with a really nice setup for their convenience stores as well). I bought it in gallon plastic jugs for a long time. Then I got sick of dumping all those big jugs in our recycling, and switched over to their milk in a bag.

The advantage is that these bags have a lot less plastic in them. They are LDPE 4, and I put them in our recycling, though I'm not certain that anything ever comes of it. This picture shows two half-gallon bags.

But you have to either put the whole bag in a pitcher (Kwik Trip has free pitchers that are made especially for their bags) or pour the milk out of the bag into some kind of container.

I'm using half-gallon sized glass milk bottles. I bought one at The Way Station first, imprinted with the logo of a dairy in Missouri somewhere. Then I bought 3 more blank ones from Local Amish Farms by mail order.
Three of them will fit neatly on my fridge door.

The greatest thing is that all of a sudden my kids are drinking just a ton of milk. I'm not sure why, and I'm afraid to show that I noticed by asking. Barry thinks it's because those bottles are so easy to grip, even for small hands. Myself, I think there's something delicious about milk in a glass bottle, but then I'm abysmally old-fashioned and love low-tech solutions, so it's probably not that. Anyway, I'm glad with the result. Their bones will thank them later.

Plastic haters say that milk should always be stored in glass, and I imagine that's so. Our solution does not deal with this issue, really, as who knows how long the milk was in those plastic bags. On the plus side, LDPE 4 is one plastic that does not include bPA. I'm not trying too hard to get that out of my house (yet) but I am trying to be more aware of when we are using it, at least, and I'm using the bPA free canning lids more and more.


Rod said...

Kwik Trip is going to expand their dairy plant, located in LaCrosse, WI. My firm is submitting a proposal to them for engineering and architecture related to the expansion. Your comments referenced the how long the milk is in the bags. Based on a facility tour and information from the plant operations people, the milk spends less than 24 hours at the plant. It arrives from the farm and is typically in their store coolers the very next day. My family also buys milk in bags from Kwik Trip - and I like the glass bottle idea. We use Rubbermaid pitchers now. I'll be looking for glass bottles online.

Maria Stahl said...

Thanks Rod, that's very helpful information! I like Kwik Trip for many reasons. Here's another to add to the list.

Catherine said...

Thanks Maria. I enjoyed this post. Very helpful.

Halcyon said...

Very interesting. I just moved to Toronto where they also have milk in bags. I finally figured out what you're supposed to do with them!

I like the idea of a glass milk jug, but how do you wash and sterilize them? I would think they're too big for the dishwasher.

Maria Stahl said...

Dear Halcyon -

Yes, they're too large for the dishwasher, and the mouth is too small to allow the water to swish around nicely in there anyway. I use very hot soapy dish water and a bottle brush to scrub them out.

Stephanie said...

I was looking for the half gallon glass bottles that you have but they do not have those lids you show in your pic. It appears in your picture that your lid also has a handle that fits around the lower part. Did you buy those separate?