In terms of what we consume on a weekly basis, I’d like to think that our Aussie family consisting of hubby and I and two young kids was similar to other Aussie families out there who go through litres and litres of milk each week. It is therefore another one of our guaranteed waste creators. Well…..no more!
Since taking on this challenge, I now see our local supermarkets through fresh eyes. No longer do I see aisles of products cleverly marketed to tempt me. All I see now is plastic and waste…..I mean it’s everywhere and particularly so down the dairy aisle. Anything larger than a litre of milk comes in a plastic bottle – that’s just how it is right? The one litre cardboard cartons may be slightly better, however the plastic lining throws them back into the waste pile again.
It seems strange then that despite Victoria having a large dairy industry there doesn’t seem to be many that sell milk in glass bottles. The Flavour Crusader blog provides a helpful list of small dairies making organic, unhomogenised and in some cases glass bottled milk products however availability becomes an issue.
Elgaar milk is what we are currently buying.
What’s good about this milk:
- It tastes delicious – having the old school cream on top (it’s pasturised but unhomogenised) just makes it seem better for you. I’ve tried finding scientific research on the benefits of unhomogenised milk but have yet to find any. Regardless of this, it just makes me feel better to drink something that hasn’t been too tampered with.
- Reusable glass bottles – They come in glass bottles which we return to the store for a small reward. Thankfully our local health store sells it so it has become a Thursday ritual that the boys and I walk down to the “Milk Shop” to return our bottles and pick up our new milk. You can find your nearest stockist here.
- They really seem to care for their cows. Calves are allowed to ween naturally.
What’s not so great about this milk:
- It’s expensive! The glass bottles only come in a 750ml size so I order 5 to last us the week. After our money back for returning the bottles (60c per bottle), our milk bill comes in at over $18! This clearly is breaking our rule not to spend more than we used to (which was roughly $4).
- It comes from Tasmania: Don’t get me wrong, I love Tasmania and Tasmanians, but to think I am getting my milk from that far away when I have a large dairy industry seemingly on my doorstep seems strange.
- Weekly delivery: The milk is brought over on the car ferry from Tasmania once a week to make all it’s deliveries. This causes two problems. Firstly, you can’t just pop down and pick up another bottle if you run out. Our small health store may buy a few extra over their standing orders but once they’re gone it’s another week before they will get more. Secondly, the delivery van returns to Tassie on the evening ferry that same day no matter what so if for some reason they are prevented from delivering all their orders before the day is out…well you just don’t get your milk.
La Latteria is the next milk I am going to try.
With it’s milk sourced from a dairy farm on the outskirts of Melbourne and sold in returnable glass bottles, I either need to make the commitment to travel to Carlton each week to get our milk (which isn’t too much given it’s only a few blocks from uni) or convince my local health food store to stock it. The only downside to this milk that I can see that I am can not find anything about whether their calves are weened naturally. I will need to do some research on this.
Hopefully as more people look for plastic free alternatives, more Victorian dairies will answer the call. I will keep you updated as I learn more.