Sunday, June 8, 2008

Paying More for Milk than Gas?

When it comes to milk, lately I've chosen dry milk over regular milk. There are a couple of reasons for this.

  • Dry milk is just as healthy, if not healthier than regular skim milk. There is no fat and it is fortified with vitamins and minerals.
  • Dry milk can be stored indefinitely in its dry state and I only have to mix up small amounts at a time to use. It will go bad eventually after it is liquid, but it lasts a good amount of time and the small servings mean it will be used up faster.
  • Dry milk is cheaper than liquid milk. Last week I paid $2.89 per gallon (based on the liquid amount it would make). This compares favorably to the approximately $3.50-$4.00 / gal. for liquid milk.
Recently there have also been some concerns about illegal price gouging with respect to milk. NY seems to be feeling it the most with milk as high as $4.39 / gal. I never knew this, but it looks like NY actually regulates the price of milk. (See Regulators reportedly probing milk price scheme and Milk jumps over the moon.) You can avoid all this price gouging by just going for the powdered milk.

Some people do not like the taste of dry milk, but I don't mind it at all. There are some things you must do, however, to ensure your milk will taste alright. Putting warm tap water and dry milk in a cup is a guaranteed way to ensure whoever drinks that will never go near dry milk again. You have to mix it up really well and put it in a sealed glass pitcher. Then you should let it chill overnight. The colder it is (without freezing, obviously) the better it will be. I originally used a curved open top glass pitcher and covered it with cellophane. Getting the glass pitcher with the lid works much better (see the pictures). I paid $4.92 for the pitcher. I have also heard of people mixing normal and powdered milk. Also, if you don't want to drink it, you may still be ok with using it for cooking or cereal. For cooking and other ideas about dry milk, check out this hillbilly housewife's article, Saving Money with Powdered Milk.


Please let me know about your experience if you choose to try it out.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

dry milk is fine. I used to milk a half a gallon of whole milk with a half a gallon of dry milk for my daughter, she never knew any different!

cangel said...

This is an excellent idea. I hate buying regular milk because I don't drink it that ofter. Then when I need it I don't have it. This is the perfect solution. Thanks for you tip about chilling it and keeping it in a glass container.

Cilantro said...

Dairy milk involves animal cruelty and health risks. Animal cruelty because the cattle are held captive in inhumane conditions--the vast majority of dairy cows being forced into crowded, filthy environments with no opportunity for exercise, socialization, even the space to turn around, in which they develop multiple problems, with mastitis rates being as high as 50%--and they are sent to slaughterhouses that kill them in horrible ways with inadequate stunning. Veal calves are mostly the offspring of dairy cows; since the males of dairy breeds neither produce milk nor are useful for functions other breeds are ideal for, and they would drink milk that can otherwise be sold, they are taken from their mothers soon after birth and sold to be immediately slaughtered for veal or raised for several weeks in veal crates. While domestic cattle can live over 20 years of age with good care, today's dairy cows are slaughtered by the time they are 5 years old, so worn out by constant pregnancy, birth, and milking that they are no longer profitable to dairy farmers and replaced by younger cows. It's all about the bottom line.

Cow's milk has a good composition for young calves. It is no more healthy for humans of any age than giraffe milk or weasel milk. It is loaded with far too much protein for human health (and fat, if it is not removed), and that's not even considering the cholesterol. It is high in certain amino acids in its protein that actually leech calcium out of the body; the acidifying amino acids must be countered in the bloodstream by taking minerals like calcium out of less vital areas, such as bones. Today's milk is contaminated with cow's blood and pus. While the organic label bans certain substances, most milk is contaminated with pesticides, artificial hormones, and antibiotics.

Dairy, along with other agricultural products, has long been government subsidized. Farmers are paid to not produce goods. Goods are bought then burned or thrown into the oceans. That's where our tax money goes, so we can pay higher prices at the store. It's not just private corporations that raise prices.

There is powdered soy and rice milk available now. I do find that it is cheap and relatively healthy. Milks are unnecessary for a good diet, but I grew up on cold cereal with milk, and I like having it now and then. Dry milk is also good for baking with. I have also had success with mixing then keeping in the fridge for a while with rice milk, that dissolves the chunks and makes it smooth, even though I don't think it's still as good as some nice Rice Dream or Chocolate Almond Breeze. Freshly mixed, my dry rice milk is rather unpleasant. I guess that's something dairy and rice milk powders have in common!

Anonymous said...

As much as dry milk might be cheaper, it's just not as good as a regular glass of milk. Mixing is half-and-half makes it a little better, but you gotta drink it cold!

Anonymous said...

dry milk is just that - dry milk - one would not use dry butter, or dry wine, or dry orange juice. There are reasons for this..... Trust me the extra 2.00 is worth it!

Anonymous said...

That is really useful information. I think that is a great idea!

Mandy said...

I have tried to like dry milk. I really did. It was a constant in my diet as a little kid, since my family was always low on funds. I guess maybe that's my stigma with dry milk. I actually don't drink too much milk now. The main reason we have any is for my 2 year old son, and occasional cereal or recipe. So a gallon of milk lasts us awhile.

Anonymous said...

Dry milk is a cheaper way to go. I personally do not like dry milk but as times change and prices go up we all may need to do a little switching in our diets. It is probably a guarantee that prices will continue to rise. We have to think about the fact that farmers too will have troubles which is where we get milk.Very informative article. Good job!!

Jenny said...

You have really brought up some thing that I have never thought about. Milk and Gas prices. Two topics that I would never think to have but it's so true. Why should we have to pay more for our milk then for our gas. It's insane.

Baimer said...

My mother used to make us drink dry milk when I was a kid and I HATED it! I like using it for cooking because it is easier to work with (and it works GREAT in breads), but I'm not a fan of drinking it.

Carmen said...

I'm lactose intolerant :-( But at least I don't have this problem!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the input on the correct way to make dry milk. I have only ever used it for cooking but may be willing to try it as a drink now.