Saturday, September 19, 2009

Homo milk

We used to have homo milk. It was in all the weekly supermarket inserts in the newspapers. Now all of a sudden it is gone in favor of the actual word again. This has only been in the past couple of months, and I hadn't noticed it was gone until today. It was homo milk for years and now milk has gone pc all of a sudden. It is still homo milk in Canada, which is where this picture came from. You can tell because it is measured in ml only. But the below picture I took of milk in my refrigerator shows homo no more.

What is homogenized milk, anyway? I know a long time ago they just pasteurized milk. But the cream still floated to the top. Then they homogenized it so the cream was somehow emulsified or whatever until it just didn't separate anymore. Of course, there is very little cream in milk today anyway, even in "whole" milk. The government changes the definition, I guess.

Then you have "raw" milk. This is straight from your cow, even better if organically fed and not given shots or hormones, I guess. I worked on a milk farm one summer and I drank raw milk. Tasted like milk. Of course the dirt and hair and blood clots were too small to see. But it was filtered somewhat by the time it got into the cooling tank.

I don't think it was ever REALLY homo milk.


  1. It wasn't so very long ago that we had unhomogenised milk as the norm in the UK. I suppose it depends on your definition of long ago, but I do remember catching my son pouring the cream from the top down the sink because he hated it. I switched to skimmed milk then because homogenised was more expensive I think.

    You didn't catch any of the nasties from the raw milk obviously. It does taste amazing. I remember that from even longer ago.

  2. I have never had raw milk. I do remember homo milk. We used to snicker at the word when we were small.

  3. I've never seen it called homo milk before. Ever.

  4. I remember homo milk. We also used to raise goats drink their milk because my grandmother was allergic to cow's milk (she's not any more - long story). With the goat's milk, we both pasteurized it and froze it before drinking - the freezing reduced the gamy taste drastically.

    Homogenized milk just means that they mix it so strenuously that the fat becomes small bubbles to small to coalesce and rise to the top - or so I heard it described.

    And I'm not sure if they actually do reduce the milkfat of the milk itself in pasteurization - the cow we use, bred for yield, might provide less and less milkfat. Typical milkfat in whole milk is about 4%.

    I have to say, milk in the Netherlands tasted richer than it does here. Orange juice, which was ubiquitous there, was also quite tasty.

  5. @A.- I never saw a purple cow. Hmmmm. Wait, that’s an inappropriate poem for homo milk. I didn’t know you had norms in the UK. Or skims either. How do you milk a skim?

    @Ettarose - Raw milk is not as good as cooked milk. What did you snkciker at? I don’t get it.

    @Sheila - Then you’ve never bought milk in Canada. Not that it is important to do so.

    @Stephnie B - Seems like if they mixed it THAT strenuously it would turn into butter. My theory is they shoot electricity through it and it gets transmorgrified and becomes homo. The milk, not the goats.

    You’re dreaming if you think whole milk has 4% butterfat today. Not in a very very long time. Well, not the stuff you get off the shelf at your grocer’s. But you can always buy some half and half and dump in it. Better yet, just drink the half and half.

    Before you start in on me, I’m not talking about cows giving less rich milk than they used to. Butterfat content of the finished product is controlled very precisely by the dairy doing the bottling. Better than 2%, but not much more than 3. God, I’ve had 4% and it is heaven! But you can mix it yourself, and you should. Your heart will thank you for the extra cholesterol. I think I am getting a little off topic here. Sorry.

    Milk in der Nedderlands tastes richer because they allow the milk of fresh cows to be mixed with it. Probably. Or not. Tell us about your visit there, though. Doesn’t have to be about milk. Mr. Haagen Daaaz was from there, you know. :)

    Or Ben and Jerry. One of them.

  6. I’m not drinking milk right now. Hope these comments come out as refined as I intend them to be.

  7. If you want more, ask at Ask Me Anything.

  8. The Netherlands - cold (in June), LONG days (it's up there latitude-wise), quaint towns, bicycles everywhere, very effective roundabouts (instead of street lights), good trains, bad taxis, interesting use of turf for roofing materials.

    I could get over grocery stores that close at 5:30 pm and restaurants that close at 8.

  9. Feel free to ask me anything about the Netherlands too. After many a happy holiday spent there I even feel qualified to expain to you how to pass along the narrow canals of Utrecht. To make a sweeping generalisation, Dutch people are among the friendliest and most easy going of all I know.

  10. Homogenized milk is produced by forcing milk through small holes at high speed. This breaks down the milk-fat globules into much smaller ones so that they become evenly suspended throughout the milk, instead of being allowed to float to the top to form a cream layer.

  11. @Stephanie B - Thank you for the insight on The Netherlands. I never thought about the long days, but of course that would be true. I wonder why the stores close so early.

    I can't ask you on your blog. I have to ask you on my blog so I don't go out of business. :) :)

    But I will think of something to ask to try and stump you with...

  12. @Sheila - I never knew you had visited the Netherlands! I have another friend who sometimes comments on this blog that visited Amsterdam one time and showed me some pictures. That is a coincidence of the first order!

    If the Dutch are really that friendly and outgoing, then I guess I could pass on the canals any damn way I wanted to and they would just wave at me, no?

    In high school, we had an exchange student from The Netherlands and he was pretty cool. Until we taught him how to swear properly in American. Then he got a bit vulgar for his host family. :) His name was AArt. So we called him Eh Art, of course. I don't think he ever got it.

    Much later, I became friends with a Belgian who came to live in America and became a 747 pilot. We used to get drunk in Albuquerque and crawl home together. He told me that they have a saying in Belgium that if you have to shake hands with a Dutchman, make sure you count your fingers afterwards. I think he meant the Dutch are thieves. Or tight. Or something. He spoke excellent English (for a Belgian, I mean) but when he got drunk he would start babbling in Flemish. Somebody told me that was the same as Dutch, but he would get pissed if I suggested that. He spoke French and German too. Didn't matter to me as long as he was paying for the drinks. I once told him that if something was "Mickey Mouse" that meant it was really good. So he told the bartender he thought his drinks were really Mickey Mouse. I left before the bartender gave him another lesson in American. Where was I?

  13. The reason milk was originally homogenized was so it would ship better in paper containers. But it doesn't keep as well as non-homo milk.

  14. I'd like to see Obama pushed through a real small hole. I'm telling ya.

  15. I think Obama really sucks big time.

  16. That Sheila is pretty sassy if you ask me.



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