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I’m gonna skip over the whole “To drink or not to drink…” issue of late that has been hovering over the product of cow milk. The consumption of cow milk can be traced back to 7,500 years ago to Central Europe and the Balkans. As for me, I’ve been drinking whole milk my whole life.

As I get older, I realize my tastes will change, and the amount of all foods and drinks that I consume will continue to decrease. Unfortunately that is not the case with most people in non-Third World countries (i.e. expanding waistlines). I really believe that most homogenized drinks (juice, milk, etc.) have become sweeter, denser, richer in my mere 34 years in this world and cultural context of these United States of America.

Nowadays I even dilute my Tropicana 50/50 orange juice, which is suppose to have half the sugar and calories of regular orange juice. When I get my seasonal craving for some OJ, I go to the store, get my Trop 50/50, bring it home, pour a glass half full and top the second half with water (Brita filtered water). To me it tastes great… and I grew up on regular or concentrate OJ.

Back to milk. For about the last ten years whole milk has seemed too rich to me. I’ve even developed a bit of a reaction (upset stomach) when I drink too much of it or eat too much ice cream. Again, I’m not going to get into the milk debate and the upset stomach could be some kind of allergic reaction I’ve developed. Acknowledging those diversions, I simply feel that the taste is too thick or rich for me anymore. I’ve even started moving from creamer in my coffee to regular whole milk. Okay, so why not just buy 2% or skim milk? Well, because it is the same price, sometimes more expensive, in this age of obesity. Just because other people can’t control their consumption is no reason for me to pay more of give up those free calories.

Milk is mostly water
Type of Milk – Calories
Whole Milk (4%) – 46%
2% Milk Fat – 35%
1% Milk Fat – 20%
Skim/Nonfat – 0%

It is true that only 4% of the total volume of whole milk is fat, but the fat accounts for 46% of its calories. Sugars and salt account for the rest.

So I’ve begun thinning my whole milk. I do about 2/3 whole milk and then another 1/3 of water, which results in what would be 3% milk. Let’s calculate the dollar savings. Right now, the average price for a gallon of milk is $3.524 (US Bureau of Labor & Statistics) or $0.22/cup. If whole milk is too rich or if you want to make it last longer (stretch your dollar), simply add 4 cups of water to half a gallon of whole milk. This yields 50% more milk and saves you 33% on the cost. If a family goes through a gallon of milk each week, you can save $61.08 each year.

For those who have grown up on whole milk, this can be hard to get used to. You might want to build up to thinner or 3% milk by progressing from 1…2…3…4 cups each week.

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