Why this image?
There's a long post at madehow giving the history of the milk carton that begins like this:
"Up until recent times, milk was not usually available as a retail item. Once milk is removed from the cow, it spoils quickly in heat, and is vulnerable to contamination. Until this century, the most economical and hygienic way to store milk was to leave it in the animal. In Europe, a town cow keeper would bring his or her cow directly to the doorstep of the customer, and milk the animal there into a household container. In some places, milk was sold from a shop next door to the cow stall. In either case, the milk could not be safely stored for anything but a small amount of time. A large metal milk container was developed in Europe between 1860 and 1870. Called a churn, the lidded metal container could hold about 21.12 gal (801) of milk."
In reading about the relative benefits of plastic jugs, cardboard cartons, and glass bottles, I found out:
- Plastic cartons are recyclable, but only 29% are recycled, the rest pollute the landfill for hundreds of years. But it's the lightest weight, so transportation is cheaper.
- Cardboard cartons come from renewable trees. Not much heavier than plastic.
- Glass comes from sand a non-renewable (but plentiful) resource (and it said that sand is one of the major exports of North Korea). Very heavy!
- "extraction of raw materials and manufacturing consume, by far, the most energy in the life of a milk container. So choices that can be reused or recycled are preferable. A 1997 EPA study bears this out, as refillable glass was found to use about half as much energy during its life cycle than either plastic or gable-top cartons. "
- ultraviolet light, which can penetrate clear glass bottles (PDF) and HDPE (PDF), degrades vitamins A and D and riboflavin. That's no small matter, considering between one-third and one-half of American adults are vitamin D deficient."
My guess is that people think milk is better out of glass bottles, or at least their marketing survey said that, and so they put a picture of a glass bottle on the cardboard container. I think it's bizarre.
Hide And Seek
My granddaughter wanted to play hide and seek yesterday. She hasn't quite comprehended the concepts, because when she plays, she tells me where I should hide. And she still has a great time finding me.