Jewish World Review Oct. 9, 2003 / 13 Tishrei, 5764

Ian Shoales

Ian Shoales
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Consumer Reports

Milk?


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | I learned from TIME Magazine that milk consumption is rising in the US. Because we are in the era of new capitalism, milk producers can't just clap their hands with glee over the news and give the cows a raise, no, they have to launch new lines of milk.


Now, I'd thought that milk had more than enough uses — cheese, cottage cheese, ice cream, shakes, chocolate milk, buttermilk. Milk's diversity, one would think, was pretty much milked dry.


But one dairy is offering vanilla, amaretto, strawberry, banana, peach, and blueberry milk. Another a strawberry banana and orange cream milk. There's a coffee flavored milk, of course.


Which reminds me that coffee flavored milk, in the form of mocha, is one of the things that ruined coffee in this country. I've spoken before of the difficulty, sometimes, in getting a normal cup of joe any more. You can get mocha, or chai, whatever the hell that is, or decaf soy latte. I stand in line behind people who order these things, I find myself amazed at the specificity of the caffeine requests, some of which go on longer than the time it would take to gulp down a plain old black, no sugar. And isn't caffeine delivery the point of all this?


We have lagers, and ales, and stouts, and ice-brewed lagers, and slow-brewed lagers, and flash-brewed lagers, and micro-brews. You have to wade through acres of this stuff to find a plain old six pack of generic brew.


So my concern for the dairy industry is genuine. Once you dilute your brand, with Peach du Leche, and doughnut flavored hot chocolate, well, sooner or later, consumers will get too confused to bother. Ask them, "Got milk?" They'll reply with an anguished, "I don't know."


On the other hand, with our new knowledge of genetics and cloning, we might be able to make a cow that releases chocolate milk when you milk it. Or cross a cow with a strawberry. That would be mighty tasty. The downside, of course, is that when the cowberry is ripe enough to fall off the vine, you'd better warn people to get the hell out of the way. And bring a pretty big bucket.

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JWR contributor Ian Shoales is the author of, among others, Not Wet Yet: An Anthology of Commentary. Comment by clicking here.

Up

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© 2003, Ian Shoales