Buy Local- for “Moo’s” Sake

Posted:  Monday, March 19, 2018 - 9:00am

I’ve been on a zero waste/plastic free journey for a few years.  It’s changed my shopping habits and made me more aware of how important it is to support local and indie businesses.  I have some habits that I’ve completely changed, others I’m working on and others that are in the development stage.  Milk is one that has been a challenge for me.  I drink a fair bit of milk because I love milky coffee in the morning and also tend to eat too much boxed cereal- especially when I get busy.

My daughter recently told me about friends of hers who own a small Maine dairy.  The bulk of their milk they sold to a large organic milk company.  Apparently this company recently sent some small farms a notice that they would no longer be picking up their milk.  Buying instead from large factory farms that are organic.  Just think about that sentence- factory farm and organic.

The market for milk is tight in Maine, especially for local milk packaged in glass.  It is more expensive.  But here’s what I noticed with coffee.  It took me awhile to switch to local coffee.  I had to make some changes because it did cost more but that money was going to pay a wage to local folks, keeping a coffee shop open in my town and providing a place to build community.  The change I had to make was to buy less stuff that I didn’t need.  I love my coffee buying ritual now.  I use the same brown bags every time I fill up.  I date the bags and right now my bags have been used 8 times.  I’m drinking great coffee and making a lot less trash.

The first change I needed to make with milk was to figure out a way to eat less packaged cereal.  I’ve been experimenting around with a power porridge a combo of oats and amaranth.  The great thing about amaranth is it’s full of protein so it really stays with you and keeps you filled.  Almost all the ingredients for the porridge I bought in the bulk bin.  Great breakfast, less milk and almost no trash.  It’s a win-win-win!

After my daughter told me this story, especially the fact that the company had listed a suicide hotline number on the back of the you’re fired letter I vowed to only buy local milk.  

It’s important to our economy, our food chain and the beauty of our state.  Who doesn’t love driving past rolling fields dotted with cows?

If you want more info about family farms check out this blog- the end of the road