On my morning walks – when I walked unencumbered by bags or cans – I was always subjected to looks of contempt and pity.
Since I was a mom it was unacceptable that one of my primary concerns in the morning was not – the procurement of milk.
Every other mom was going somewhere to get milk. The more dedicated diligent ones had cans in their hands and were making the trip to a distant dairy to fetch ‘fresh milk’. The ones who couldn’t do that – were going to the local booth to pick up their packets – ‘freshly’ unloaded from the delivering truck.
And the moms – who for some reason or the other couldn’t step out of the house – were compensating by waiting for the doodhwala with bated breath.
I was the only one speeding about in my sneakers - empty handed and unconcerned.
“Do you know? She buys the whole month’s supply at one go in the supermarket” was the whisper that did the rounds about me – and it was true.
I had shifted to milk packaged by Tetra Pak.
I bought milk in cartons – and I bought enough cartons to last me for a month at once.
My daughter found the milk tastier, I didn’t have to boil it, the cartons could be stored without refrigeration until I opened them and the opened cartons fitted easily in the fridge door – unlike pans full of milk – that used to block a lot of shelf space. Also – I didn’t have to stress over the procurement of milk every day – I could sort out that kitchen need – once a month in one trip to the grocery store.
But everyone else seemed to disapprove.
But I believed in Carton milk and when I visited the Tetra Pak factory this year as their Safe Food Ambassador – all my beliefs were strengthened. I now know how the milk in cartons is procured and packaged – and why it remains unspoilt.
I am now ready to counter all arguments against milk in Tetra Pak cartons – I am prepared to dispel all myths
1. Myth 1 – Milk that remains unspoilt for so long must be full of preservatives
No – Milk packaged in Tetra Pak cartons is preservative free – whether it is plain milk or flavoured milk. The milk that is packaged is sterilised by a special technique called UHT sterilisation – that ensures that there are absolutely no organisms left in the milk - and then packed by a special technique such that no organisms are able to come into contact with the sterile milk as it gets sealed into its pack. Since there are no organisms in the milk – there is no chance of it getting spoilt even when it is kept at room temperature for 6 months. The long shelf life therefore comes without the disadvantage of the milk being preservative laden.
2. Myth 2 – There is no difference between ordinary milk and Tetra Pak milk
There is a lot of difference between the milk packaged in cartons and ordinary milk. Only the best milk - from the best breed of cows – collected in the most hygienic ways – goes in Tetra Pak cartons. This milk is healthier because it is sterilised by a special technique called UHT sterilisation where the exposure to heat is for a much shorter time – and the vitamins present in milk are thus not destroyed. Because of the minimal exposure to heat – it is also tastier. Flavours and other nutritionally beneficial substances such as Haldi can be added to this packaged milk without compromising the safety of the drink by using state of the art technology while packaging - which makes for a healthier drink without the dangers of contamination and adulteration.
3. Myth 3 – Fresh milk is ‘Pure and Fresh’ – Tetra Pak milk is stale
Milk becomes stale when it is exposed to air and when bacteria are transferred to it by contact with hands of the person milking the cow or from the cow udders. This is how milk gets spoilt and which is why milk needs to be boiled soon after it is collected. In case of carton milk – the milk coming out of the udders of the cow – has no contact with air and remains untouched by the human hand – because milking is done by a machine and the milk collected moves directly into sealed tubes – and is then sterilised by UHT sterilisation while it is in the tubes and goes on to be packaged in the cartons – without ever being exposed to air or bacteria. In effect – carton milk when it reaches your kitchen is actually udder fresh and sterile. Not something that can be said about the milk from local dairies – even when you see the milking happening – right in front of your eyes.
4. Myth 4 – Carton milk is synthetic milk
No - carton milk is not synthetic milk. Carton milk is collected from the udder of cows – just like the milk collected in local dairies. It tastes different or better than locally collected milk for several reasons. First the cows from which the milk is collected are fed with the best quality fodder and kept disease free by close monitoring – they thus produce better milk. Second the milk retains its original molecular structure because it is not spoilt by exposure to air or bacteria. Third – the milk is consumed without boiling – straight from the carton – and so its taste is not marred by open heating.
5. Myth 5 – Milk in cartons has lower nutritive value than milk obtained from milking cows
Milk in cartons is much higher in nutritive value than ordinary milk since it is UHT sterilised - which ensures that it is not exposed to heat for a long time. Vitamins that are destroyed by heating are thus preserved and this milk is thus healthier. Taste and health are just a snip of the scissors away when milk comes packaged in cartons because packaged milk comes in various flavours and in many cases with traditionally revered substances like Haldi added to it to increase its nutritional value
Moms have a lot to do – and ensuring that our families remain healthy is one of our key tasks. As dedicated conscientious moms we do what it takes to ensure that.
It is a lot of hard work – but fortunately for us technology is making our lives easier every day.
Let us embrace technology – let’s reach our health destination the easy way.
There are a range of interesting milk shakes that MooShake has come out with. They are packaged in Tetra Pak cartons and their flavours are sure to be big hits with your kids!
Check out their range at various departmental stores in Bangalore.
My Tryst with Tetra Pak
It is really strange how one’s priorities change in life.
Ten years ago - if I was to contemplate falling in love - the object of my love would certainly not have been an OBJECT.
But being a Mom changes so much.
You fall in love with things - things that keep your family healthy and make your life easier - in general make you a better Mom without your doing too much.
And today I am writing one such love story.
Being - Mom, Parenting and Wellness Consultant and Infectious Diseases specialist all rolled into one is not easy. And I am all three.
As Mom - I want the best for my daughter………..
As Parenting and Wellness Consultant - I know what the best is…….
And as Infectious Diseases specialist - I know when the best things are really not good enough to give her!
And because I am all three - for the longest time - a daily battle raged between the three of me. Especially when I thought of MILK
As Mom I was insistent upon serving my daughter a glass of milk every day. The Parenting and Wellness Consultant in me agreed that it was a good idea because milk is a complete food. But the Infectious Diseases specialist in me was always sceptical.
“Milk that is likely to be unsafe because it has germs in it or has been adulterated -is best not consumed. Drinking such milk does more harm than good” - is what she had to say every time we served up a glass full.
So Milk usually had the three of me frequently disagreeing.
When my daughter was about a year old - all three of me reluctantly agreed to serve up milk that was sold in sealed plastic packets. And though debates still raged in my mind between boiling for long enough times to destroy the germs and short enough times to keep the nutrients intact - I still managed to live in an uneasy calm.
Until one day - by virtue of being the wife of an officer of the Indian Air Force - I had the privilege of setting up home in Jorhat (Assam) - 300 Km from the China Border.
The milk available there was just terrible.
I had never trusted milk supplied by milkmen. So, there once more - I turned to milk in plastic pouches.
In Jorhat however the milk in plastic pouches travelled such long distances to get to me that by the time the packet reached me - it looked battered and dirty itself.
Unlike in the cities and towns where it arrived with clockwork accuracy in time for me to start my day -here- depending on the prevailing road conditions - it arrived at any odd time of the day. Sometimes even past noon.
By the time it reached me it had usually been in transit for so long that it was beginning to spoil. And even when it wasn’t spoilt - it looked dirty and smelt funny.
It was milk that I was compelled to ban from my house.
It was depressing. And for the first time ever since I became part of the Air Force family - I began to regret moving with my husband to the back of beyond.
Fortunately - my regret did not last for long.
Browsing the stores one day for supplies - I chanced upon Tetra Pak.
The brick shaped carton looked sturdy - it said it was tamper evident - the milk in it looked and smelt fresh - it was preservative free and it didn’t need boiling.
I couldn’t have asked for more - I fell in love - in love with Tetra Pak.
I have been a big Tetra Pak fan ever since.
In the years since - even while living in the Metros I have been unable to let go of the goodness of milk packed in Tetra Pak cartons.
However, I discovered a lot more about the company that makes the product I love so much and its commitment to providing safe food and making it available everywhere - at the seminar they organized on Food safety - last Friday in Bangalore.
It was for Moms like me.
They told us how they pack all the nutritious food we want to give our families - in 6 layers of packing!
And because they are so careful while packing what they pack - the food they pack does not get spoilt even though they don’t put in preservatives. All you need to do with food packed in Tetra Pak cartons is - cut (open the carton), Pour (it out) and Drink.
It is my dream come true.
If you are a Mom - I am sure health and happiness are what you dream of for your family.
Get both - just open Tetra Pak and pour them out.