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Milk in Bags


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  • 2 weeks later...
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Finland had milk in bags too sometime in the 1960-70's. (Lots of people also used to shred the used milkbags up and make bathroom mats from them!) Maybe that was the Soviets' influence too. It was the best time of Finnlandisierung anyway.

Just a bit of cultural history. I've never even seen it, we've had only milkcartons for ages now.

What about milkbottles then? Is that just the UK?

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You know, I once heard about study of a bunch of monkeys on an island somewhere. I think I may have this confused with another study I heard about a completely different group of monkeys on another island, but my point is still going to stand - trust me. Anyway, the monkeys were lacking some sort of nutrients in their diet, so they took to licking the bottom of rocks which lay on the beach that had the nutrients they needed. When this happened the monkeys on the mainland started doing exactly the same thing! I'm now completely sure I have that mixed up with some other story I heard, or perhaps with a dream I had, because that makes almost no sense to me.

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is, maybe milk in bags was conceived in the SU, while simultaneously being developed in Thailand, China, Ghana, India or wherever you may find milk in bags, without really being passed from one country to another.

Do schools give out those milk in bags for free? Because when I was at Jiangxi Normal University, our milk in bags was free. And we could even get milk in bags chocolate flavour and milk in bags strawberry flavour.

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Tetsuo500, I really hope you don't often have dreams about monkeys licking the bottom of rocks, because that sounds really scary to me. :mrgreen:

Been to Qingdao? You can get BEER in bags! Yup, draught beer pulled fresh into a polythene bag.

And that sounds really disgusting... :shock: Sacrilegious, even.

Used to get milk free in schools in Britain. Until Margaret Thatcher, milk snatcher became education secretary.

One good thing about Scandinavian social democracy is that the whole meal is free in schools. Including milk (it's never strawberry flavoured, though...). You only really appreciate it though once you have to start buying your own lunch at University.

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  • 2 years later...

Milk in bags in Canada:

I have never seen even one bag of milk in western Canada in the 12 years I have lived here. Eastern Canada (ie: Ontario) has them though. I remember visiting a family member in Ontario when I was 10 and being shocked to find milk inside of a bag.

Milk (regardless of what it arrives in) while in China:

Personally, I hardly ever drink milk. Maaaybe 1glass per month. (I'm not lactose intolerant, I just think the substance is pretty revolting. Not to mention that we are the only animal that still drinks milk outside of infancy.) Anyways - I found the milk in China tasted a lot heavier and sweeter. Anyone else notice this?


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Northern Thailand sells load sof stuff in clear little bags.

I went to a food market once and bought some soup. They assumed I was living there and gave it to me in a little, sealed, bag instead of a plastic bowl. I was too polite to ask them to change it, so just walked around the corner and spent ages trying to drink the soup without poring it all over myself.

I succeeded, but the next time I went there I asked for a bowl.

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Been to Qingdao? You can get BEER in bags! Yup, draught beer pulled fresh into a polythene bag.

And that sounds really disgusting... Sacrilegious, even.

ive heard about the plastic bag beer in qingdao and i cant wait to go there just for that! i bet its cheap too...................

id also like to express my fascination at milk in china... i heard many chinese are lactose intolerant which is why its not really that big a thing in china. thus they dont sell them in 3 litre jugs like they do here and have a glass every morning/night and use it in cereal. ive never seen cereal in chinese supermarkets.

the milk in the bags though... they were always flavoured in xi'an and people at the uni always bought them. i think they were 5 mao a bag. they werent refrigerated in the summer but they heated them in the winter. PLUS they think milk is really cute there as well. i saw girls with jumpers with pictures of cows and the word 'milk' written all over them. and no they weren't meant to be like the 'got milk?' singlets ive seen girls wear where its written across the chest.

anyway i hear milk is bad for you these days or at least not as good for you as once thought. apparently the protein in the milk has a leeching affect on the calcium leaving you with no more calcium (and in some studies with less calcium) than the joe bloe who doesnt drink milk.

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i heard many chinese are lactose intolerant which is why its not really that big a thing in china.

Utter myth! Every Chinese supermarket has at least a whole aisle of milk products!

Next you'll be telling me they don't have deoderant!

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i admit i see those dairy aisles as well. STILL though... their milk isnt as good as over here :) plus im sure they dont consume nearly as much dairy as westerners do. PLUS a lot of the chinese i spoke to say they dont drink milk... apart from those milk bags.... anyway i know anecdotal evidence isnt really sufficient.

a quick scour of the internet does reveal this though:


"""For perhaps the majority of people in the world, including most southern European, Asian and African populations, lactose intolerance is the norm. It sets in at weaning or shortly after, when the body stops producing lactase - the enzyme it needs to digest the sugar lactose, which is a major ingredient of human and animal milk."""

with more and more chinese drinking milk now its probably becoming less of a problem:

"""Lactase persistence also seems to be most common among peoples with a long tradition of dairy farming, such as northern Europeans, some groups in India and the Tutsis in central Africa. "I find it ironic that a so-called disease actually represents the original condition," says Peltonen.

It is a nice example of a genetic change prompted by a cultural practice, says Kevin Laland, an expert on the interaction between genetics and culture at Cambridge University. "There are bound to be thousands of such changes, but there are comparatively few where the gene has been isolated.""""

i also read that milk production is increasing a lot lately probably thanks to the milk bag craze. its milk production just caught up to that of its annual grain alochol in 2003. --> from http://www.mindfully.org/Food/2003/China-Dairy-Drinks28feb03.htm

that same article goes on to say:

"Among the hurdles all companies face is the fact that many Chinese can't stomach milk. There aren't official estimates for how many people in China are lactose intolerant, but the percentage is thought to be high. The National Institutes of Health estimates as many as 50 million people in the U.S. have an inability to digest lactose, a natural sugar found in milk. Certain ethnic groups are more widely affected than others; some 90% of Asian-Americans are lactose intolerant, the NIH says."

does it still sound like a 'utter myth' to you?

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  • 3 months later...

I bought a carton of milk from a brand that has the olympics symbol on it. my student host told me that that brand is the best (could have been b.s., but I bought it anyway).

Anyway, it tasted like I was licking a sweaty cow. It was pretty gross. Most of the things are expired (yogurt, milk, soy milk) so I made sure this carton was fresh. It was a little too fresh. It tasted like a farm smells. Am I supposed to microwave it first? I know that the chinese students here microwave it and my mom microwaves her milk back home in the states, but I always thought it was a cultural thing. Now I'm wondering if it's a health thing...

Also, what brand do you suggest (preferably one that doesn't taste like sweaty cow)? I haven't been able to find low fat/skim milk...is it not advertised right on the box as 1% or is it written in Chinese (I'm one of the illiterate masses, although I've been translating le petit prince and it's going ok).

ack! I need my calcium (I live in a dorm room so I don't cook and there's no accommodating grocery store nearby so I rely on milk for calcium rather than broccoli, etc.)

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Jinjin, why don't you just go to a 豆浆 shop to buy soy milk? It should be fresh there. Plus with 豆浆, I don't think there is much concern if it is old or not.

When I used to live in Kunming, I could bring a 1.5L bottle to the 豆浆 shop, and they filled it with 豆浆. Only 1.4元. So it might be cheaper than cow milk as well, depending on where you actually live.

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