What Ever Happened to The Milkman?


The other day I was having coffee with my parents and I don’t really remember how, but suddenly the milkman was mentioned. Having thought of the idea already, I mentioned that we should “bring back the milkman;” that I could really use some “fresh milk at my door 2 to 3 times a week.”

I fantasize about grocery delivery on a regular basis. I have two kids and they down a gallon of milk in two to three days! The late night trips to the store for morning milk are countless, and so I dream of waking in the morning to find fresh milk at my doorstep, delivered by a unseeming angel in a truck. It can’t be that far off. After all, the milkman came to my house when I was a child… It wasn’t THAT long ago!

My mother quickly argues that it would be “too expensive” to pay so many drivers, etc. To which I respond with: “It’s more expensive to have them unemployed.” My dad agrees with me. His “ok” quiets my mom and I actually get to argue my case.

BRING BACK THE MILKMAN PLEASE!

The milkman used to bring milk every other day or so (I don’t really remember exactly) in glass jars. He would leave them in a crate by the side door of the house, two or three bottles (again I’m not too certain). My mom would leave the empty glass bottles from the previous delivery outside the night before. The norm was to reuse the bottles. These things were boiled and sterilized so nobody got sick from it.

The simple concept of the milkman represents exactly what Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is all about. Reusing the glass bottles basically generates zero (0) trash. The bottles are in constant continuous use. If one should break, the glass can be recycled. The way it is now, every time I buy milk I produce a plastic bottle of trash. In one week, I amass about 4 to 5 gallon bottles. Sure they are recyclable, but why should we process all that trash, when we don’t really have to? Recycling trash is expensive.

With regular delivery I get FRESH milk, not something that has been sitting in a fridge for two weeks and is on the verge of turning sour. With regular delivery, I don’t have to run out for milk every so often; or buy two gallons of milk to save myself a trip.  Regular delivery also means less wasted milk. The milkman would just be awesome!

Of course these people need to be paid, but it is better to pay someone to do something than to pay them to do nothing, as welfare does. There are plenty of big trucks delivering milk anyway. This way, the whole process would go micro. More, yet smaller delivery units. More jobs, better service!

So what ever happened to the milkman? Why did he stop coming? In the ever-present hope of making everything cheaper someone decided to off the guy. In Puerto Rico we had a commercial that said the following slogan: “Lo barato sale caro” (cheap things turn out expensive). I think it’s true. Eliminating the milkman made it more expensive. We’re up to $6.00 a gallon. Nothing is actually getting any cheaper, and yet they keep trying to bring down costs. The amounts of trash are copious. We need to bring back the milkman now!

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