Why American’s Refrigerate Milk and Europeans Don’t
Topic: Healthcare, Nutrition,
My neighbor is originally from Ireland and shared with me an observation while we were having sandwiches one afternoon. That was the fact that Europeans do not refrigerate their milk. I wasn’t sure whether or not to believe his Irish tale, after all was he pulling my leg?
Turns out it is true, and in fact most of the world doesn’t refrigerate milk. The major difference lies in the method by which milk is processed.
Almost all milk is pasteurized, meaning it undergoes extreme heat in order to kill illness-causing bacteria. The U.S. and Canada use a pasteurizing technique called high-temperature short-time pasteurization. This is cheaper and more efficient because it processes milk in larger batches, but as a result, milk has a shorter shelf life—around seven to 10 days—and must be refrigerated.
The rest of the world uses ultra-high-temperature pasteurization, which heats the milk to an even higher temperature. The result: Milk that stays fresh outside of the fridge for about three months.
Personally, I think most American’s like their milk (and beer) nice and cold. I think it’s because of our easy access to refrigeration.