By Colleen Murphy
Got milk? Well, if you got it from on campus, it’s probably not the best milk.
On Friday, Feb. 12, I went into the Convenience Store (C-Store) to buy a quart of skim milk. I was so happy to see that there was some left because oftentimes the stock is out. I opened the refrigerator door, put my hand on the milk’s handle and dreamed of my next morning’s bowl of some delicious Life cereal with cold, fresh milk. I then looked at the sell by date and my dreams were crushed. The milk had a sell by date of Tuesday, Feb. 16.
Now, I understand that a sell by date is for a store to know how long a product should be kept on the shelf. I have no fear with using milk for my cereal several days past the sell by date. But still, only four days until that date? The C-Store receives milk shipments on Mondays and Thursdays. This means that the milk was shipped to the school only a day before I went to the store. Why are we getting shipments of milk with only five days for the store to sell it to students?
Yes, a majority of the C-Store’s milk is probably bought by the sell by date, but students should be able to buy milk that is more fresh so that it lasts longer in their dorms.
I knew that four days until the sell by date, plus a few more until the milk actually expired, would not be worth the inflated milk price of the C-Store and there was no way I could finish it in time. Because she was going anyway, my friend was nice enough to pick me up a quart that same Friday from Stop & Shop. The sell by date on that milk? Thursday, Feb. 25. A whole nine days after the milk in the C-Store.
I am now able to safely enjoy my milk for another few days. If I had bought the milk from the C-Store, I would have had to already throw away the excess, soured milk. (Side note: After now having purchased milk from the C-Store for an entire semester, I would confidently say that its milk starts tasting less fresh even before the marked sell by date.)
I was interested in seeing if the quick turnaround for a sell by date was a common occurrence in the C-Store. To investigate, I returned to the store each day there was a new shipment of milk. On Monday, Feb. 16, the quart of skim milk had an expiration date of Friday, Feb. 26. On Thursday, Feb. 18, the quart of skim milk had an expiration date of Feb. 28. These milks had a better sell by date by six days than the original milk I was going to buy — a definite improvement. But still, why can’t Sodexo provide milk for students that has the same freshness as milk sold in the supermarkets?
The C-Store sells milk from Cream-O-Land, a company based out of Florence, N.J. Do other brands breed cows that supply better milk? (Sorry to question your lactating abilities, cows.) Are stores selling us the milk they haven’t yet sold but see the approaching sell by date and still want to make some money off of it? Something’s up and it’s an utter disgrace.
A first-class institution doesn’t deserve second-class milk. So do I “got milk?” Yeah, I do, but from a store that sells milk that doesn’t spoil before I finish the carton.
Students share opinions around campus
Does the C-Store sell fresh food?
“The only thing I’d eat there is the yogurt (and other snacks)… it’s not my go-to place for food.”
“I think the quality is fine… I would only say that the prices are a little high.”